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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Praxis: Dread Empire's Fall by Walter Jon Williams (Praxis #1)

The Praxis (Dread Empire's Fall, #1)The Praxis by Walter Jon Williams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  All will must bend to the perfect truth of The Praxis.

For millennia, the Shaa have subjugated the universe, forcing the myriad sentient races to bow to their joyless tyranny. But the Shaa will soon be no more. The dread empire is in its rapidly fading twilight, and with its impending fall comes the promise of a new galactic order... and bloody chaos.

A young Terran naval officer marked by his lowly birth, Lt. Gareth Martinez is the first to recognize the insidious plot of the Naxid -- the powerful, warlike insectoid society that was enslaved before all others -- to replace the masters’ despotic rule with their own. Barely escaping a swarming surprise attack, Martinez and Caroline Sula, a pilot whose beautiful face conceals a deadly secret, are now the last hope for freedom for every being who ever languished in Shaa chains -- as the interstellar battle begins against a merciless foe whose only perfect truth is annihilation.

January 2016 book group selection.

This was my second reading of the Praxis, and I have to say I enjoyed this just as much the second time around. The Praxis is classic space opera - grandiose worlds, tyrannical aliens, wormholes, caste system, fantastic Cities and backwater planets and colonies, military intrigue and backstabbing, space battles. This has it ALL.

I will also note up front, this is not a stand alone book. If you want to find out what happens, you'll have to read the next two in the series. No hardship there, they are just as enjoyable as book one.

The book follows the paths of two people: Gareth Martinez, a Peer, lower ranking lieutenant, not well liked by other peers due to his back-planet, low brow accent. And Caroline Sula, disgraced Peer, has a secret, and is by her own admission, the second luckiest person in the universe.

When the last great Shaa passes, the Naxid's decide to revolt, in a universe that hasn't experienced any significant turmoil in thousands of years. Everyone is taken by surprise. Martinez and Sula find themselves thrust into situations and roles they never predicted or even imagined for themselves.

This is a fun, fast paced, classic space opera that would be great for reading while traveling, on vacation, or while commuting.  

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