In a world with instant communication, those who have access to it have a distinct advantage over those who don't. It's been over a year since the system ansibles run by ISC stopped working across vast areas of space, and lines of communication have been dependent upon the traders moving between systems, and the speed they can travel at. The pirates have shipboard ansibles, and so far, the only other people who have it are the anti-pirate group led by Kylara Vatta. Now it's up to Ky and her fellow captains to work out how to best the pirates without giving away the fact they have the ansibles (and can spy on them somewhat) or getting themselves blown away in the process. Ky is aware that they need more ships to have any hope, but how to get them, and fund them is a problem.
Stella Vatta is at Cascadia, trying to get Vatta Transport back in business, and hopefully provide some funding for Ky's pirate hunting. Slotter's Key, the normal Vatta base of operations, has been out of touch since the ansibles went down, and the Vatta headquarters were attacked. Grace Vatta, Stella and Ky's aunt, and sometime family spook, is about to have a handful on her plate, as she becomes involved with running the planetary defences. Rafe, who had been travelling with Ky and Stella until recently, has headed back to Nexus to find out why ISC hasn't fixed the ansibles yet, and finds the situation is worse than he was expecting. There are dramas for characters at personal and professional levels, with characters having to weigh up responsibilities at both levels, and try to find a balance between them.
While this book is definitely a military space opera, the focus is on personal battles, rather than military details. The jargon, both technical and military, is kept to a minimum, and is done in such a way that no prior knowledge (or dictionary) is necessary to understand what's happening. A thoroughly enjoyable read that will leave you impatient for more.
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