The end is nigh.
The Federation has stood for over 1,000 years, but its time may be at an end. Its emperor has gone mad; the economy lies in ruins; entire sectors are slipping out of its grasp; warlords, secessionists, and pirates are making their own bids for power; and a powerful rebel fleet stands ready to storm the gates of Earth. The end cannot be long delayed. As Roman Garibaldi, now leading an alliance of former naval officers and rebel outsiders, advances towards Earth, desperate to stop Emperor Marius before he throws the entire Federation into the fire, he has to face the possibility that it may already be too late to save the Federation from itself. And as both sides meet in a final confrontation, the price for saving even a tiny part of the once-proud Federation may be more than anyone is willing to pay.
The conclusion to The Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire series.
©2016 Christopher G. Nuttall (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
All of the characters were extremely 2 dimensional. There was grand tragedy, but unlike his other books where we are given some decent characters to empathise with, there was no connection with these tragedies. It was a bit of a chore finishing the book.
"Action packed story"
This is book three of the trilogy and the author wraps up the story in a good fashion. At the beginning of the book I had a bit of a problem placing which series this was and arranging the correct characters in this series, but I did manage to get it all straight in the first quarter of the book. In this trilogy Nuttall’s narrative threads a classic Roman antiquity into the story which for history buffs like me is fantastic.
Our protagonist Roman Garibaldi is leading an alliance of naval officers, rebels and alien outsiders. They are heading to earth in hopes of saving the Federation from its mad Emperor. Like in the other stories there are pirates, war lords and others seeking power and a piece of the Federation. This is a civil war so the suspense builds as we learn who aligns their allegiance to which side in the war. And of course we end with a mighty battle.
The book is well written with action galore. Nuttall writes a good space battle. Tim Gerard Reynolds does a good job narrating the book. Reynolds was born in Ireland, lives in New York City and is a stage actor who is now a full time audiobook narrator.
"Good, not great."
I've been enjoying all of Nuttall's books set in various parallel 'Galactic Empires'. Compared to the Empire's Corps and Ark Royal I find this one the most bland for one reason or another. The pace is a bit slower and the narrative is a little bit more focused on the author's own world view and less on character and plot development. Honestly this is the first series of Nuttall's where I really don't feel anything at all about the characters as they aren't really characters at all, just tools the author uses to hammer home his own personal take on what is wrong with society. Drake and Garibaldi have no real depth or personality beyond endless internal monologs focused on their ideology.
The afterward in this book is a glaring indicator of how he might be inflating his own political and cultural insights. it might be high-time for the author to take the rhetoric down a notch and return to focusing on character struggles and less on societal issues.
"Glad I got through it"
At this point its obvious Marius's mental state is questionable at best. This is more of that. The galactic politics and strategic battles are interesting, but at one point I felt unable to continue and listened through a different series before returning. I was just tired of the slow decline. Marius was my favorite character and while its interesting watching his descent in to madness its also painful. If you liked the previous book, this is worth finishing, but it was tough for me.
"Skip the postscript"
OK story that was somewhat ruined by a naive and uninformed postscript. The author's sweeping generalizations about the Roman Republic/Empire are unenlightened by any actual knowledge of the complexities of that period of history. His assertion of a ruling "political class" that somehow has more power and influence than the corporate world sheds more light on Mr. Nuttall political beliefs than they do on our current society.
"great space opera as well as current commentary"
"When Rome fell to Barbarian invaders, there were less than 500 qualified Centurions, not because Rome had fewer people, but because it had fewer willing to make the sacrifices. And the last centurions left their shields in the heather and took a Barbarian bride."
If, in the first 2 books, you missed the allegory to the Roman Empire, you really have to notice it here. But most of us don't know our ancient history all that well, so it is hoped that people WILL get the allegory to the current United States and Western World.
The chapter intros from galactic history books tell the basic facts of the events; the story tells the lives of the people who caused, and were affected by, these events.
This book is the sad tale of Admiral-turned-Emperor Drake and Admiral Roman Garibaldi, who is forced once again to mutiny against his superior. Drake has become a monster, and is incapable of uniting or bringing peace to the Federation. It is sad because he never wanted to be Emperor, and he had at least one sadistic, evil adviser. Hopefully, the next volume will be more positive, and Garibaldi will fare better than Drake did. It will be interesting to see if the new government formed is galactic or more local since so many of the planets and systems have declared independence. Will there be a Europe or a European Union? Italy's Garibaldi was one of a triumvirate of leaders, Cavour being the "brain of unification," Mazzini the "soul," and Garibaldi the "sword." Will Roman Garibaldi remain the sword? Will Tiffany be the brain or the soul? Will Elf be one of them, or someone else?
In any case, this book brings to life what may be dull and dry in that galactic history book written some 70 years after all these events. This is the tale of the men and women, their lives, their loves, and their losses. You can be more sympathetic and understanding towards Drake, Vincent, Tiffany, and now Garibaldi. Hindsight is 20/20, but these people can only do the best they can with the knowledge they have at the moment.
Following the Epilogue there is an Afterword which very succinctly compares events in present-day United States and Europe to what happened to the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. It is a wake-up call for us to learn from history.
"Disturbingly Accurate Future and Current History"
Excellent listen. Perfectly performed. Too close to home as a reflection of our declining civilization. A must read.
"You had me until..."
It's a great conclusion to a good series. The afterward however was a pile of dog crap. The author essentially comes out as a Trump supporter with wild right-wing notions that make me angry I spent money on three of his books.
"Too much introspection for my tastes"
An ok story, but in my opinion far far too much introspection, Exploring Marius' thought processes worked, everyone else's slowed the book down.
Listening to an audio book, in the middle of lots of introspection, there was many many many uses of the phrase "and yet". My strange sense of humour felt I should be hoisting a shot of vodka every time it popped up. Good job I was driving to Scotland instead.
"An author who gets it"
funny story it is meant to be outrageous - so you can draw your own thoughts and comparisons. The epilogue is also worthy of high praise for a finish tieing it all together.
"An important message in a time of insanity"
I thought Mr Nuttall let someone else write most of the book as the thoughts seemed divergent to his previous works... But that was not the case, people may critique his works and his thoughts but I for one wholeheartedly agree with his closing warning.
The West is in crisis and unfortunately most will not see it until it is too late.
This was such a good trilogy and, in my opinion, had all the right ingredients for an addictive successful series. The only downside is, it is now finished.
I do hope we can have more of the same.
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