Sequel to national bestseller, Nebula Award finalist, and Compton Crook Award winner Fire with Fire. Science fiction adventure on a grand scale. When reluctant interstellar diplomat and intelligence operative Caine Riordan returns from humanity’s first encounter with alien races, sudden war clouds burst. With Earth’s fleet shattered by a sneak attack and its survivors fighting for their lives, Caine must rely upon both his first contact and weaponry skills to contend with the non-humanoid enemy. And when the technologically-superior attackers sweep aside the solar system’s last defenses, and traitorous corporations invite the invaders to land "security forces," humanity fights back with its best weapons: cunning, inventiveness, and guts.
But as Earth hurtles towards a final trial by fire that is certain to scar its collective memory, Caine discovers that there may also be large and disturbing gaps in that memory. Clues point to a much earlier inter-species apocalypse, buried in humanity’s own prehistory. Which raises a terrifying possibility: what if the aliens' invasion of Earth is not one of conquest, but preemption? And what if their harrowing memories of a long-past cataclysmic war makes them willing to do anything to keep it from reigniting?
Even if that means exterminating the human race.
Charles E. Gannon is the author of Compton Crook Award-winning, Nebula-nominated Fire with Fire, Trial by Fire, and Raising Caine in the Caine Riordan series. He is the coauthor with Eric Flint of 1636: The Papal Stakes and 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies in Eric Flint's best-selling Ring of Fire series. With best seller Steve White, Gannon is the coauthor of Starfire series entries Extremis, Imperative, and Oblivion. Gannon is also the author of multiple short stories. He is a member of SIGMA, the “SF think-tank,” which has advised various intelligence and defense agencies since the start of the millennium. A former professor, Gannon lives near Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife and children.