Peter F. Hamiltonyes'>#8217;s superbly imagined, cunningly plotted interstellar adventures are conceived on a staggeringly epic scale and filled with fully realized human and alien characters as complex as they are engaging. No mere world builder, Hamilton creates entire universesyes'>#8211;and he does so with irresistible flair and intelligence. His previous novel, the acclaimed Pandorayes'>#8217;s Star, introduced the Intersolar Commonwealth, a starspanning civilization of the twentyfourth century. Robust, peaceful, and confident, the Commonwealth dispatched a ship to investigate the mystery of a disappearing star, only to inadvertently unleash a predatory alien species that turned on its liberators, striking hard, fast, and utterly without mercy. The Prime are the Commonwealthyes'>#8217;s worst nightmare. Coexistence is impossible with the technologically advanced aliens, who are genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life. Twentythree planets have already fallen to the invaders, with casualties in the hundreds of millions. And no one knows
when or where the genocidal Prime will strike next.Nor are the Prime the only threat. For more than a hundred years, a shadowy cult, the Guardians of Selfhood, has warned that an alien with mindcontrol abilities impossible to detect or resistyes'>#8211;the Starflyeryes'>#8211;has secretly infiltrated the Commonwealth. Branded as terrorists, the Guardians and their leader, Bradley Johansson, have been unted by relentless investigator Paula Myo. But now evidence suggests that the Guardians were right all along, and that the Starflyer has placed agents in vital posts throughout the Commonwealthyes'>#8211;agents who are now sabotaging the war effort. Is the Starflyer an ally of the Prime, or has it orchestrated a fight to the death between the two species for its own advantage?Caught between two deadly enemies, one a brutal invader striking from without, the other a remorseless cancer killing from within, the fractious Commonwealth must unite as never before.This will be humanityyes'>#8217;s finest houryes'>#8211;or its last gasp.From the Hardcover edition.