line war book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Line War is the fifth book (sixth if you count the prequel) in the Ian Cormac series which is set in the Polity universe. I’ve read Gridlinked – the first installment – and then I tried this one as an audiobook. I have to say that the gap between the first and the fifth book was too big for me to fully grasp the story. If you’re new to the series, I would not recommend starting with Line War. However, I think the series has merit and I have the prequel sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.

The Polity is a human based government that spans a large portion of the Galaxy. The AIs have fairly bloodlessly taken over and in general do a much better job than humans ever did. They appear to be a benevolent oligarchy for most of humanity–like shepherds guiding and protecting their simple charges from their own stupidity. But sometimes things aren’t always what they seem…

A new threat is emerging at the Polity and it stems from one of their own. A rogue AI left the Polity and brought back many volunteers, including some who aren’t quite with it. This AI integrated with some alien technology and renamed himself Erebus. The technology he used has been around for eons, slowly destroying each civilization it comes into contact with.

Now both humans and their rulers have an enemy. Erebus is attacking the Polity and the AIs don’t seem to be doing much to outguess him. As a matter of fact, they seem to be only reacting to his moves. This turns out to be a major problem that almost costs everyone in the Polity much more than they can imagine.

This book brought back quite a few of the ‘heros’ from the previous books and I recognized several from the one book I read previously. The rest I’m sure I’ll get to know as I catch up with the rest of the series. I would define this book as hard space opera, with a bit of James Bond thrown in for spice. If that sounds like your cup of tea, pick up the first book and start reading! Line War definitely has that action mixed with technology speak mixed with philosophy thing going on.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Audible.com. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.