A Fighting Chance by William C Dietz

(8.0/10)

Already we have been through eight of the Legion of the Damned novels, seeing the dangers of life in space, defeating aliens whose main desire is to threaten the peace they have. This ninth and last in the series continues the story of Captain Antonio Santana and Christine Vanderveen as they try to beat the aliens and save billions of men, women and cyborgs.

Together, Santana and Christine try to protect a Ramanthian Queen who at the moment is wounded and risking assassination. Secret plotting with the Ramanthian's mean they want to appoint a new, younger queen on the throne, but can't until the old one has been killed - yet they have to find her and Santana and Christine aren't going to let her go without a battle.

On board the Confederacy Transport Galaxis, Christine had a hope of seeing Santana again, and as a high-ranking civil servant she could get that joy again making it to the planet Algeron.
Knowing that Santana is away on Planet O-chi 4 doesn't do much for her, but she feels she will see him soon. In the meantime, she has meetings with other people in the federation who need her help. Maylo Chien-Chu realises she is a stranger to the planet and offers to show her around. Maylo is a good man, a patriot who will happily do something rather than wait around and do nothing.

As in When Duty Calls, Santana feels he hasn't done right by his men when on missions and his men know he has been too hard on himself. Santana doesn't expect that plucky Hudanthan, Eor will give him the motivation he needs to get this particular assignment done. Santana has yet to make certain the queen keeps on living despite the Ramanthian traitors wanting her dead. Despite all the bloodshed, there could be hope if all the men and Vanderveen he trusts keep their end of the bargain. The question will be raised and conclusions reached as they think of their future.

Action, drama, destruction and some comedic moments make this one of the best Dietz hard sf novels to round off the series

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