84 points, 4 ¼ stars
Admiral John “Black Jack” Geary and the fleet have survived again, and now they’re on their way home. This time with a new alien species, the Dancers, in tow. The Dancers want to open the way to being allies. Getting home isn’t that simple, though. The Syndicate Worlds are collapsing, and what is left is making things difficult. And even if Geary can get the Dancers home, what will be there waiting for them?
“Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain. I’m not even a god.”
“As it was, he had a bad feeling that he would be hearing comments about the Alliance Armadillo for years to come.”
Guardian was a bit of a mess. Whereas every other book before this had pretty much one task to accomplish before moving on to the next, Guardian just had a lot to do at once. And most of it was repeating past plots in the series. Not my favourite, but it was a bit more interesting than the previous books because of how much was going on. There wasn’t as much sitting around waiting for things to happen this time.
The biggest thing about Guardian was that Black Jack and the Fleet are trying to get home to Alliance space again. And once again they have troubles in Syndicate space. First they have to defend the newly not Syndicates from the remains of the Syndicate. And then they have to fight those remnants all the way home, while the Syndicates somehow block them from getting home quickly.
And then they get home and they have to fight their politicians.
I understand that a big part of the story is that the government doesn’t trust Geary. I understand that they are fighting to keep the Alliance together after years of war. I’m just bored with that happening every time they have to interact.
But, they’re back home. They have the Dancers with them. They have a new potential ally, one who is smarter and better than they appear to be. Things seem to be going alright.
Now to figure out what to do with them.