The Forbidden Stars
Book III of the Axiom
This “witty, heartfelt sci-fi romp” is the dazzling third installment in a diverse space opera series for fans of The Expanse and John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire—from a Hugo Award–winning author (Tor.com)
The ancient alien gods are waking up—and there’s only one spaceship crew ready to stop them . . .
Aliens known as the Liars gave humanity access to the stars through twenty-nine wormholes. They didn’t mention that other aliens, the ancient, tyrannical—but thankfully sleeping—Axiom occupied all the other systems. When the twenty-ninth fell silent, humanity chalked it up to radical separatists and moved on. But now, on board the White Raven, Captain Callie and her crew of Axiom-hunters receive word that the twenty-ninth colony may have met a very different fate.
With their bridge generator, they skip past the wormhole—and discover another Axiom project, fully awake, and poised to pour through the wormhole gate into all the worlds of humanity . . .
The lightning-paced latest installment in Pratt's Axiom space opera series (after The Dreaming Stars) launches the crew of the White Raven head-first into another deadly encounter with ancient alien forces. The first aliens contacted by humans, a race who call themselves the Liars, gave humans access to 29 other stars via wormhole "bridges," but never revealed that the Liars themselves were hiding from a powerful enemy known as the Axiom. Allied with a secret Liar faction, White Raven Capt. Callie Mechado and her crew travel to the Vanir system to investigate a colony that's been silent for almost a century. As with previous chapters in the series, nothing is as it initially seems, and Callie and her crew have their work cut out for them when they finally uncover what's really happened at Vanir. Readers new to the series will have some serious backstory catch-up to do, but they'll be rewarded by lively characters human, transhuman, and AI and wry humor ("I would be a wonderful battleship," claims smarmy AI Kaustikos), as well as enough action and intrigue for three novels. Pratt's high-tech universe of tangled alien half-truths and hidden motivations provides a fascinating setting for a gripping series that has plenty of room for future surprises.