In the third book in The Red Trilogy, former Army Lt. James Shelley becomes a black ops sniper working for the Red—a suspected rogue artificial intelligence that is ripped from today’s headlines.
James Shelley has left his lover, Delphi, and his companion-in-arms, Jayne Vasquez, with a fortune acquired from a fallen oligarch. They believe him to be dead, and he doesn’t try to set the record straight. His long-running question has been answered: There are other soldiers like him who have served the purposes of the Red—and he has accepted his place among them.
As a soldier of the Red he pursues covert missions designed to nudge history away from existential threats—but that doesn’t mean the world is growing more orderly. It’s only in the froth of a “managed chaos” that human potential can grow and thrive. Shelley’s missions eventually take him into orbit—and into conflict with those he loves—Delphi and Jaynie—who are determined to escape the influence of the Red.
The final volume in Nagata's much-praised Red trilogy features the same high-octane action as its predecessors. James Shelley, no longer an officer in the U.S. Army and officially believed deceased, leads a highly trained, high-tech special forces team under the control of the Red, an inscrutable artificial intelligence that's apparently dedicated to avoiding nuclear war. Recently, however, some of the missions assigned to his team have been poorly conceived. For example, a lightning attack on a secret laboratory in the Arctic yielded no evidence of illegal activity and triggered a small war with the potential to escalate. Shelley who has a direct, electronic connection to the Red, realizes that either it is acting erratically or other AIs with different mission parameters may have evolved. As in the past, Shelley is a driven, idealistic, and not always pleasant protagonist, though he worries increasingly that he isn't in complete control of his own actions and impulses. One of the highlights of the series continues to be the author's portrayal of the intense camaraderie of men and women at war. Readers who loved The Red and The Trials will find this a fitting conclusion.