Her story began in the national bestsellers A Soldier’s Duty and An Officer’s Duty. Now Ia is captain and commander at the helm of Hellfire, where she is finally free to chart the course for the fulfillment of her destiny…
As captain, Ia must now assemble a crew that can rise to the ultimate challenge of saving the galaxy. The hardest part will be getting them to believe her, to trust in her prophecies. If they don’t, her own crew will end up being the biggest obstacle in her race against time.
The Salik are breaking through the Blockade, plunging the known galaxy into war. Ia cannot stop it this time, nor does she want to. This is the terrible price she has seen all along—that some must pay with their lives so that others might live. Now only time itself can prove whether each member of her crew is merely a soldier or truly one of Ia’s Damned.
The third book in Johnson's Theirs Not to Reason Why series (after An Officer's Duty) continues the odd but enjoyable military science fiction tales of Ia, a human-alien hybrid whose precognitive talents allow her to plan hundreds of years in advance. Ia knows that she's unable to prevent the war between humans and the Salik, but she also knows that she can assemble the best possible team to win, even if her choices often leave her superiors baffled. Naturally, the handpicked crew of her starship includes eccentric personalities (sarcastic and tough Delia Helstead uses knives as hairpins) and develops unforeseen complications (Ia's ex-lover, Meyun Harper, is the ship's engineer). Ia's powers continue to present a narrative problem being able to see every strand of every potential future makes her, if not infallible, at least so minimally fallible as to border on uninteresting but Johnson's reluctance to dole out bits of Ia's knowledge in anything other than tiny morsels at least puts the reader in the same position as most of her troops: confident in the result, but uncertain of how it will be achieved. Some genre tropes weigh things down a bit, but fans should still have fun.