The U.S. Merrimack was the finest battleship in Earth's fleet, able to withstand the best the Palatine Empire could throw at them. Only her sister ship, the Monitor, was her equal. So when the Palatine forces secretly captured Monitor, Merrimack's security was compromised-and that was just the opening salvo of a whole new stage of war between Palatine and Earth.
The American and Roman interstellar empires are still at war in Meluch's rousing far-future SF novel, set in a universe slightly altered from that of its predecessor, The Myriad (2005). Capt. John Farragut and the intrepid crew of the starship USS Merrimack take on the Romans with the skill, flair and foul-mouthed witticisms one would expect from space-faring sailors and marines, escaping one trap after another as they seek a hidden space station. When they find the station, they're shocked to learn it's been ravaged by the Hive, voracious bug-eyed monsters who'd be right at home on a 1930s pulp magazine cover: they eat anything alive, fly faster than light and are heading straight for human-colonized space. America and Rome must make peace to face this nearly unstoppable threat. Meluch has tightened up her prose and fleshed out her characters, and the parallel-universe twist renders this a perfectly good starting point. This is grand old-fashioned space opera, so toss your disbelief out the nearest airlock and dive in.