Only the most desperate colonists dare to make a new home on Hellhole. Reeling from a recent asteroid impact, tortured with horrific storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and churning volcanic eruptions, the planet is a dumping ground for undesirables, misfits, and charlatans…but also a haven for dreamers and independent pioneers.
Against all odds, an exiled general named Adolphus has turned Hellhole into a place of real opportunity for the desperate colonists who call the planet their home. While the colonists are hard at work developing the planet, General Adolphus secretly builds alliances with the leaders of the other Deep Zone worlds, forming a clandestine coalition against the tyrannical, fossilized government responsible for their exile.
What no one knows is this: the planet Hellhole, though damaged and volatile, hides an amazing secret. Deep beneath its surface lies the remnants of an obliterated alien civilization and the buried memories of its unrecorded past that, when unearthed, could tear the galaxy apart.
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Bestselling authors Herbert and Anderson (The Winds of Dune) start a space opera series with a tale quite similar to Frank Herbert's Dune in setting, theme, and conflict. On the dangerous frontier planet Hellhole, defeated and exiled rebel Gen. Tiber Adolphus continues his honorable opposition to the political scheming and selfish machinations of the Crown Jewel worlds and grandmotherly Diadem Michella Duchenet. Adolphus and his companions work in secret to undermine the royal space travel monopoly and form a coalition of Deep Zone planets. Diadem Michella, embroiled in the schemes of the ancient noble families on the decadent capital planet Sonjeera, is too distracted to recognize the danger Adolphus poses. Repeated mentions of minor details bloat the novel's length, characters are one-dimensional, and the tale has an unsatisfying cliffhanger conclusion.