His world is unraveling…
Bassan’s father is stepping down from command. His best friend almost dies when Bassan freezes. Now, he’s being sent across the galaxy to speak at an important conference. Despite saving the eleven races years ago, he’s paralyzed by doubt. Could things get any worse?
Once there, new acquaintance Zendar convinces Bassan to visit his planet for a humanitarian mission. Bassan’s special connection to ancient technology is the key to saving Zendar’s people. One problem though—it’s a prisoner planet.
On Ugar, he discovers things aren’t so straightforward. As each truth reveals itself, the situation grows more desperate. If he can’t find the right answers, he might die along with Zendar’s people. Can Bassan summon the courage to be a hero again?
Cavanaugh returns to the world of his Cassa Series (after 2013's CassaStorm) for a fourth inventive space opera. Fifteen years ago, insecure protagonist Bassan stopped an ancient probe from destroying the 11 races using his mysterious connection to planet Tgren's Kintal ship. Now he works to understand his relationship to the Kintal while wondering if his entire life will be defined by that youthful triumph. Cavanaugh smoothly introduces backstory from previous installments, but a lack of detail in setting and character descriptions make immersion challenging, despite the fascinating worldbuilding. Though Bassan's low self-esteem is convincingly portrayed as a result of living in the shadow of his military parents' greatness, his consistent good luck and ability to achieve apparently impossible feats when he's unexpectedly sent to a conference on Procura Space Station make his insecurities moot. A meeting with another Kintal leads Bassan on a dangerous mission: to save the descendants of criminals dumped on a prison planet. Once there, Bassan discovers he's been tricked, and that returning home will require all his skills. Fans will enjoy Bassan's coming-of-age, but newcomers may struggle to find their footing.