RogerBW's Blog

Dark Class, Michelle Diener 10 June 2024

2019 SF/romance, last in the Class 5 series. Ellie Masters wakes up in an abandoned installation. But someone out there is talking to her…

While the series overall has tended to move into the larger political picture, this book is back to the immediate: a Tecran ship approaches the base for resupply, a Grihan ship in pursuit of it also arrives, and there's a constant runaround of who's where and what resources they have. There are plenty of sources of tension: the base contains materials looted by the Tecran from alien worlds, some of which may turn out to be Ultimate Weapons; meanwhile, is the Tecran captain operating on his own knowing his government has surrendered, or are they secretly backing him and potentially sending off-the-books reinforcements? There's some naïveté on the part of the Grih, but it's in keeping with the way they've been portrayed before in the series.

Some editions of this book have a Bonus Epilogue (or, as the ePub I was supplied would have it, a "Bonus Epilgoue") which can also be obtained by joining the author's announcement list. This is functionally a separate novella to cap off the series: it gets all the kidnapped women (and Grihan partners, and AIs) together in one place, it sorts out some of the political dangling threads, and it deals with one last bit of enemy action.

All right, it doesn't deal with several of the big points I considered important (like how the UC, a United Nations-alike, is going to get the Tecran population back on side after its corrupt government has been propagandising about the Evil UC Coming to Take Over)—but this series is SF/romance, rather than romantic-flavoured SF, and I think it's functionally a genre convention that things which don't contribute directly to the story of the main couple don't get much word count.

Overall, it's enjoyable, but very slight by both SF standards (no watcher of Star Trek or Firefly would feel confused by anything here) and romance standards (there are minimal complications in the path of True Love).

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Previous in series: Dark Ambitions | Series: Class 5 | Next in series: Dark Class/Dark Class Bonus Epilogue
Previous in series: Dark Class/Dark Class Bonus Epilogue | Series: Class 5

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