- Publication date:1 September 2013
- Format:B format paperback
- Genre: science fiction
- Age guide: Older Readers, 12+
For The Only Game in the Galaxy
The Only Game in the Galaxy
By Paul Collins
Book 3 in The Maximus Black Files
In a galaxy of cutthroat companies, shadowy clans and a million agendas, spy agency RIM barely wields enough control to keep order.
Maximus Black is RIM’s star cadet. But he has a problem. One of RIM’s best agents, Anneke Longshadow, knows there’s a mole in the organisation. And Maximus has a lot to hide.
Cover designed by Grant Gittus.
Robyn Donoghue –
After an agonising wait, Maximus Black is back more sinister than ever. The Only Game in the Galaxy concludes the race between Anneke Longshadow and Maximus Black to locate the hidden weapon caches. Each contains a fleet of Demon Class dreadnoughts capable of destroying planets. Along the way Maximus commits unspeakable crimes that Anneke tries to thwart at every twist and turn. With her Blaster no longer set on stun, Anneke means business when she aims it at Black.
Assisted by the Envoy who believes Maximus is the Instrument of Kadros – of destiny, they arrive on the hell planet Arachnor; the birth place of the Sentinels. Here the third set of coordinates can only be retrieved if Maximus and his nemesis Anneke work together. Swept back in time, Anneke and Maximus must shape the history that is to become their present, without destroying their future.
Big players combine for the final conflict; all with hidden agendas and scores to settle. Sasume from Myoto and Bodanis of Imperial Standard join forces with the RIM Agency and Anneke’s fleet of dreadnoughts. Backed up by the might and power of Quesada, an army of transmogrified humans and two fleets of dreadnoughts, Maximus strives to conquer the galaxy and destroy Anneke once and for all.
Throughout the chaos small players step up to the fore, turning the tide of battle and shaping a new destiny. The internal struggles of the main characters left me wanting the best outcome for all concerned. A surprise in itself, after doing the unpardonable, I still wanted Black to be happy!
This action packed, fast paced book will keep you on the edge of your seat, and keep you guessing right until the end. It was a great pleasure to read this finely crafted book from the mighty fine author Paul Collins!
Jenny Mounfield –
“Somebody was trying to kill Maximus Black, somebody good.”
Mole Hunt, the first book in The Maximus Black Files trilogy, was released in 2011 to high acclaim and soon amassed a legion of faithful fans—many of whom are adults. Dyson’s Drop followed a year later, and now finally, the last installment, The Only Game in the Galaxy.
‘Yes, yes, I’m the Instrument of Kadros. The shaper of the galaxy’s destiny. All very well, Envoy, but you can’t take it to the bank.’
In a nutshell, the story is one of vengeance involving the evil, yet oddly vulnerable, Maximus Black’s quest for galactic dominance. As in all tales of this type Black’s character is balanced by his nemesis, Anneke Longshadow, who pips him at every post and who understands him in a way no one else can. It’s the classic good versus evil story set against a futuristic landscape dominated by warring factions, ruthless aliens and mind-bending technology. There are spies in disguise, murderous henchmen and even the fulfillment of a prophecy. What more could a reader want? Oh, and did I mention the story’s pace would make Matthew Reilly break out in a sweat?
‘Maximus’ face showed deep concentration. Then that grin appeared once more and he held out his hand.
Anneke stared at it. With great repugnance she grasped it. His skin felt smooth and cool, like a snake’s.
‘People will talk, you know,’ said Maximus.
‘With any luck you’ll never get to hear them.’
I have to confess that space opera isn’t my favourite SF genre. I’m not really into all that zipping about the galaxy at warp speed business, yet somehow this story grabbed me from book one. The reason is its humanity. As much as I disliked Black, I understood him. Like many of us, he is haunted by his past. Ultimately Anneke, who is everything Black is incapable of being, is the reason I stayed on the ride. She, too, has her demons, but has not let them take away her compassion. Collins is a master at injecting just enough emotion to draw his readers in without tying their heartstrings in complicated knots. I love this subtlety; it burrows into one’s consciousness and grows, unlike the total immersion method, which often has the opposite effect.
Fans of The Maximus Black Files will get everything they hoped for, and more, from this book. It is, I feel, the best of the three. As for those who’ve never considered this genre: Give Maximus Black a go. You’ll almost certainly be pleasantly surprised.