The Web and the Stars
Five Star, Dec 2007, $25.95
The discovery of the cosmic web and how to use this faster than light transportation link between the stars of the galaxy led to an economic boom for the newly formed Merchant Princes Human Empire. However legendary researcher Noah Watanbe has noticed the web is showing signs of deterioration that could lead to a pandemic depression if the solar shortcut connector begins failing.
At the same the Human Empire is at war with the shape-shifting Mutati Kingdom; who plan to activate doomsday weapons to destroy the human worlds. Noah knows he must shift his research to prevent such a calamity from occurring, but he has enemies like powerful Doge Lorenzo, who just want him and his influence removed from the Human Empire anyway possible. Finally the HibAdu Coaltion consisting of neutrals from both sides of the hostilities try to broker a peace while the alien Parvii to keep the warring parties apart; only the HibAdu plan to supersede the Human Empire and the Mutati Kingdom by taking over the galaxy through stealth while no one knows what the Parvii want.
The second Timeweb Chronicles science fiction thriller (see TIMEWEB) is an interesting space opera focusing on an a galactic war between two economic giants while the environment that enables interstellar travel is disintegrating. Instead of war for oil; it is war for the cosmic web. The third neutral party brokering a peace while pursuing a hidden agenda is a clever concept, but to be honest this reviewer is not sure how secret that would remain based on how the Neocons early obsessions with Iraq has surfaced though they did the war they craved. Still this is an entertaining tale, especially the action-packed latter half in which readers get past the long introspections of the hero and his rival.