Trial by Fire
Charles E. Gannon
Baen, Aug 5 2014, $15.00
Diplomat Caine Riordan comes home to a devastated world at war. He was part of the negotiating team with the Accord, but during the talks the aliens, abetted by seditious corporations, attacked the earth’s fleet leaving it crippled and the planet undefended from a potential genocide level assault.
As Caine tries to end the violence, he finds supporting evidence that this probably is not the first contact with another species from space. He considers what the aliens want and why as he forms a hypothesis based on the original encounter seemingly forgotten by Terran but not by the Accord. Thus he concludes that first time was catastrophic for the enemy whose objective is to bring war to the Terran terrorists on their planet before this feral race brings it to theirs.
The second Tales of the Terran Republic (see Fire with Fire) is a super futuristic science fiction in which the aliens deploy the Bush preemptive first strike doctrine as their defense of an all-out sneak attack. The keys to this strong entry are the prime cast (Terran and alien) are fully developed so that the species seem genuine and the balanced blending of the military-industrial-political complex while Riordan and readers learn many of his species are diplomacy deniers even if war most likely means Terran extermination.