My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
Alisa Marchenko has reunited with her daughter, and even though she hasn’t figured out how to get Jelena to accept Leonidas yet, she dreams of the three of them starting a new life together. They can return the Star Nomad to its original purpose of running freight and staying out of trouble (mostly).
Before that can happen, Alisa must fulfill the promise she made to Jelena: that she and her crew will retrieve young Prince Thorian, the boy who has become Jelena’s best friend. But Thorian was kidnapped by the rogue Starseer Tymoteusz, the man who wants to use the Staff of Lore to take over the entire system—and the man who may have the power to do it. Alisa doesn’t know why he kidnapped Thorian, but Tymoteusz once promised to kill the prince, so she fears they don’t have much time.
Unfortunately, Tymoteusz hasn’t left a trail of breadcrumbs. Finding him will be difficult, and even if they’re successful, facing him could be suicidal. To have a chance of surviving, Alisa will have to come up with her greatest scheme yet.
End Game is the eight and final book in the Fallen Empire series. I was excited to see how this series would be wrapped up. I am happy to say this was a great ending to the series. I was afraid the tone of the series might change and get might get more dark in this book, but I shouldn’t have worried as Lindsay Buroker pulled it off somehow to have this final book have the same tone as the rest. The stakes are higher, but the tone and vibe of the book feels the same.
There’s is plenty going on in this book and a good build-up to the final confrontation scene, which was pretty well done. There are a few twists I hadn’t expected and plenty of fun scenes. There are some tense scenes and some action and some happy uplifting and funny ones as well. Although I am a bit sad at a certain event, I won’t spoil what happens and it made sense, but it’s still sad. I was wondering how certain plot lines would be resolved, but all in all I am quite happy how things got resolved and what happened to certain plot lines. A few plot lines are left slightly open, but most of the big things get resolved. And there is a spin-off series, so that might answer a few of the left open questions.
I liked how we got to see a bit of Jelena as well as how Alisa and Jelena interact together. The author struck a nice balance between showing their slight awkwardness and weirdness due to them not havign seen each other for a while, but at the same Jelena and Alisa still were obviously mother and daughter. Jelena sure has a similar personality. I liked seeing Alisa have the chance to be a mother to Jelena and also how Jelena very slowly warmed up a bit to Leonidas.
At the start I was a bit frustrated with the romance. Not only does Leonidas behave like a horny teenager at times, which honestly felt a bit weird and off to me. I mean he is a soldier and very disciplined in most things, even with the effort of adjusting, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around him behaving that way. And it just felt a bit off to me. Then there is the whole thing of them not being together because of Jelena, which was a weird reasoning that also didn’t make sense. I mean Jelena could just as easily read their minds about past scenes or feelings or daydreams and figure out what was going on. Later on in the book they resolved it and I liked how they finally give in to their feelings and there are some great scenes where they work together.
To summarize: This was a great ending to the series. I liked seeing how the main plot lines got resolved and in a way that made sense and was satisfying to read. There are a few minor things left open, but that might be answered in the spin-off series. This book has the same tone as the previous books even with the higher stakes. I liked seeing a bit more of Jelena in this book and how Alisa and Jelena interacted. The romance could be a bit frustrating at times with Leonidas acting like a horny teenager at times and them staying apart for reasons. I did like how it got resolved and seeing them work together in this book. All in all this is a solid sci-fi series and I enjoyed reading it.