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Head of Zeus
The Shattered Skies
The Shattered Skies by John Birmingham
 The Cruel Stars Trilogy, 2

CENTURIES AFTER THEY WERE DEFEATED AND EXILED TO DARK SPACE, THE STURM HAVE RETURNED.

The Sturm, an empire of species purists, have returned from the farthest reaches of Dark Space to wage a war against what they call mutants and borgs: any human being with genetic or neural engineering. In a sneak attack, they overwhelmed almost all of humanity's defences, blasting vicious malware across galaxy-spanning networks: dark code that transformed anyone connected to the system into a mindless psychotic killer. The Sturm's victory seemed complete, their final triumph inevitable, until one small band of intrepid, unlikely heroes struck back.

Commander Lucinda Hardy and Admiral Frazer McLennan used the Armadalen Navy's final surviving warship to fend off the Sturm, destroying the massed power of an entire Attack Fleet. With brilliant tactics – and support from drunken, grief-ravaged pirate Sephina L'trel and treasonous battle-rig operator Booker3 – this ragtag crew sent the Sturm running, managing to save Princess Alessia, the sole surviving heir to the gigantic Montanblanc Corporation and perhaps Earth's only remaining senator.

Now left with the remains of a fallen civilization, they must work together to rebuild what was lost and root out the numberless enemies of Earth. The Sturm invaders remain vastly more powerful – and they may not be the only threat lurking in the darkness of space.

Head of Zeus * Science Fiction
11 Jan 2022 * 480pp * £7.99 * 9781789545944
REVIEWS
'Canters along at a good clip, dashing off insane cannibals, exploding warships, detached heads, and cartwheeling body parts, with occasional transfusions of dark comic relief. Some highlights: McLennan appears stark naked to greet a bunch of pompous bigwigs; in a riotous bar scene, Sephina and crew, Yakuza, and Sturm all blaze away at each other; Booker's dismay at being loaded into a mechanical hedge trimmer ... Frenetic action viewed in a black fun-house mirror'
Kirkus Reviews
'There are few works of sci-fi today that put readers on the edge of their seats as well as giving them food for thought, and Birmingham succeeds at both'
New York Journal of Books
PRAISE FOR JOHN BIRMINGHAM:

'Birmingham's gripping novel launches readers into a genocidal interstellar war amid sudden violence and dark humor ... Birmingham alternates between gut punches and laugh-out-loud humor, with some gore and thought-provoking philosophy thrown in for good measure ... Plenty of twists, sharp turns, and fateful encounters will keep readers guessing and turning pages. This jarring, engrossing story of a species-wide fight for survival is recommended for all science fiction readers' Publishers Weekly (starred review), on The Cruel Stars.

'Glorious excitement and meticulous density' Sci-Fi.com, on Axis of Time.

'The action is nonstop, the characters very real – and very different from each other – and, to coin a phrase, it makes you think'
 S.M. Stirling, on Final Impact
ALSO IN THE SERIES
Author
John Birmingham
John Birmingham
John Birmingham was born in Liverpool, United Kingdom, but grew up in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. Between writing books he contributes to a wide range of newspapers and magazines on topics as diverse as biotechnology and national security. He lives at the beach with his wife, daughter, son, and two cats.
ALSO BY John Birmingham
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