Science Fiction/Space Opera
To quote the book cover Judgment at Proteus is “The climactic finale of the epic Quadrail series”. The quote is very true. This is book five in the series and I would not recommend it as a stand-alone. There is a lot of back-story you need to know in each of the books, a lot of history between the characters, and a very dense complex story line that weaves the action together in all of the books.
Here is the Goodreads summary:
In Timothy Zahn’s Judgment at Proteus, the Quadrail that connects the twelve civilizations of our galaxy has been the flashpoint of a battle for dominance fought mostly unnoticed by humankind. But Frank Compton of Earth, aided by the enigmatic woman Bayta, has fought on the front lines, using every bit of his human ingenuity and secret agent skills to outwit the Modhri, a group intelligence that would control the minds of every sentient being it can touch.
Following a trail of deception and death to Proteus Station, Compton has discovered a conspiracy that threatens all life in the galaxy: the Shonkla’raa, an ancient enemy thought to be long dead, is rising again. So serious is the danger that the Modhri, the enemy of his enemy, may now be his friend, as the burgeoning threat of a race of invincible soldiers emerges.
If Compton and Bayta can’t stop them, the Shonkla’raa will decimate all who oppose them, destroying the Quadrail and billions of lives throughout the galaxy.
I think this is Space Opera at its best. Timothy Zahn has written a great story with wonderful characters. The plot is complex and full of surprises. Frank and Bayta start out in book one as strangers, each not quite trusting the other. By Judgment at Proteus they are a team, each knowing they can depend on the other. The other characters that appear in the book are interesting and very well drawn.
The plot is developed throughout the five novels and comes to a surprising conclusion in Judgment at Proteus. It is interesting to see the plans that Frank Compton hatches. On the surface you think you know everything that is going to happen only to find that he has plans hidden in plans with more plans hidden under those.
It is hard to talk about one book in the series without talking about them all. Each has an independent story but each one leads into the next. For anyone who loves Science Fiction and Space Opera this series is a must read series.
TOR published Judgment at Proteus by Timothy Zahn in 2012.