Okay, so I kinda ended up skipping book four because I couldn't find it and I was pretty keen to read more from this series. But wow. This book was fantastic. I mean, I don't read that much sci-fi (okay, I suppose I have written a fair few reviews of sci-fi, but honestly, I normally go for thrillers), but this has gotta be in the top ranks of the genre. It's thrilling, it's engaging, it's engrossing, it's full of personal detail about the characters, it's got a fantastic range of societies, it's got brilliant action scenes, it's... Yeh, basically anything good about sci-fi goes in that spot. My main complaint is that it finished :(. I ran out of book. It was perfectly understandable despite not having read any other than the third (five book series), although I do feel like I missed out a bit by not reading it. Hope to rectify that problem asap, but the libraries round here don't seem all that keen on fantasy/sci-fi. The characters are brilliant, from Rafe, struggling to appear respectable and hold down a job as CEO of a major company, despite his wild streak, to Ky Vatta, admiral of a multi-planetary force, determined, set on vengeance, skilled leader, through Toby (young, in love, and a technical genius), Stella (Ky's cousin, head of Vatta Enterprises) and on... One other particularly deserving of mention would be Teddy Ransome. From a planet where the people go through stages before becoming an adult, he's introduced as a Romantic, an adventurer, a wild, impulsive man with a strong sense of honour, but he shifts while in space travel and suddenly finds himself more morose and sensible. Brilliant.
Highly recommended, and I'll most definitely be looking out from other books by this author.