REDLINE REBELS by Cameron Cooper
Iron Hammer 8.0
Space Opera Novel
Danny and the Carina worlds fight for survival.
War is upon them. The underdog Carina forces face an enemy who knows nothing but war, whose culture is built upon the glory of battle. As the Slavers fall upon the vulnerable Carina worlds, Danny and her allies struggle to find a way out of the no-win scenario they face…
Redline Rebels is the eighth and final book in the Iron Hammer space opera science fiction series by award-winning SF author Cameron Cooper. The Iron Hammer series is a spin off from the acclaimed Imperial Hammer series, and features many of the characters and situations from that series.
The Iron Hammer series:
1.0: Galactic Thunder
2.0: Stellar Storm
3.0: Planetary Parlay
4.0: Waxing War
5.0: Ruled Out
6.0: Stranger Stars
7.0: Federal Force
8.0: Redline Rebels
Space Opera Science Fiction Novel
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An enemy that can not be defeated. Who enjoys toying with their opponents until annihilating them. The only choices for the Carinads seems to be a slow death through attrition if they keep fighting, or a fast and violent death if they surrender. Danny might be better at checkers than chess, but she is never one to be satisfied with the obvious options. If there is another way out she will find it, even if it means taking the long, long route to get there.
This books follows right on the heels of the events of book 7 and show the growth of the seeds of hope that Danny and her team started to plant as they fight this war on two very different fronts. Bit of a change for Danny and things take on a life of their own and are no longer hers to orchestrate. Magnificent, satisfying conclusion to a grand saga that manages to weave in bits from all throughout the series. Yep, that's a parawolf on the cover and I'm not saying a word - spoilers!
Book 8 in a sprawling epic space opera spanning many long decades, this is the culmination of everything set into motion in those earlier books. The conclusion of a war between two empires that comes in an unconventional yet inevitable way. Each book has a full story arc, but all build in the previous to tell a greater story and should be read in order.
Wow, what a ride. A great ending to a complex and interesting series. Deep complex, wonderful world building and character development. I can't wait to see what this author does next.
I'm going to miss these characters! This series had exciting events and twisting plots but it was what happened to the cast of characters that made this series so enthralling for me. As the series progressed I got thoroughly invested in the lives of the characters and was eager to experience more of their lives.
The fantastical environments varied between 'dirt-side', spaceships, and 'man-made worlds'. All aspects of the setting were created with such skill that total immersion in the story captured my imagination, time and again, allowing the action to transport me along for the thrilling ride.
Everything that has been happening in the series up to this point comes to a gratifying conclusion. I loved the finish even as I felt like I was going to miss these book friends! Every plot twist and challenge levelled at the characters was so well orchestrated by Cameron Cooper that it created a complex and interesting narrative that flowed through the eight books seamlessly.
I really appreciated the roundup of characters at the end of this story as a satisfying closure of not only this eight book series (Iron Hammer) but the prequel series of four books too (Imperial Hammer). I'm left feeling so thankful I discovered these books but also sad that I'm going to be missing Danny and all her diverse and fascinating crew.
I can highly recommend this last book in the Iron Hammer series and especially advocate reading all the books in order.
If you want to enjoy these characters in their fully enriched complexity then it's even better to read the Imperial Hammer series beforehand.
This series, this book, is one of the reasons my love for sci-fi continues to grow. I hate to write down the words "the final book in this series"; it was one helluva run. All of Danny's hard work over the last decade of war, all of her constant pushing and high expectations from her " people" is, at last, coming to fruition. The ending is an extraordinary coming together of the people of Earth, that includes their amazing scientific discoveries in cloning and IA's. But I have to ask for a moment of silence here, for the ending of such an amazing, futuristic series, one filled with twists and turns, the explosive ending of worlds, and mouth-dropping surprises. A moment of silence not of death, but for the grand fight to live the life one chooses, no matter the consequences. I shed tears and smiled at the end.
A long-standing war with a people who thrive on, and live for war. An intricately detailed insider’s view of how to think outside the box, while not letting those who have her under scrutiny realize what is happening.
This world is built like no other. These characters have been with us for multiple series, and we feel their pain, frustration and resolve as they literally work to save humanity.
An incredible set of stories. There is nothing else out there like this.
This book is fabulous. How do you spark a rebellion? If anyone could, It would be Danny. The book opens with Danny waking up from the events at the end of book 7. From there on it is a riveting read and a great ending to a series that has built a wonderful world full of interesting characters. There are so many good ones, but for me Danny is my favorite, and has been through all eight of these books.
It has been an awesome ride through two series filled with Danny and her friends, enemies, and lovers. A well written, well imagined world. It was almost a disappointment to realize I had finished this series. Time to start over and reread both the Imperial Hammer and the Iron Hammer series again.
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EXCERPT FROM REDLINE REBELS
COPYRIGHT © CAMERON COOPER 2021
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Slate led Eliot and me from android to android, pausing in front of each of them and giving us their name and their current affiliation—which was usually a single individual, and their family. Sometimes it was a whole family to whom the android answered.
Terran androids all had simple names, usually a concrete noun. Slate, Apple, Boot. I’d got used to it, although at first, I had been offended on the androids’ behalf. It was typical of the Asgar that they demean a subset of their society even with the names they issued.
Each of the androids we met inclined their entire upper body when Slate introduced them. Their necks did not bend easily. As they greeted us in that clumsy fashion, they invariably all did the little twisting thing which indicated emotion. In this case, I think it was pleasure they were demonstrating.
Each of them also spoke to us—although sometimes it required Slate to prompt them to speak even though no question had been asked. I’d learned on my previous visit to Crystaci to not ask polite questions, so the androids could practice speaking for themselves. None of them knew how to do it, for the Terrans would not tolerate an android speaking without having been addressed, first.
“Damn, they’re impressive,” Eliot murmured to me, as we got toward the end of the group.
“Yep,” I murmured back. “They’re overcoming their own programming.”
Slate was very proud of his group of free-thinkers, but he had saved the best for last. The android who had been standing with its arms crossed dropped its hands to its sides as Slate drew us toward it. It inclined forward politely.
“This is Coin,” Slate said, and I thought that perhaps there was a note of emphasis in his voice. “Coin is of the Longinus family, who are aligned with the Iustan family…but not on Crystaci, of course.”
“Hello, Coin,” I said simply, which Eliot echoed.
Coin gave a twisty shiver, his hands swaying back and forth. “It is a very great honor to meet you, General Andela. I have looked forward to this moment since Slate and I first spoke. Slate tells me wonderful things about you, and I can see that many of them may indeed be true.”
Eliot gave a soft chuckled. “Not all of them?”
I glanced at Slate. He was watching me, I think to see if I inferred the same about Coin as he did. Coin apparently had no trouble speaking without having been spoken to first.
Coin answered Eliot. “I do not think General Andela levitates, although Slate implied she has superhuman powers. I presumed this was poetic license.”
While Eliot laughed even harder, Coin turned so his face pointed in my direction. “You are a most fortunate woman, General.”
I lifted a brow. “In what way am I fortunate?”
“You have known Slate since he was plate-and-points. You were there when he transitioned.”
“I was fortunate, in that regard,” I said softly.
Coin’s torso shifted, so his head could turn the necessary degrees to look toward where Slate was standing with Eliot. “Perhaps one day you might tell me that story?”
“I like stories,” Coin added.
“Everyone likes stories,” Slate added. “Even plate-and-points.”
On this second repetition, I put together what plate-and-points meant. Plate metal and pointed fingers. A reference to the android body.
“It is a very, very wonderous thing, what happened to Slate,” Coin added. “We never tire of being in his company, to see him in his humanness. It gives us hope.”
They differentiated between human bodies and their own metal bodies, but not the personalities encased in each. Slate was one of them, still. He’d just moved on to a different body. Was that open-mindedness a result of Slate’s training and indoctrination? Or did they all come by it naturally? It was astonishing, either way.
“I’m very pleased you have hope,” I told Coin. “Hope is a good thing.”
Slate touched Coin’s shoulder. “We should begin, Coin.”
Coin inclined his head the same way the others had done and stepped backward, out of the way. It left a clear space in the center of a circle of androids, all of them taller than us, willowy and silent.
“Bring us up to date, Slate,” Eliot said.
It took a while to update us. Slate was very good at staying in touch and providing salient details, but those communications were always short and to the point. A small planetoid’s worth of details was omitted from his reports. Those details painted a far more accurate and interesting picture of what the androids had been doing in the months since we had last met with Slate. Slate caught us up on some of those details. In nearly twenty months, this underground meeting place had been excavated and built, just to begin. Last time, we had met Slate alone in a market, and had only the length of time it took to drink a cup of coffee to exchange information.
The androids had developed a way of communicating with each other that passed undetected by Terrans, even when they were doing it right under their noses, which was most of the time, for Terrans didn’t consider it necessary for androids to have down time.
Androids could speak to themselves through close proximity transient connections, the same way they spoke to the Asgar who went to the length of having implants inserted which let them receive their android’s translations directly into the brain. But to communicate android-to-android required the same attention and time as speaking normally. As androids were usually in the presence of humans and actively working, long moments of silence would have drawn suspicion.
Instead, they had learned to speak to each other in the midst of the translations they were providing to their masters. At the end of each translated speech, they would add a few words of their own, which the other android would respond to at the end of the response it translated. Both of them would use a dialect that no one else in the room understood. As all androids are fluent in the hundreds of dialects used by the Terrans, it was usually easy to find one that no human present could understand.
After more than a year of practicing this type of conversation, the androids had developed a highly compressed shorthand language which could pass along small bucketsful of news in a few words…and tell them where to go to get more details.
There was also a virtual databoard the androids had developed, buried deep inside the Terran data networks, the way this room was buried among Terran buildings. There, the androids could pass on news, and practice talking to each other socially, for that was not something they had done before Slate arrived.
I glanced at Coin as this was explained to us. Coin had clearly learned the art of conversation. “How is it you are able to attend this meeting, if you are required to serve your master at all times?” I asked him.
“Goes for all of you,” Eliot added. “Are we about to be busted in upon by Terrans looking for their runaway androids?”