In the first three books of the Dire Earth Cycle, Jason Hough tells the story of the Builders, who put a space elevator on earth and introduced a virus that killed off most of humanity. Fast forward several centuries, and mankind has bounced back. Using Builder technology as a spring board, they have developed the ability to quickly travel great distances through space. Injection Burn, book 4 of the Dire Earth Cycle, starts with the crew of the Wildflower. They have travelled to the Builders' home world. To their great surprise they meet up with Skyler Luiken and his crew. Skyler, a key player in the events in the first 3 books, and his crew left earth in a builder ship. Due to time dilation, little time has passed for them. The Wildflower crew, stunned to meet these important historical figures, team up with Skyler's crew to fight the Scipios, a race who has enslaved the Builders.
Now that I have successfully made a very exciting sci-fi story sound pretty dull, I have to say Injection Burn is great fun to read. Hough writes extended action scenes so full of detail that you can vividly see the whole thing in your mind. He provides the details, the sights and sounds and actions and reactions. The future science and mechanics of zero-g and space travel are not taken for granted. The alien species are imaginatively created and described.
In short, if you like your sci-fi science-y and action-packed, with lots of aliens, interplanetary travel, and inter-species war, while leaving out the romance and philosophical interludes, Hough fits the bill. Injection Burn continues and fills out the story of the first 3 books. If you haven't read them, you won't be lost in Injection Burn, but the background certainly adds to the enjoyment of this new book. And, just as he did with 1, 2, and 3, he is publishing 4 and 5 in rapid succession, so you don't have to wait long to see how the action continues! Escape Velocity comes out next week!