The Dragon Never Sleeps (1988)

Canon Space is guarded by the almighty Guard Ships, an independent military fleet that makes peace with an iron grip. The computer cores of the Guard Ships are controlled by uploaded military leaders of the past, the common troops are stored and can be recreated if they die in battle.

For four thousand years these ships have controlled the pathways of the web and nobody ever defeated them. But times change, and while many try and fail, nothing, not even a Guard Ship, is invincible. And while the singular societies of the Canon Space worlds have changed over the years, the Guard Ships never have. And trying to cope with a changed universe may be harder than just to win a battle, because for that you have to change yourself, something the Guard Ships have long forgotten how to do.

If the book has a weakness, it’s that it overwhelms the reader with information, there is so much going on, so many people play an important role, that it’s hard not to lose a thread. Also one of Cook’s main strength in his other books, his characters, doesn’t work as well here, none of the people were really memorable to me.

The strength of the book is the great setting, the concept of the Guard Ships, the large scale battles and the intricate plotting. If you like Space Opera mixed together with some clever science fictional concepts, you will definitely like TDNS.