The Lizard King
by Alexander Mattinson

"It is quite clear that your Coalition is the last hope my people have at a future."

When an invading force called The Grey threatens the galaxy, a Coalition forms to unify the universe in a quest to defeat the conquering scourge. This band of influencers primarily relies on peaceful persuasive tactics when visiting planet after planet seeking allies. Their mission gets off course, though, when they encounter the world Syclaria and The Lizard King. The Coalition wades right into the mire of a monarchy in chaos, conflicted factions, and competing values. They will use all of their military and intellectual resources to preserve Syclaria and prepare for the battle against a merciless aggressor that seeks domination over all.

This action-packed interstellar story explores military strategy and philosophical responses to war and peace as a strong cast of characters plans for an all-out battle against a genetically perfected enemy. Mattinson expertly fills in the history of humans and aliens, charting new territories but also treading on time-worn struggles of violence, corruption, and destruction in the pursuit of power. With excellent pacing, the story unfolds with suspenseful scenes that showcase a battle of wills and weapons. Unexpected thrills arrive with new characters generating conflict and affirming the uncertainty of executing a military mission. Everything is a risk. Success is never guaranteed, and morality hangs in the balance. However, what remains steadfast is the belief that aliens and humans must band together against the common enemy they face.

The Grey is a force of science and technology and a worthy opponent in this war of worlds. The story probes the inherent strength of a species and questions whether the ends justify the means in war. In the indomitable spirit of Star Trek mixed with Machiavelli, the Coalition must succeed in unifying all sentient beings, so aliens and humans can coexist in a galaxy of possibility, peace, and prosperity.

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