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Summary

The end is nigh.

The Federation has stood for over 1,000 years, but its time may be at an end. Its emperor has gone mad; the economy lies in ruins; entire sectors are slipping out of its grasp; warlords, secessionists, and pirates are making their own bids for power; and a powerful rebel fleet stands ready to storm the gates of Earth. The end cannot be long delayed. As Roman Garibaldi, now leading an alliance of former naval officers and rebel outsiders, advances towards Earth, desperate to stop Emperor Marius before he throws the entire Federation into the fire, he has to face the possibility that it may already be too late to save the Federation from itself. And as both sides meet in a final confrontation, the price for saving even a tiny part of the once-proud Federation may be more than anyone is willing to pay.

The conclusion to The Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire series.

©2016 Christopher G. Nuttall (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely addictive

This was such a good trilogy and, in my opinion, had all the right ingredients for an addictive successful series. The only downside is, it is now finished.

I do hope we can have more of the same.

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  • Jean
  • 04-08-16

Action packed story

This is book three of the trilogy and the author wraps up the story in a good fashion. At the beginning of the book I had a bit of a problem placing which series this was and arranging the correct characters in this series, but I did manage to get it all straight in the first quarter of the book. In this trilogy Nuttall’s narrative threads a classic Roman antiquity into the story which for history buffs like me is fantastic.

Our protagonist Roman Garibaldi is leading an alliance of naval officers, rebels and alien outsiders. They are heading to earth in hopes of saving the Federation from its mad Emperor. Like in the other stories there are pirates, war lords and others seeking power and a piece of the Federation. This is a civil war so the suspense builds as we learn who aligns their allegiance to which side in the war. And of course we end with a mighty battle.

The book is well written with action galore. Nuttall writes a good space battle. Tim Gerard Reynolds does a good job narrating the book. Reynolds was born in Ireland, lives in New York City and is a stage actor who is now a full time audiobook narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Tyler Pubben
  • 17-07-16

Good, not great.

I've been enjoying all of Nuttall's books set in various parallel 'Galactic Empires'. Compared to the Empire's Corps and Ark Royal I find this one the most bland for one reason or another. The pace is a bit slower and the narrative is a little bit more focused on the author's own world view and less on character and plot development. Honestly this is the first series of Nuttall's where I really don't feel anything at all about the characters as they aren't really characters at all, just tools the author uses to hammer home his own personal take on what is wrong with society. Drake and Garibaldi have no real depth or personality beyond endless internal monologs focused on their ideology.

The afterward in this book is a glaring indicator of how he might be inflating his own political and cultural insights. it might be high-time for the author to take the rhetoric down a notch and return to focusing on character struggles and less on societal issues.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Fathas
  • 12-07-16

Glad I got through it

At this point its obvious Marius's mental state is questionable at best. This is more of that. The galactic politics and strategic battles are interesting, but at one point I felt unable to continue and listened through a different series before returning. I was just tired of the slow decline. Marius was my favorite character and while its interesting watching his descent in to madness its also painful. If you liked the previous book, this is worth finishing, but it was tough for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Trudy Owens
  • 11-06-16

great space opera as well as current commentary

"When Rome fell to Barbarian invaders, there were less than 500 qualified Centurions, not because Rome had fewer people, but because it had fewer willing to make the sacrifices. And the last centurions left their shields in the heather and took a Barbarian bride."

If, in the first 2 books, you missed the allegory to the Roman Empire, you really have to notice it here. But most of us don't know our ancient history all that well, so it is hoped that people WILL get the allegory to the current United States and Western World.

The chapter intros from galactic history books tell the basic facts of the events; the story tells the lives of the people who caused, and were affected by, these events.

This book is the sad tale of Admiral-turned-Emperor Drake and Admiral Roman Garibaldi, who is forced once again to mutiny against his superior. Drake has become a monster, and is incapable of uniting or bringing peace to the Federation. It is sad because he never wanted to be Emperor, and he had at least one sadistic, evil adviser. Hopefully, the next volume will be more positive, and Garibaldi will fare better than Drake did. It will be interesting to see if the new government formed is galactic or more local since so many of the planets and systems have declared independence. Will there be a Europe or a European Union? Italy's Garibaldi was one of a triumvirate of leaders, Cavour being the "brain of unification," Mazzini the "soul," and Garibaldi the "sword." Will Roman Garibaldi remain the sword? Will Tiffany be the brain or the soul? Will Elf be one of them, or someone else?

In any case, this book brings to life what may be dull and dry in that galactic history book written some 70 years after all these events. This is the tale of the men and women, their lives, their loves, and their losses. You can be more sympathetic and understanding towards Drake, Vincent, Tiffany, and now Garibaldi. Hindsight is 20/20, but these people can only do the best they can with the knowledge they have at the moment.

Following the Epilogue there is an Afterword which very succinctly compares events in present-day United States and Europe to what happened to the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. It is a wake-up call for us to learn from history.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • tekone
  • 05-06-16

An important message in a time of insanity

I thought Mr Nuttall let someone else write most of the book as the thoughts seemed divergent to his previous works... But that was not the case, people may critique his works and his thoughts but I for one wholeheartedly agree with his closing warning.

The West is in crisis and unfortunately most will not see it until it is too late.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lore
  • 03-04-18

A fitting conclusion to the series

With the events that occurred at the end of book 2, The Shadow of Cincinnatus, the stage was set for an epic showdown between the Federation and the Outsiders. The Federation has stood for over 1,000 years but it is riddled with problems that may not have any answers. Emperor Marius remains dedicated to the ideals of the Federation and he has shown that he will do anything to protect it, but that very attitude is likely to be his undoing. Despite his failing state of mind, and the deep economic and social flaws that are fracturing the Federation, there is still one thing that can ultimately unite them - a fear of subjugation by aliens. Along come the Outsiders who are offering progressive economic and social changes that are attractive to many, but they have allied themselves with multiple alien races and that is a bridge too far. This book reveals once and for all which of humanities many flaws will ultimately dictate the winner in this epic fight for the future.

Solid military sci-fi is what Christopher G. Nuttall is about and he delivers more of the same in this final installment of the series. As the Outsiders head towards a final showdown at Earth their fleet encounters resistance along the way that must be met efficiently if they are to have any chance of winning. That being said, ultimately this war will be decided by human loyalties over military tactics. Each side in this war has a weak foundation that it is built upon and neither side can afford to lose the wrong person at the wrong time. This one builds up to a satisfying conclusion that finally provides the payoff for some of the slower parts of the series.

Tim Gerard Reynolds does his usual excellent work but it should be noted that this one ends with a long political rant by the author. I found it off putting to end the series with a rant about the real world even if the author ties his fictional Federation back to ancient Rome and the current day US.

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  • Sally Filler
  • 12-03-18

Very Enjoyable Cautionary Tale

All in all a very interesting, scary, disturbing, enjoyable story. Mr Reynolds is very skilled as always.
Other reviewers have made much about the afterward but I think Mr. Nuttall makes a good point BUT NOT THE ONE HE MEANT TO.
As we have seen with the current president, just like in the story, successful leaders in one field are not necessarily successful in another. It takes a very specific skill set to lead a nation (or a galaxy), get it wrong or have the wrong person and it becomes a disaster... for Rome, for the USA, or for the world! As in the story the enemy is NOT the politician, it IS the people who control them! Corporations have one purpose, that is to make money. That is not-in itself evil, but when you give them the chance to make public policy it is. Inheritantly this creates a conflict of interest and by their very nature public interest looses to money, power, and short term gain. That is the danger and we see it now being played out every day on our televisions and newsfeeds.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-01-18

The afterward is the best part of the entire book!

This whole series has kept me in a rapt state of always wanting to know what happens next. The characters, while sometimes fitting into typical roles, are all very interesting. The friendships and betrayals all had my emotions going up and down with each chapter.


The entire series, while being fun and intriguing, also makes an excellent critique of or modern Western political structure. It also manages to draw lines between our current situation and the fall of the Roman Empire/Republic. The author has certainly done his homework on this one.


Tim Gerard Rynanlds performance was spectacular as always. I can never get enough of his wonderful storytelling. I actively look for books he has narrated for a good listen.


This series is very much worth getting into even if it is only for the stellar ride it takes you on!

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  • Keith B. Middleton
  • 05-05-17

Predictable Ending to a Dreary Story

I finished listening to this 3 volume series through sheer determination and the fact I had spent good money on all 3 volumes. My biggest regret, buying all 3 rather than checking out volume one first. To make it worse, the author includes an extremist political rant disguised as an afterward. No more books by Christopher Nuttall for me!

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  • Angelo Nanni
  • 03-03-17

is incisive

The last chap eyed with Nuttall commentary on our own times was spot on. The book series was a good read and a good retelling of the fall of the Roman Empire.