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Summary

The warlords are gone, save one. Admiral Marius Drake, betrayed and almost killed by the Grand Senate, has seized power for himself in a military coup. Now, as Emperor Marius, Drake can work to restore the once-great Federation to its former glory. But now that the Grand Senate is gone, the Federation is starting to fall apart. The bureaucrats are running rampant, the corporations are demanding new powers, the colonies want freedom, and Earth is collapsing into chaos.

Worse, on the borders, a new interstellar power has arisen and is bracing itself for an all-out invasion of Federation space. For the Outsiders, the descendants of those forced to flee centuries ago by the Federation, there will never be a better chance to smash their hatred oppressors once and for all. To save the Federation, the Outsiders must be defeated - but the Federation may not survive long enough to land the killing blow.

Cincinnatus casts a long shadow...and those who pick up absolute power may not find it so easy to put it down again.

©2014 Christopher G. Nuttall (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Shadow of Cincinnatus

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Profile Image for Jean
  • Jean
  • 25-10-15

Pleasurable

This is book two of the “Decline and Fall of the Empire” series. I recently read book one so everything was nice and fresh in my memory for book two. Unlike book one the big fleet battles have been fought; now it is the political fight to save the Federation. Admiral Drake is now Emperor Marius and everything in the Federation is falling apart and a new interstellar power has arisen on the Rim, so war might be imminent. The fifth fleet is now battling the forces on the Rim. It looks as if the problems of the Federation are too great and complicated for anyone to solve.

In this book Nuttall has not only an interesting surface plot but a much deeper plot for those readers who are history and or classic literature buffs. As usual Nuttall has his political commentary running throughout the story. The book is well written and fast paced. Nuttall continues to build his character thought the story. The story also delves into human nature more so than his other books. While reading the book the readers should keep in mind Lord Acton’s famous quote “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” There was a surprise ending that leaves me anxious to read the next volume in the series. Tim Gerard Reynolds does a good job narrating the book. I am looking forward to book three in the series.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Trudy Owens
  • 26-10-15

a bit confusing and drawn out, but still good

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was a Roman aristocrat and statesman (consul in 460 BC and dictator in 458 BC and 439 BC) who was considered a model of civic virtue. He was dictator only until he felt the country was in a position that he could turn it over to someone else. Drake is trying to do the same thing, but is having trouble as emperor because he is really out of his expertise. He finds, as most reformers do, that the problems they promise to fix are much more complicated and not so easily solved! And then, he has a Nazi for an enforcer, and he doesn't know what horrors this guy is exacting.

Roman Garibaldi is still out there running the fleet and fighting the outsider rebels. There is lots of action but it ends up confusing, and it is not clear why the winner won. There is a lot of blather that lets your mind wander and then you don't know what was happening or who is who. The writing doesn't seem at tight as in The Empire's Corps.

Still I hope for these good men, but then the series is called The Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire. So, there really isn't going to be a happy ending.

The narration is just passable, not great. And the book starts out in the year 1492 but ends up 8 years later in 41-something. I thought that perhaps the 1492 was intentionally metaphoric, but now I think it was a mistake. The only thing that keeps me going is curiosity regarding how long it will take to get to Col. Stocker, and Prof. Sezius's (chapter headings) more interesting books on the last years of the Empire.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J. Hudson
  • 16-10-15

Too formuliac

This is either a prequel to the Arthur's other series or a poor attempt to quickly make some quick money while the interest is still there. I won' be purchasing any more of his audio books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Trip Williams
  • 23-08-15

No Choice, The fedurRAYzhun has better Dada

I'm a Nuttall Fan, I "Think" I have pretty much all of his books (That I know of), I LOVED Book 1 in this series, but Book 2 just seemed to wander along and get lost somewhere down the line.

I thought at first maybe Tim Reynolds was possibly reading too slow, but by the halfway point in the book, it was obvious that Reynolds was doing the best that could be done with the material available to him... I believe he purposefully set the tempo slow at the beginning so that when the action finally picks up a little, later on, and he must read faster, the word "Federation" doesn't BLUR.

Ever repeated a word until it seemed to have no meaning? Yeah, "Federation". By the halfway point of this book, the word "Federation" is used so much that Reynolds begins changing the pronunciation slightly to "fedurRAYzhun" (Said in a haste), and the word got distracting and meaningless (NOT Reynolds' fault).

Also repeated to the point of losing meaning, was "Data", which Reynolds' (in his British Accent, is "Dah-Tah") turns into "dada". Again, NOT Reynolds' Fault. "The Sh*t Hits The Fan" every few pages, Along with, "But He Had No Choice". "miss-ISLE" is another one (When doing a Heavy 'Southern USA' Accent, we don't say "miss-ISLE"), and if the Enemies of the main characters aren't doing one of two things, "...Then... What?"

My wife and I listened to Book 1 while laying on the beach on Grand Turk Island (After an incredible Wall-Dive earlier in the Morning), and we both loved the Book! But 'Book 2' feels like a "Filler" in the series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • D. Campbell
  • 21-07-21

Inexplicably weakened characters

I was incredibly disappointed and irritated by the character choices the author made in this book.

One of the main characters in this series was a Commodore and then Admiral in the first book. He seemed very competent in delegation and looking at problems from all angles to optimize decisions. In this book, not only is he incapable of doing that to even the slightest degree, but by his own internal dialogue, doesn't even think there ARE any other legitimate points of view. Even being out of his depth and under stress doesn't explain how he could so completely change character. A strung out heroin addict trying to get their next fix keeps more of themselves than this character does.

That character's wife, when introduced, was a strong woman who in previous books was knowledgeable about the paths of power and how to navigate some of the areas the Admiral was deficient. She's almost a non entity in this book and completely ineffectual. I was hoping to see her develop extensively in this book. If the author wasn't listed the same on all three books, I would have assumed the original author died and the publisher hired another author who wanted to finish in their own way.

While I like this author and almost all of their books, this one was pretty bad as far as continuity. if it was a stand alone book, I'd likely give the story 2.5 stars. As part of a series, it's worse.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-06-21

The aliens are funny

I liked the variety of aliens. I liked the intensity and intrigue. It was awe.

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  • Brett Cushing
  • 04-07-18

enthralling story

loved it, fabulous follow up to book one, I cant wait to find out what happens next

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  • Melanie
  • 05-04-18

Five Stars for setting up next in series

Since I got all three—the third by kindle with whispersync to save money. No spoilers from me. Review by Rick, April 4, 2018

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  • Frank Endicott
  • 28-08-17

Not as good as the first book.

For me this book seemed to lose a little bit in the end. Really sure that the end of this book could've used a major rewrite. I'm still going on to book three. Always have to hear the ending.

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  • Lang Leonard
  • 16-02-17

Disappointing sequel

Uneven character development. Characters become very 2 dimentional and do not inspire reader connection. No way I will continue with the series. Too bad because book 1 was quite good.