After my disappointment in Wizard's Holiday and the cliffhanger ending that led into this book, I wasn't sure what I would get or how I would like it. Well, I am now officially protesting only being allowed to give a book five stars. This deserve every star ever born! This was phenomenal, and a definite one to read with a box of tissues close at hand. There will be sad tears and happy tears alike.
I'm really impressed with how Duane managed to turn Roshaun's character around. Not that he stops being a pompous ass, mind you. But with more background on him and his situation on his home planet, and more time spent with him as he and Dairine become friends, lends a lot to being able to appreciate his character better. I even came to appreciate his pompousness. :D Filif and Skeer'ret continue to be great, we get some great character development for Carmela and Ponch, some expected, and some very much not expected. That Duane can still surprise her readers this far into the series is a testament to her skill as a writer.
This is a long book, with a few different POVs, and it's necessary. This is the culmination of the series up to this point. We see characters returning from previous books, and we understand the stakes after the various travels we've seen our main three characters have done over the previous seven books. This was tense and the prose was beautiful as ever. This series easily could've ended here - most other authors would build up to the Doom Day book and end it. Duane doesn't do that. She leaves just enough to hint at future stories, maybe not ones that will be as intense or as high stakes as this one, but still stories worth telling. And after this long with her, I'm willing to go along with the ride.
I can't say much more without spoiling a bunch of stuff, but I've decided that this is the secret about dogs the Colonel was going to tell Dean Winchester before the dog-talking spell wore off. ;)