I remember reading it in mid-to-late 90s. It was a hardcover with a huge starship drawn on the cover.

The plot was about humans making first contact with a new alien species, when aliens suddenly attack and quite easily destroy the entire fleet. Only one survivor is taken prisoner to the aliens' homeworld, where he is being prodded, tested, and evaluated. The survivor happens to be a son of some important general who sends an elite force of commandos to rescue him. In the meantime humans are preparing for the inevitable invasion.

The ending seemed open, as if this book was part of a set. Seems like I may be missing closure to this story.


3 Answers 3


It sounds like the first book in Timothy Zahn's Conquerors's saga. In the first book, Conqueror's Pride, alien starships attack a Peacekeeper task force and destroy it in six mintues. They capture a single commander; he is the son of a high government official (Lord Cavanagh--a member of parliament).

This Lord Cavanagh recruits a former pilot who assembles a group of elite pilots called the Copperheads, to rescue his son.

The next two books in the triology are Conqueror's Heritage and Conqueror's Legacy.

All three were published in the 1990s (first one in 1994).

  • That's it! I was looking for all the synonyms to "invader" except for "conqueror" :) Apparently I have some reading to catch up on. Than you!
    – Chahk
    Feb 23, 2014 at 1:12
  • Finally got around to finishing the trilogy. Very satisfying ending. Now I must go and read Zahn's other works :)
    – Chahk
    Jul 2, 2014 at 19:54
  • 2
    @Chahk you may already know this, but it was Zahn's "Thrawn Trilogy" of novels that kicked off the Star Wars EU into hyperdrive back in the early 90s.
    – Omegacron
    Apr 9, 2015 at 19:28

Except for the part where the guy is a general's son and a rescue team is sent, it sounds very similar to what happened at The Battle of the Line in Babylon 5. Could it have been a novelization of that?

After a disastrous first contact with a Mimbari cruiser, the Earthforce fleet found itself vastly out-classed & out-gunned by the Mimbari fleet. The Battle of the Line was the final battle of the war where the remnants of the Earthforce fleet were desperately trying to defend Earth from the oncoming Mimbari. During that battle, the fleet was easily decimated by the Mimbari and pilot Jeffrey Sinclair - the only survivor of the battle - was taken on-board the Mimbari cruiser to be studied & analyzed. After the Mimbari realized the human race was essentially related to them, they immediately put Sinclair back in his fighter and stopped the war (their greatest law was that no Mimbari may kill another).

It's sketchy, but there are a lot of similarities there.

  • 1
    Good guess, but it was definitely not B5 (of which I am a huge fan.) Sinclair's capture happened at the end of the Earth-Mimbari war, while in the book the human pilot was captured during the first battle.
    – Chahk
    Feb 19, 2014 at 17:14

This sounds like First Contact (In Her Name: The Last War, book 1) by Michael R. Hicks.

Some of the details are slightly different, but there're some strong similarities (albeit across several of the books).

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.