Who can resist a fast-paced space opera novel in our current time? “The Final Dawn” kicks off a new series starring Jack Bishop, who volunteers for an experiment on a dystopian Earth, only to find himself careening through space with sentient automata fleeing criminals. Can he survive? Will he be able to return home when no one has even heard of Earth? Ashford is an engaging writer, well in command of his fast-paced plot, and the set-piece scenes in the void of space or in various spacecraft are wonderful. I especially enjoyed Bishop’s growing interrelationship with the eclectic group of automata. Space has never been so enjoyable to read about. Recommended for a fast read in front of a fireplace.