The ninth of nine complex, swashbuckling, hard-sci-fi space opera books in the Beyond the Impossible series, at last we can wrap up all the skeins of universe-straddling plotlines. “The Final Verdict” is a fitting finale, commencing just as the heroes in one universe stand ready to repel the Swarm from another universe. And naturally enough, it’s at this point that the most intriguing plot thread from the previous few books, that of Royal the newly created god, comes to life with a thump that reshapes all battles. Familiar characters strive against impossible odds, old characters complete life’s cycles, and universes are reshaped. As ever, author Frank Kennedy is superb in the many action scenes, his dialogue crackles, and the pace never lets up. A triumph of storytelling in a vast setting, The Final Verdict is a roaring climax that must be read in a single sitting.