|In this third book of the Substrate Wars series, ten years have passed since the student rebels invented quantum gateways and tamed the world's governments. Replicators have ended hunger and need, and colony planets have allowed everyone who wanted independence to settle new worlds.
This peace and prosperity is threatened when scientists discover evidence that other civilizations have been destroyed by the planet-scouring Shrivers, who intercept an Earth probe and discover Earth’s location in its memory. The rebels and Earth governments have to cooperate to build a defense force to stop the invading Shriver fleet.
Meanwhile, Justin's daughter Katherine (Kat) has been contacted by the First, the uploaded civilizations that inhabit the substrate as a virtual realm. She is chosen to argue humanity's case in front of the tribunal which will decide whether humanity will be allowed to upload with the First, or be exterminated by the Shrivers.
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