Malila of the Scorch by W. Clark Boutwell
For the Unity, the lone surviving high-tech and forward-thinking remnant of a once-vital America, war represents a final chance to liberate the backward and unfashionable Midlands from their centuries-long nightmare of freedom and self-determination.
War breeds opportunity and danger.
Young Malila Chiu, once a hero of the Unity, emerges from the jungle to deliver a dire message to a beleaguered America: the Deep Scorch, a polyarchy of sentient plants, declares itself to be a potent ally–or a dangerous foe. Familiar and distrustful of the Scorch for much of his long life, Jesse Johnstone stays by Malila’s side for the sake of their love.
The grand architect of the war, Unity General Eustace Jourdaine, recovering from grievous injuries, rallies to lead his troops into battle in the hopes of winning a new empire–but for whom?
All the while, within the bowels of the Unity, American spies, William Butler, Hecate, and Elise, delve into the secrets of the CORE and their own mortality to thwart the invasion.
Even as combat and betrayal swirl around him, the Old Man learns too late that this latest battle with the Unis may be his final one.
Malila of the Scorch completes the Malila/Jesse Trilogy that started with Outland Exile and continued with Exiles’ Escape.