I just couldn’t stay away from this series very long. The first book, “The Last Hunter” was so good that I thought about reading this second book immediately, but I didn’t. I read another good book in a great series, but I read it kind of fast so I could get back to this one! And I’m not disappointed. This one gets us further along in the story, but it certainly doesn’t end here. Neither does the troubles plaguing Commodore Jack Romanoff!
As you recall, he took command of the ancient battleship division when he thought he was going to be drummed out of the Confederation Navy. But, Professor Prescott showed up and gave Jack an opportunity he couldn’t refuse. Well, he could have, but Jack didn’t want to leave the Navy so he decided to take this opportunity not knowing all the problems he would face in his new command. With the help of the small crew assigned to the Delta Orionis, he was able to overcome some significant problems and even got the ship ready to respond to a call for action if it every came. Well, it did, but the call for action never came directly to the Delta Orionis, a.k.a. Hunter, directly from Fleet HQ.
What did happen is that Jack read his contingency orders drawn up just in case the Locust did return and those orders told him to basically get into the fight. Vice Admiral LeChasse had taken all the active fleet cruisers to meet the returning Locust. It has now been reveled that she and her deputy, another Vice Admiral, were behind the illegal funneling of the Hunters budget funding into their own pockets. That’s why the Hunter was in such bad shape. But, now that both Admrials were out of the way, the supplies were flowing to the Hunter and her crew was scrambling to find places to store them all. At the same time, Jack spoke to the respective service Academies and got permission to permanently assign those recruits and cadets to his ship for the duration. Then his Father and Commodore Sara Nastasi, JAG, came aboard to go and take command of the fleet (Grand Admiral Eric Romanoff) and arrest Vice Admiral LeChasse. That was the plan anyway.
They found Vice Admiral LeChasse and the fleet just outside the Perseus Cluster getting ready to destroy the warp gates into that cluster. Jack dispatched a cutter with his Father, now Admiral Eric Ramonoff, to take command of the fleet. Jack was going to jump into the Perseus Cluster to see what he could do about rescuing all the civilian vessels that were left behind.
The jump into the Cluster was successful. Jack found hundreds of civilian vessels trapped along with the remaining Confederation fleet. That fleet was being annihilated by the Locust. The Vice Admiral commanding the fleet here, told Jack to get the Hunter out of the Cluster so it could fight another day. She gave him control of one of her curisers, which happened to be the Hawkwing, Jack’s old ship. Jack’s chief engineer, Lieutenant Danek figured out a way that the Hunter could expand its warp bubble to cover most of the civilian ships if they got real close to the Hunter for the jump.
So, jump they did, right into another mess. The Hawkwing had been severely damage in their escape and had to be pushed by the Hunter during the jump. It was almost destroyed but Jack went to find out how badly and how much of the crew had survived. He found Captain Magri on the bridge and the fool refused to accept Jack’s help. Eventually, he did have to accept that help, but he did so with contempt for Jack and wouldn’t recognize the validity of Jack’s promotion to Commodore or that the Hunter was a real Navy ship. His attitude was going to cause a lot of future problems that Jack and the entire crew of the Hunter would have to deal with. Not all the civilian vessels brought with them were honestly civilian vessels. Pirates were among the flotilla around the Hunter.
As if that wasn’t bad enough. You’ll find out that the depot Jack had taken the Hunter to to hopefully be repaired and armed with missiles was occupied by an unknown group of civilians. How they were going to act when the Hunter arrived was a serious question. These people were squatters at a military depot and they definitely shouldn’t have been there. Jack wasn’t sure how he was going to root them out so he could get his ship taken care of and then get back to fighting the Locust. They weren’t finished and this war was just getting started.
The series continues with book 3, “Alpha Strike” available on Amazon right now. Of course it’s on my reading list.