Review: This is the second book of a very good series by two of my very favorite authors. While it is a “military” science fiction book, the main characters and everybody else are not in the military. It seems that being in the military for some of these books is too restrictive and that’s certainly the case for this book. As you read in the first book, Chase Weston is a former Sergeant in the Army Rangers. He and a few friends decided to get out of the military after world kind of changed into two separate factions with no National entities being recognized. The old United States Army dissolved or transferred into the Union Defense Forces and Chase couldn’t see his allegiance from the United States to something he wasn’t sure was the right thing.
Chase and his associates became Private Military Contractors offering their skills to anyone willing to hire them or whatever purpose. As you read in the first book, a university had hired Chase and his friends to escort a Dr. Evangeline (Angel) Cortez , an archaeologist and her graduate assistant Victor Lee to a Arborist dig on planet Vishnu. There they found something that was to put them on this current adventure, just a minor one, to save the entire universe!
They have found an artifact buried at the Vishnu site which was actually a computer built by an ancient alien race called “The People”. This advanced race appears to be the forbearers of all humanity having seeded all the planets with the necessary DNA to create life, then they disappeared! After they found the first artifact, they learned through it that two more existed which would be needed if the humans were to access the Archives left by The People. These Archives contained all the advanced knowledge of The People and it was hoped whomever found it could build a weapon strong enough to stand against the SunKillers. This was another hive-mind intelligence that considered itself the only truly living thing that mattered. It resented the concept of human life and set about destroying it when and wherever it found such. Already it had sent huge weapons designed to enter a systems star and destroy it, i.e., Sunkillers.
They were on the way right now and Chase Weston and his group had to warn humanity, but they knew humanity wouldn’t listen to a former Army Sergeant especially when the Union was actually controlled by a multi-billion dollar company called Hart-Klein Consolidated. That company also wanted the artifacts only so it could access the Archives and control who had access to fantastic advanced weapons. Hart-Klein thugs had attacked Weston’s small group on Vishnu, including Angel and Victor, and had to flee for their lives. Fortunately, Weston’s associates also included Priyanka Ambedkar, a former military pilot, who brought with her a modified Army surplus gunship, the Tamar. It managed to get them out of harms way for awhile.
Meanwhile, Victor Lee has inadvertently, melded with the alien computer. He was the first human to place his hands on the device so it bonded to him and him alone. Now he was the go-between this advanced alien computer and the rest of the Weston team. It told Victor where the second artifact was located and said they would need to acquire it if they had any hopes of finding the third artifact. Only there was a problem. It was located on an Alliance planet or small moon which meant they would have to invade a Chinese colony or possibly a Chinese Army military outpost!
Like I said before, this is an exciting story with lots of action. Both writers provide their insight into military operations by describing realistic weapons and tactics taking place in the book. Some of it is just too fantastic to believe, but that the fiction part of the story. Nothing comes easy for Chase Weston or Angel Cortez. They pick up new partners as they go so their group grows in this book, although a few don’t make it to the end! Great reading and I definitely look forward to the next book in the series.