New series and a new author. Wow! This is certainly an adventure book. And it certainly contains a lot, and I mean a lot of four letter words. Yeah, if you’re gun-shy of cuss words including the often used “f_ck*, then maybe you had better find a milder book. It seems like the main character says this word every time he opens his mouth. Now, I’m a former Sailor and I did my share of cussing back in the day, but this guy is a little overboard on his use of that one particular four-letter word. Just be warned.
It’s not all that military, almost anti-military except the main character, Jace Hughes, seems to be fighting all the time. He’s a “Renegade” or a person that does whatever they want in this galaxy. He’s an outlaw due to his numerous thefts for hire, assassinations, and downright bad guy stuff. He operates in the Badlands, just outside the jurisdiction of the Union which is the only organized power in this part of space.
Right now, the Union doesn’t have any particular interest in Jace. Oh, they’d certainly lock him up if they could catch him, but he stays pretty much away from the Union and does his stuff only in the Badlands, most of the time. Jace’s home base is on Taurus Station. There he can get his ship, the Renegade Star, serviced, repaired and refueled and generally take it easy between jobs. He works with a shopkeeper that has some connections that can lead Jace to other jobs on occasion.
This new job involves escorting or transporting a Nun and a little girl from Taurus Station to Arcadia. This Nun is a member of The Church of the Homeworld and she and the girl are trying to get back there as soon as possible. Oh, and they are apparently wanted by the Union. It seems this “Nun” broke the girl, Lex, out of a Union research center and now they are running from the Union. At first, Jace wisely refuses the job, but with a troubling debt he needs to pay and no other job around, he finally accepts.
This is where the adventure begins. You’ll soon find out that there’s more to this Num and the little girl than meets the eye. The Union wants her back desperately and will apparently do anything and everything to find her. They even make a deal with their enemy, the Sarkonians, to travel through their territory, if necessary, to pursue the Renegade Star. The Sarkonians get to claim half of the Badlands as their territory for their cooperation. This is an unprecedented arrangement and Jace doesn’t know why. He can’t figure out what’s so important about this Num and her charge.
Then they arrive at Arcadia. Jace is hired by the church to take a contingent to another planet so they can research some religious ruins. He’s going to be paid a hundred thousand credits which happens to be what he owes a major crime boss who’s about to collect one way or another. Little does Jace realize that he’ll never see this money nor will he ever have to worry about paying his debt back. He’s off on one wild trip that has no end in sight.
This is kind of a fun book to read. While the language is pretty raw, at least from Jace, it doesn’t seem all that out of place. Jace does what he wants and has always done things that way. He’s not all that educated, but he’s been able to stay alive in the Badlands which is remarkable in itself. He does have a compassionate side which he wouldn’t ever admit and takes a liking to the little girl, Lex, from the start. He treats other people pretty nicely in action although his words don’t always sound that nice.
I like this storyline so well that I have continued on with the second book, “The Renegade Atlas”. I don’t know how long this story will continue, but it’s good enough that I’m going to read it all the way to the end. Maybe Jace will clean up his language a bit…nah, that ain’t goin’a to happen!