I went straight to book 2 in this series because it is so very good. I like the way the story is developing and one reason in particular is that I can’t figure out what is going to happen next. Some stories are pretty predictable in that the main character does this or that or he/she is dead, end of story. Not so here. In fact, the alien threat seems to go away for quite a spell and that allows for the Earth to do some very critical things.
One of which is to start forming a central world government. Yeah, that’s kind of farfetched idea to our current way of thinking, but the President of the US doesn’t feel that Earth can respond to this alien threat on a country-by-country basis. So he begins a dialogue with the Russian Prime Minister and the President of the People’s Republic of China. Surprisingly, China agrees with the idea and then says they have a condition (well, more than one, but this is the BIG one). He wants a Synthetic Intelligence (SI) like Daiyu Zhao. The Russian also speaks up and says that they also will need their own SI or the agreement can never take place. We got to this point because neither of the current Synthetic Intelligences Daiyu Zhao or Irina Koslova want anything to do with their former countries. The USA has granted both entities asylum much to the dismay and disgust of both countries. Still, the President of the US says that he’ll agree to help create their own SIs, but he’ll have to consult with the experts to see if that is even remotely possible.
The experts he’s talking about, of course, are Irina and Daiyu (SIs) along with Commander (Cmdr.) Lance Baker and Commander (Cmdr.) Sofia Jimenez. Cmdr. Baker is currently in charge of forming an Uplink Squadron of F-77Bs. His current problem is that he doesn’t have much experience in running a squadron much less setting one up from scratch. Cmdr. Jimenez has been assigned as his XO and outside of the two of them there are not other qualified F-77B pilots. The squadron doesn’t even have an assignment of support enlisted personnel yet, but all those people are soon to report. He has been informed that a Captain Dan Jones has been assigned as Commander, Carrier Space Wing Seven which is what Cmdr. Baker’s squadron falls under. So now he has a boss. But, before this happens, Commander Lance Baker got himself fired by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
Yes, it seems that when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Johnson didn’t like Lt Cmdr Baker’s position that neither Irina or Daiyu could be made to do anything they didn’t want to, especially help assist in creating new SIs for the Russians or the Chinese, he was fired. So, Baker was off relaxing on some rented beach front property when he met Captain Dan Jones. Captain Jones explained the President didn’t like what the Chairman had done so he appointed a new Chairman who is none other than Admiral Jameson. This is the same Admiral that commanded the carrier Revenge when Baker had his first encounter with the aliens. The Admiral had gotten all four, Baker, Koslova, Jimenez, and Zhao, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He had also reinstated Baker to his former position as Squadron Commander. So, it was back to work for Lance.
And now the work gets real hard. The don’t know when the aliens might come back, but in the meantime, he has a brand new squadron to standup. He needed department heads to run the various departments that made up the squadron. Most of those billets were manned by Lieutenant Commanders which the squadron just received a bunch reporting in. Problems started coming up immediately. These Lt. Cmdrs. were all very experienced and flyers of other spacecraft except for the F-77B. A few found it difficult to believe that Commander Lace Baker was actually their CO since he didn’t have anywhere near their experience or time in the Navy. So, Cmdr. Baker will have some serious problems he’ll need to fix.
Then the aliens return, but they once again fly through the Solar System to Tau Ceti. Baker’s squadron eventually gets forward deployed so they can make an effort to attack any further incursions into the Solar System, but now they will go about collecting some of the wrecked alien spacecraft that had been created with the last battle was fought. Hopefully, they can reverse engineer some of the characteristics of the advanced alien fighters and apply them to the F-77B. While they can fight effectively as they are now, the aliens are always showing up with a mass of spacecraft so Earth needs to make the few spacecraft they have very, very capable. It’s hoped that someone can come up with shields and improved engines for future starfighters. But, that’s only for the future.
Then the aliens return again, only this time, that have a massive number of carriers. There is no way Cmdr. Baker’s squadron can even put a dent in this amount of enemy space fighters. But, then things change. It’s not what you’d expect so you’re going to need to read the entire book.
I’ve almost decided to go ahead and start reading book 3, “Fangs Out”, but no, I’m going to take a break and read something else for awhile, but I will get back to this series very soon. It’s just that good!