A pretty simple and down-right exciting space warfare and adventure story. We find ourselves assigned to an old destroyer that’s definitely seen better days. Our starship has been through the last war with the Tigris and, while it survived, it didn’t do so gracefully. We’ve also got a Captain that has some how pissed off a lot of people at Command. Captain Dryer is old, about as old as his ship. He’s a war hero, though, and knows his ship and what it can and can’t do. But, one thing he doesn’t know is what his new XO is made of. Commander Nolan (apparently no first name), has just been assigned to the UFC Johnston. He’s been on-board for three-days and now finds himself in CIC with his Captain. They are viewing the ruble from a Tigris vessel thought to be a science ship. How it came to be destroyed, they don’t know.
Then, another Tigris war ship emerges from the sun’s corona on an intercept course. The Captain and his XO figure that it looks bad for them since they believe the Tigris will blame them for the destruction of their science vessel. The must do something and quick. They are definitely out gunned and out classed by the Tigris war ship. So, the Captain of the UFC Johnston does the unexpected. He tells Commander Nolan that he has the bridge and says he’s going to go get breakfast! At first Nolan doesn’t understand what the Captain actually means. Then it dawns on him that he’s now in charge of the ship and it’s crew and it’s up to him to find a way out of this situation. Of course, he first protests this action by his Captain, but the Captain reminds Nolan that he is a UFC officer who excelled in tactics and strategy, so he wants him to put that knowledge to work. The the Captain leaves the bridge to go find breakfast!
So, here you are on your first star ship. You’ve been an Intel Officer all your career and have never been assigned to a ship in any command position. Intel guys just provide information, they don’t normally have to act on it. But, this time is different. You are on the spot and you better do something right now. So, Commander Nolan starts giving orders to the bridge/CIC personnel even though he doesn’t know any of their names or ranks. They follow orders as they should without question up to a point. They don’t know this new officer and from the situation they are in, he could very well get them all killed.
This is just the very start of the book. I don’t think I’ve gotten out of chapter one yet! I think you get the idea that this book doesn’t slow down much. One thing after another happens with Commander Nolan usually at the forefront. Fortunately, he’s a good, no an exceptional officer, who has ran afoul of an Admiral back at Command. That Admiral has taken out some revenge on Nolan by assigning him to this dead-end ship effectively ending his career unless something like another war breaks out. Commander Nolan and the UFC Johnston survive this encounter through some highly smart thinking on Commander Nolan’s part. Then the ship arrives at a UFC colony site to find out what happened to the people there.
They search the small colony site and find no UFC people, bodies or anything. It appears they are all just gone. During their search, they come into contact with another alien detachment that is practically invisible. They have to fight these new aliens and find that their weapons are far superior to what the UFC has fielded. Still, they manage to cause enough trouble for the new aliens that they take off in their ship which itself cloaks immediately after picking up it’s detachment. So, now are they going to have to go to war with another alien species that is apparently kidnapping humans? They also find out that the Tigris are also losing colonist to these same aliens. Is an alliance about to happen between two former enemies so they can face a much deadlier foe? Read the book to find out.
For a first time writer, this is a pretty darn good book. I wish the second episode were already published. I’d certainly latch on to it.