[su_button url=”http://amzn.to/1XrZFFG” target=”blank” style=”3d” background=”#0b54a5″ size=”6″ icon=”icon: book” text_shadow=”3px -3px 3px #000000″ desc=”Buy on Amazon” onclick=”Test of Mettle (Captain’s Crucible)“]”A Test of Mettle (A Captain’s Crucible- Book One)”
by Isaac Hooke[/su_button]
This is the second book of “A Captain’s Crucible” series and it’s just as good as the first. Here we continue with Captain Jonathan Dallas commanding the USS (United Systems Ship) Gallaway though a slipstream gate. They are being pursued vigorously by a fleet of thirty aliens bent on the USS Gallaway’s destruction. The Gallaway is now the flag ship of a small remaining fleet that hopes to fleet this current system and return back to Earth. They must alert Earth to this new alien enemy so it can prepare to meet this new threat.
As the aliens have destroyed the original gate through which the USS Gallaway and other ships entered this system, they must build another gate. This takes about six months! With the builder ship fully capable of doing the task and a harvester ship dispatched to collect the necessary resources, the gate build is began. So far the aliens have not came back into this system in force.
Now six months later and most of the ships in Captain Dallas’ fleet have made all the repairs they can. The gate has been reported ready so Jonathan orders a drone to be sent through as a standard test of a new gate. It’s supposed to return about 20 seconds later and report what is on the other side. Slipstreams don’t move so the drone should report that it has returned from Primus-3 which is where the fleet originally came from. But, for some unknown reason, the drone never returns. It the gate on the other side had been destroyed, then it couldn’t return, but Captain Dallas has no reason to believe that it has been destroyed. Now with alien reinforcements appearing from a distant gate in the same system he is in, he has no choice but to order the fleet through the new gate.
Now they find themselves in a total unfamiliar system. Some how the slipstream has moved it’s end point and after the on-board AI, Maxwell, computes their most like location, they find they are in an entirely new galaxy. They won’t be going home soon unless they can find a slipstream in this new system that does go back to the Milky Way. Additionally, the alien fleet of thirty ships is still on their way and expected to reach the same place they are in about 5 days or sooner. And if that’s not bad enough, the Captain Dallas’ fleet finds some of the original alien ships they fought against before lurking behind one of the new planets. There are only six Earth ships. How are they going to stand against thirty or more of these alien ships not counting the six or seven already in this system. Low on ammunition and other supplies, the USS Gallaway must find a way home. It’s up to Captain Dallas to make the right decisions.
This science fiction at it’s best. The writing is fluid, but sometimes hard to understand as you can’t get a real good visual of what kind of tactics are being applied in the various battles. Captain Dallas is fortunate to have a tactical genius in Lt. Miko. Lt. Miko, so far, has been the one to come up with tactics for each engagement while most of the other Captains just sit around either agreeing or telling Captain Dallas what’s wrong with the plan. I think Lt. Miko is in for a promotion! The author has also thrown in some routine ship board disciplinary problems between a young Lieutenant and a Lieutenant Commander, both pilots. They have been fraternizing while about the Gallaway which is against regulations. You would think the military would have done away with this kind of idiotic rule since they are on very long voyages and some of the crew even have their spouses aboard.
There has to be a third book since the story is not over yet. I look forward to it. I’m glad I found another great science fiction author in Isaac Hooke.