The Argonauts are teamed with with a Green Phant, a good Phant, bent on capturing and destroying the Black Phant’s that have vowed to destroy mankind. In plain English, that means the Argonauts are now gainfully employed with the Green Phant paying the bills. Of course Phant’s can’t exist for very long on their own outside a host. So, our Green Phant known as Surus, is co-habitating with a beautiful Artificial known as Ms. Emilia Bounty. Their arrangement is mutual so it’s not an unnatural possession by a Phant. Surus has almost become one of the Argonauts even though it is footing the bill. After all, they are on a mission that it wants done. Another thing, Phant’s are not gender specific. They have not gender, but I’ve caught the author referring to Surus as a he on several occasions. It really makes no difference except, a gender neutral entity co-habitating a female body would be much more believable and desirable for every one concerned.
Back to the story. They have found where they believe a Black Phant or Phant’s have located themselves for the moment. It’s on a desolate and barren planet which is thought to be uninhabited. That thought goes away when the Argonauts find a deep, dark cave tunnel guarded by two very large and very mean looking beetles. These aliens also have the appearance of having a very large mouth with numerous teeth. So they were aptly named gatorbeetles in lieu of anything better. Of course it appears that the Black Phant has managed to take over this gatorbeetle hive. The only way for the Argonauts and Surus to get to it, is to go into the tunnels and run it out, of course. This turns out to be a very dangerous mission. So much so, that Rade comes about as close to dying as he has yet.
It’s good to have the Argonauts together and doing what they are trained to do. When on a mission, Rade Galaal is in charge. He, and only he, gives the orders. That’s well and good, but it doesn’t help much when he manages to get all of them captured and imprisoned. He also doesn’t have the foresight to ensure his equipment will work in all kinds of conditions. His support assets are either Artificials or when not occupied, his Hoplite battlebots. It doesn’t appear that the Hoplites are EMP hardened and that’s pretty strange. They or at least the humans occupying them in jumpsuits have been prepared against mind control by the Phants, but not against a simple thing like an EMP bomb. That’s going to cost them in this book.
This is a pretty exciting story. There are several scenes where the Argonauts are captured and seem to be dead meat only to be able to rescue themselves and then get captured again! Sometimes it gets kind of frustrating reading about the trap the bad guy (Black Phant) has set and then reading about the Argonauts falling right into to it. Still, it’s fun to read about them escaping and great to know that the series won’t end here.
The next three books, “Alien Empress”, “Quantum Predation” and “Robot Dust Bunnies” are already out. I’ve got book three and I’m gonna’ get the rest real soon.