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4 Small Stars

I’ve read a number of books by Nathan Hystad and he’s a proven good writer. So I’m looking forward to this series and think it will be pretty good. But, there are a few things I desperately need for him to change.

The story is about the exploits of a brand new starship named the “Constantine” commanded by Captain Thomas Baldwin. He’s a new Captain with this ship being his first command. The Concord Hight Command had some how reasoned that he was ready for his first command and gave him this brand new, super advanced ship. He didn’t question the decision by his higher HQ, but he was curious why they had also chose most of the crew, something not ordinarily done. And, he figured that the Concord, the governmental body for some forty-three planetary systems, was playing the PR game to some extent since the Constantine was named after his famous grandfather Admiral Constantine Baldwin!

Every Concord ship had an AI and the Constantine was no different. Yet, when the AI appeared for the first time, it was a shock to most of the crew. This AI was a representation of a very young Constantine Baldwin, Captain Thomas Baldwin’s grandfather. The AI was loaded with all the memories of Admiral Baldwin who was a war hero against the Statu some sixty years ago. The Concord fleet had destroyed the Statu, yet those battle memories in the AI could be of help to Captain Thomas Baldwin should he encounter new enemies.

So, the crew was gathering for several weeks of team building and just getting the feel of their new ship. it was an interesting crew to say he least. One of the more interesting crew members is Commander Treena Starling. She is not what she appears to be and it takes awhile for some of the crew to find out just what she really is. This is an interesting part of the book, but I’m not so sure it would work all that well.

Of course their little team building period isn’t going to happen. Someone has attacked a planet called Greblok. This planet had just been accepted into the Concord and the Constantine was supposed to be on a diplomatic mission welcoming the new system into the Concord. That trip was weeks away until news of the attack was heard and then the Constantine was ordered to depart immediately. They did so and on the way came across a seemingly derelict starship of unknown origin. The crew found the ship to be empty except for the hundreds of cryo-pods holding aliens, again of unknown origin. So, the Captain towed the unknown starship with him to Greblok.

The Constantine eventually figures out who attack Greblok and while ordered to return to the Concord capital, Captain Baldwin decided he couldn’t just let this attack happen so he decided to disobey orders and go after this new enemy. Now things really start getting interesting. You’ll read just how well his new crew functions when under mounting pressure.

As I said before, I like this story, but the author keeps calling the Constantine a “cruise ship”. It isn’t a cruise ship which brings to mind things like the “Love Boat” TV show (yes, I’m an old codger!) or one of the various cruise liners tourist always vacation on. It’s a warship and should be called that. Secondly, some of his officers are called Executive Lieutenants which is a term I’ve never heard of. They and the Executive Officer, Commander Treena Starling, are his senior staff and that’s how they should be addressed. Third, this Captain leaves his ship way to often. He seems to think he has to be on the away team every time it goes any where and that’s just dumb. He even has his own star-fighter which he actually does fly into on of the battles; again a very dumb move by what’s supposed to be a Starship Captain!

Other than the above, I’ll probably look for and read the next book in this series because it does sound interesting, but I just can’t imagine what the next book will be about since this one seemed to solve the current problem quite well.

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