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5 Small Stars
A continuation of a very driven man, trying to find his lost family.  Councilman or former Councilman Jarden Fairbanks used his amazingly vast wealth and personal contacts to secretly build a fantastic starship (Eureka) which he planned to launch through the Rift.  This Rift only opened into the Solar System once every thirty years.  Out of it had come the Watcher, an alien race that appeared to be hostile towards Humans.  A plan was formed to send a colony ship of humans thru the Rift the next time it opened so humanity could establish a foothold somewhere else if these alien Watchers were successful in destroying Earth.  Unbeknownst to Jarden, his wife took her and his two children on the colony ship and he watched as they slipped through the Rift, some thirty years ago.
Now Jarden and his companions consisting of a mishmash of people he knew would be useful and people he connived into helping him went through the Rift seeking his lost family.  One such person was Benson.  Benson had acted as Jaren’s personal assistant for many, many years.  He did everything for Jarden and pretty much was treated as the Councilman was.  He had full reign of the starship, so when he decided to steal a special jump-capable starfighter, no one tried to stop him until it was too late.  It will be interesting to read where he was headed.
In the meantime, Jarden and his crew found the colony planet that the colony ship (Pilgrim) was supposed to have landed on some thirty years past.  Right off they knew something wasn’t right.  Instead of getting sensor readings of a robust colony, they only got a fairly weak single coming from a lake.  So, Jarden, Flint, Ace and a Security Guard named Bree, took off in a lander for the planet.  Just after entering the atmosphere, the lander is attacked by a vast swarm of bugs.  It causes the lander to go dead and Flint is forced to make a controlled crash landing.  They have no radios or any kind of energy left on the lander.  They then do the next best thing and that is to start hiking towards the lake and what Jarden hoped would be a great family reunion although the family he knew was now thirty years older.
Back on the Eureka, Dr. Wren Sando was working on a bioweapon that would hopefully destroy the Watchers.  She even had a live Watcher in her lab aboard the Eureka whom she could test the virus on when it was perfected. The alien had been in captivity for the last thirty years and never said a word while in her lab.  She knew it was highly intelligent since it’s kind had flown starship into the Solar System.  Charles, the android that got Wren out of prison, was slowly trying to convince the alien Watcher to speak so he could learn it’s language.  Dr. Sando wasn’t very far away from creating her virus, but she was still wondering if it was the right thing to do, i.e., killing an entire species.
Finally, the landing party made contact with some of the people from the colony ship Pilgrimonly to have Jarden Fairbanks get shot in the leg. Turns out it was an accident, but that wasn’t the only surprise in store for Jarden, Flint, Ace and Bree.
This isn’t the end of the series.  Book three, “Return” is already out and I’ve gotten it loaded in my Kindle.  Good story and I’m very interested to see how it all ends.

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