Reading history books was and isn’t one of my favorite things to do, but if those histories were written like Mr. Kern writes his books, I’d be a history expert by now. Mr. Kern wonderfully takes historical WWII battles and re-creates them in the far future. No, they aren’t exact duplicates of historical battles, but very close depiction of what happened many years ago, only now we’re dealing with starships and starfighters.
This one involves nothing more than a supply convoy headed for Starbase Valestra. It is in the Talos Rift, an isolated area of space between the Arcadian Sector and the Sphere. The bad guys in this book are the Neo Hegemony while the good guys are the Kingdom. It’s the Kingdoms outpost Valestra that has to be re-supplied or it will be lost to the Hegemony just like Starbase Oppugn.
Re-supplying the Starbase won’t be easy, that’s for sure. Every ship sent into Talos Rift comes under attack by the Neo Hegemony who have ships and starfighters stationed very close to the borders of the Rift. Yet, the Kingdom cannot let Starbase Valestra fall.
Admiral Arden Roe has drawn the shortstraw and will lead a collection of starships on escort duty to Valestra. He’ll not have everything he needs, but he’ll get what the Kingdom can afford. His chances of success are not great and most consider this mission a suicide mission lucky to get any of the freighters to Valestra. He’ll also be protecting one very large tankers ship, the Caravel, currently flagged under the Federation, a very friendly ally which has no intention of just giving the Caravel to the Kingdom. But the Kingdom does need the HE3 fuel the Caravel carries and so she takes it! Interesting little story there.
You’ll get to know many characters in this book, some you’ve already read about, like Captain Hal Cutter, commander of the Achilles, the ship that defeated the Hegemony super-battleship Behemoth. Then there’s Flight Lieutenant Jason “Rick” Richards, a loaner instructor pilot from the Kingdom Aerospace Forces training school. He had to take some additional training to learn how to operate off a Navy aerospace carrier, but his flying skills were next to none; he was one of the best, if not the best pilot in the entire Kingdom. He meets his equal or counterpart from the Neo Hegemony once again in this battle. You’ll also read about various Fleet Officers and how they go about doing their duty to the Kingdom. Not all of them are coming back from this mission, in fact, a lot of them are won’t. Yet, just like in WWII, they all had a duty to do and they do it to the best of their abilities. It was the last thing that some ever did.
Great reading. I just might have to go back and read some actual WWII history to see how it compares to this story and others written by Mr. Kern. I know it’s not the same and the author eludes to that in his “Author’s Note” at the end of the book. But, there are more books out by Mr. Kern so I’m going to be reading them for now. I encourage you to do so, too!