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“Entropy – a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work..” What the heck that has to do with this book, I’m really not sure. It may be that our main character, Commander Scott McNabb has become a love-sick puppy because his Flight Officer, Miranda Lee has left the Hermes, but I don’t know. The title just seems kind of strange.

If you’ve read the first book, “Entanglement”, you know about the wild exploits of the Hermes and her crew. You also know that one, Rick Marantz didn’t survive the all the excitement. That was pretty hard for the crew and Commander Scott McNabb to take, especially since the Commander felt directly responsible for his death. Yet, now Scott is in for an even harder loss. He and Miranda have developed a relationship as everyone aboard the Hermes has known for quite some time. They don’t go out of their way to hide the fact that they are involved and since their current mission now for the Europa Council will last awhile, it really doesn’t matter. Until it does.

The Council of Europa contacts the Hermes mid-mission and directs them to return to Europa! They won’t say why or what for and that annoys Scott to no end. It will take them about three weeks to return and then they will get more information. Why they can’t be told now of the reason is not specified, but it just isn’t.

Meanwhile, Miranda has just received a very private, secure message from Earth and her Father, Fredrick VanHeilding, one of the Seven major corporation owners back on Earth. Miranda hadn’t spoken to him in over nine years. So why was he messaging her now? Well, he stated that her Mother was in ill health and wanted to see her before she died. At first, Miranda didn’t believe him, but then she considered that even he wouldn’t be so cruel to make a lie like that just to get her back home. He also told her that a company ship would be arriving at Europa in three weeks to bring her back to Earth. Was it just a coincidence that three weeks was what it was going to take the Hermes to get back to Europa? She didn’t really think so.

Scott had noticed Miranda being a little more reserved lately and not wanting to get very close to him although they were trying to be somewhat discrete. He decided that something was wrong so he cornered her one day on their way back to Europa. That’s when Miranda told him she was leaving the Hermes! Unfortunately, this devastated Commander Scott McNabb. He withdrew from his responsibilities and turned most of his command responsibilities over to the Hermes QI, Aria.

Things didn’t get any better when they got to Europa. Miranda’s ship was waiting so she went aboard and left, just like that. Scott didn’t know what to do. He was pretty mad when he met with the Europa Council and got even madder when they told him the Hermes was going to escort the Chairperson Regina Goodchild and the Belt representative on Ceres, Chancellor Bezzio, to a special session of the UN System Council. That meeting was to be held in Jezero City, Mars. So, Scott said the Hermes and his crew were dragged off a very important scientific mission to act as bus drivers delivering passengers to Mars! And that was about what it amounted on on the surface.

But, there was more going on than Scott or anyone else knew. Even the great QI, Solomon, of Europa didn’t know what was happening in the background. He did know and was quite aware that the Earth corporations, the Seven, didn’t want the meeting to have a successful outcome. What he didn’t know was to what extent they would drive their desired outcome.

This story is very interesting although I think Scott gets to bent out of shape when Miranda leaves. He really wasn’t acting much like a Commander responsible for the Hermes or any mission they were on. He should have been relieved. Additionally, I felt that Scot and one of his crew make some pretty dumb mistakes that put them in very dangerous situations. They seem to get rescued just in the nick of time and by a surprising rescuer every time. But, that makes the story exciting, I guess.

I’m taking a break from this series and not going directly to book 3, “Evolution”. I just want to read about some other characters and hope they don’t start making the dumb mistakes Scott McNabb seems to be making. I’ll get back to the series for sure, but not right now.

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