We’re back with Staff Sergeant Andrew Grayson, Combat Controller, who seems to always be where the action is. As we last saw him, Master Sergeant Fallon and Grayson were involved in a mutiny against orders from HQ directing them to assist in taking over all the food supplies from the Colony of New Svalbard. If they had followed orders, the Fleet ship might have had enough food to last a few more months, but the civilians in the colony would have quickly starved to death. So, Master Sergeant Fallon decided that was a bad order and refused to follow it. Grayson was kind of caught up in the mutiny and really didn’t have much input anyway. Read about all that in “Lines of Departure (Frontlines #2)”.
Now he and Master Sergeant Fallon are kind of chilling’ on New Svalbard. That’s a play on words because this tiny moon, they are on is really one big hunk of rock, snow and ice. It’s the kind of place you don’t dare go outside in unless you’re in a combat suit covered from head to toe. They have a collection of ships from the Sino-Russian Alliance (SRA) (Korean?) Naval Fleets plus the NAC which I think stands for the North American Commonwealth. They are all huddled around this one tiny moon in the middle of nowhere because the Lankies have decided to take over the Solar System. Those units in or near Mars and other places out to the edge of the Solar System, met with an untimely and violent death as the Lanky ships invaded and were found to be almost impossible to destroy. The Lankies have now scrubbed Mars clean of humanity and are setting up their own little colony. As far as any knows, Earth should be their next stopping point, although they haven’t made the effort to go there yet.
Now our group on and near New Svalbard have decided they need to find out just exactly what’s going on with Earth and how to safely get back there, if that’s even possible. They have one very small spy ship in this strange fleet and it is prepping to go back to Earth. They know that the gateway to Earth that all the NAC ships came through is guarded closely by Lanky ships. So, how to get home is a question that gets answered by the Korean General Park aboard one of the SRA ships. He states that they have another access point and will reveal its location as long as one of his guys uses their secret code to open this gateway. And of course, their guy is a Russian Combat Controller. So, Grayson volunteers to babysit this Russian while he is on board the NAC spy ship to make sure he doesn’t get into things he’s not supposed to know about. That’s how Staff Sergeant Grayson gets involved in stuff.
So he’s crammed in this tiny spy ship headed by to Earth. This may be his chance to get back in time for his wedding with is fiancée Halley, if she’s still alive. That’s how the book goes. All the ships at New Svalbard are running out of food and so is the colony. Nothing is coming from Earth, so someone has to find a way back to see if they can all get there and get resupplied. The story is very good and very exciting. It’s kind of strange in that Staff Sergeant Grayson doesn’t actually do much. Oh, he’s in places where the action takes place, but aside from him shooting his personal rifle off once in a while, there’s not much for him to do. A Combat Controller usually guides aircraft or orbital bombardment units onto targets. In most of this book, he’s just along for the ride watching his Russian counterpart who turns out to be just as honest as Grayson.
It’s good to know there is another book in the series, “Chains of Command (Frontlines #4)” because the end of this one presents an interesting situation for Staff Sergeant Grayson and his wife! Oh, did I let that slip?