The second book in a new series by one of my favorite authors. Mr. Larson has written the “Undying Mercenaries” series and I really love those books. Lots of good, sarcastic humor and down-right fun to read. This book and this series isn’t anywhere like that series!
In the first book, “Star Runner”, Capt. William Gorman has died. He’s a gun-runner and got caught in a bad situation and was killed. Since he died, he could no longer pay to have his clone kept in cryogenic storage so they kick it out. Except his clone didn’t die! Yes, he survived the ordeal only to find out that he was a different person without any knowledge of who he formerly was. Still, his former associates knew who him and that almost got him killed again.
Now, move forward from that book and Capt. Gorman has done quite well. He’s got a starship, Royal Fortune, and a pretty capable crew. They are currently on the planet Tranquility trying to get some much needed R&R. Suddenly, they are approached by an older man and a young lady who were nothing remarkable except their skins tone was a light shade of blue. The young woman called Morwyn, was quite attractive! This meeting greatly disturbed Capt. Gorman because the elderly man, named Darnel, asked if he was Capt. Gorman which he shouldn’t have know about at all. Gorman had made every attempt to keep his existence hidden since there were former associates of the original Gorman that still wanted him dead, again! Anyway, once the old man started asking for confirmation of who he was, Gorman told the old guy to go away and stop bothering him. He then directed his crew to head back to their ship because they were immediately leaving. He was worried that if this old guy from out of nowhere knew who he was, then who else might know that he was on this planet? That ended their “vacation” immediately.
Well, it almost did. When Gorman and his crew were approaching their ship on the docking platform, there stood the old man and his daughter! It seems that the old man needed Gorman and his crew’s services. They needed to arm their citizens on a planet called Vindar. His planet was about to be attacked by the Skaintz, a very veil and dangerous alien species that ate humans or most anything organic!
Of course Gorman had access to a treasure trove of weapons on the ice ball asteroid he found in the first book. These were Sardez rifles which were the finest weapons anyone could buy and represented a fortune to Gorman and his crew. If only they had a reason to get them. Last time they went to the vault, it almost cost them their lives. Gorman quickly realized that the Skaintz were the same creatures he had to fight on that deadly ice ball and barely got away. If he was going back there, he had to have a very good reason.
Then there was the problem of the Tulk! This was another alien species that was very nasty because it acted as a parasite requiring humans as hosts! They were becoming more and more of a problem since their seemed to be a large influx of them in reason years. Why did this matter to Gorman. Well, although he had weapons, the Vindari also needed an army and the only thing resembling an army that Gorman knew about was the Sword Worlds pirates. This was a collection of about nine planets each ruled by a pirate “Governor” with large followings. Gorman proposed to contact them and see if they would be willing to act as a mercenary army for the Vindari for a price, of course. The only problem with this is that these pirates were all infected with the Tulk!
So this is a pretty interesting story, but it’s got nothing much in common with the first book other than the same main characters. The story is pretty straight-forward, but the fighting can be confusing as to who is doing what. It also seems that the Skantz are not the threat they appear to be, but that story-line isn’t over. Then there’s the hint that Earth was unknown to Gorman and the people of the Central Cluster, but the Vindari have the coordinates! I wonder where that will lead?