We continue wit an improbable story of Earth just starting to reach for our outer planets. We have finally built a spaceship capable of reaching Pluto and sent it there to investigate why a building already exists on that planet! Through photos released by hacker Zack Quick, humanity now knows that it’s not alone in this universe. Someone is or was on Pluto doing what we need to know.
So, the spaceship Athena was sent and what they found was astounding. There are aliens and a much bigger universe than we ever expected. We have met the Boxans who run the listening and watch station on Pluto. But, through a strange happenstance, the Athena is swept through a wormhole and wind up near a small moon where an starship of the Boxans is preparing to try and convince the Nershals that they must free themselves from the Xiiginn, a warrior race bent on ruling the known galaxy.
The Boxans, with the help of the human crew aboard the Athena do convince the Nershals that the Xiiginns are not working in their favor and that starts a war between the Nershals and Xiginns. A war has long been fought between the Boxans and Xiiginns with the Boxans losing pretty badly. But now, the Boxans see these humans as a potential ally with some very definite superior characteristics. Kalan Farrow is now the Commander of the Athena after a strange accident trapped former Commander Michael Hunsicker at the Pluto station. Anyway, Kalan possesses a trait called the Mardoxian potential which allows her to see future events and to know things she’s never learned. This is a highly sought after potential by all the aliens in the galaxy. To find one among this small group of humans is astounding and something the Boxans feel they need to protect. A planet full of people like Kalan that have this Mardoxian potential is underly unheard of and must be protected.
The protection of Earth is what the Boxan now will do. They send a three-battleship contingent to Earth to let the humans know they are not alone in the universe. Earth had received reports from the Athena all about the Boxans so they knew who they were. They didn’t trust them, but with three gigantic battleships floating just beyond the moons orbit, there wasn’t much else they could do. Now, if only they all knew when the Xiiginns might try and attack Earth.
Meanwhile, the Athena. which is tethered to a Boxan stealth ship in order to use it wormhole drive, is in search of the Drar, a once highly intelligent race whom the Boxans received all of their technical expertise before the Drar just disappeared from the galaxy. While traveling through one of these wormholes, it suddenly collapses throwing the Athena out into real space at one point and the Boxan ship out at another. Both ships received some damage, but the Boxans will take some time to repair. They know they need to backtrack to where the Athena was lost since the Athena has not wormhole drive and would be trapped forever in the middle of no-where space. But what caused the sudden collapse of the wormhole. It’s never happened before, so why now? That’s what you’ll read and find out.
The story is very good although it appears that once again, humanity seems like little kids who have escaped their playpen and have no business being out in deep space. The Athena, one of Earths most advanced spaceships, is not close to the capabilities of the Boxan stealth ship, and it is just a minor ship in the Boxan fleet. It would be nice to just once read a story where the aliens we meet would be in awe of our technology for a change! Not going to happen here, well, maybe not so much!
I like the story and it’s gone a long way from where it first started. We’ve got all the same characters so none of the main ones die off, well, maybe their is one, but that’s not very consequential. I’ m certainly looking for the next book in the series, but I don’t believe it’s out quite yet.