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5 Small Stars

I continued on with the First Colony series to this second book. The first book was just that interesting and I wanted to see the story continue. We’ve moved six years further in the story and New Earth is growing by leaps and bounds. What was once a survival base has now become the capital of a world-wide colonization. Cities are now springing up and the colony has devoted a lot of resources, time and energy into it’s defense based on the warning left by a cryptic message from Earth. General Conner Gates is now in charge of the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF) and has most of his original “Ghost” team back with him. For the most part, those experienced soldiers have been training volunteer colonist in the ways of combat.

General Gates finds himself fighting the political battles that he certainly doesn’t like. There has been a change in the Colony government with a new Governor elected. Stanton Parish is the new governor and he’s definitely not like his predecessor, Tobias Quinn. While Quinn supported Gate’s efforts to bolster the colonies defenses, Parish believes they’ve done enough and doesn’t believe there is even a threat any more. Six years the colony has poured valuable resources into building an orbiting missile defense system and a huge early warning space station. They are now disassembling the last pieces of the Ark and forming them into another battleship.

While this is all good, the colonies defenses are not finished. They desperately need another power generator for Space Station Titan so Gates has to go before a Congressional committee and plead his case. Of course his opposition will be Governor Parish. He has managed to convince a number of his cronies that further funding for the colonies defenses needs to take second place to the planetary development. Besides, he and a number of people no longer feel the former threat from Earth even exists.

So, having not gotten the funding he needs, General Gates decides to visit Space Station Titan to see first hand how well it is holding up. He is aboard the Vigilant and as usual sees an opportunity to test the abilities of his forces. He starts a simulated battle exercise which finds one of the two destroyer escorts lacking in leadership. He is quick to fix that issue by relieving the current commanding officer and promoting the current XO to Captain. He then decides to test the defenses of the Space Station only to find out that his friend and former Ghost member is wise to his actions. That test is passed with flying colors.

Then everything changes. With the battle exercises over, there shouldn’t be contacts on their long range sensors, but there are, if only briefly. This is the beginning of what might well be the end of the colony. That small glimpse of something showed more ships than the colony could ever defeat even if they had their own fleet. New Earth is in for a fight and they can’t let those ships anywhere near the colony planet or it could become infected just like Earth.

Good writing although I would suggest the author decided to use either the Navy or Army chain-of-command. Usually, and I could be wrong, if an Army Captain is aboard a Naval vessel, they are temporarily promoted to Major. This leaves only one true Captain on the ship and he is in command of that vessel. It seems like every officer below General Gates and his Colonels was a Captain and then there were the ships Captains. It gets a little confusing as to who the writer is referring to when he just says “Captain”. I can see a lot of promotions coming for a few key people, if they survive this first encounter with this unknown invasion fleet.

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