This is another one of those science fiction books where Earth has sent out an exploration ship and team that is woefully under prepared for what they encountered. After finding an alien outpost on Pulto, the Earth spaceship Athena is sucked through a wormhole into an alien system where they fortunately meet up with the Boxans. The Boxans are eight to ten foot tall reptilian-like, but highly intelligent creatures. They have advance technology that is far superior to Earths which seems to be about normal. They consider the humans some what primitive compared to other civilizations in the galaxy.
We also meet some other aliens, the Nershals, who were very honor bound. The crew of the Athena also unfortunately meet and become know to the Xiiginns, The Xiiginns were at war with the Boxanians and had been at war with them for quite some time. The Nershals were currently allied to the Xiiginns, but the Boxans were attempting to break that alliance by showing the Nershals exactly what the Xiiginns were. And the Xiiginns were a race of beings that expected to master the known universe and all the beings in it by becoming a superior race. They were doing genetic experiments on various alien races to see if any combinations would enhance the race of Xiiginns.
By now you know that Kaylan is the Captain of the Athena. She is doing a commendable job, but during their run-in with the Xiiginns, Zack is captured. She doesn’t know exactly where they took him, but she’s determined to find him. Her Boxan counterpart, Commander Kladomaor and his ship need to leave this sector of space before the Xiiginns return in force. He knows they don’t have much time. But, he sees the determination on Kaylan’s face and decides that he should support her efforts until the very last.
So, this book is mostly about trying to find Zack and free him from his captors. It won’t be an easy job, especially for an unarmed exploring vessel which is what the Athena is. It’s also not very stealthy, but it is small compared to all the other alien space ships. They also don’t know what kind of condition Zack will be in once they do find him. The Xiiginns are know to use torture on their victims and will try everything they can to find the location of Earth from Zack.
There is also some kind of Mardoxian potential that exists in select species and via Kaylan, humans appear to have it very strongly. What it does or how it is applied isn’t really know because I don’t believe it’s explained in the book. This is overall a pretty good science fiction story with more to come.