This book takes a little while to get started, well, the really exciting part anyway, but it does keep you reading to the end. Strangely, the alien antagonist didn’t show up until almost two-thirds of the way into the book, but, this was a good read and very enjoyable.
There have been some books in this series about the Starship Satori, that never had the Satori as part of the story. But, not so for this book. It also revolves around the Satori and the Independence’s new mission. They are to go establish a new Earth colony or at least set the ground work for a follow-on colonization team. They found a possible planet by accident in the last book when the Satori and another Naga ship both jumped at the same time. For some unknown reason, this jump put them much, much further than any normal jump, like thousands of light-years from where they started. But, the Satori and the Naga ship both returned by doing a reverse jump and proved that this method of travel was viable. So, the Satori and the former Naga ship, Independence, have recreated that original jump into this distant galaxy to see if the planet in the “Goldilocks zone”, was suitable for human habitation.
As it turns out, this planet is kind of strange. Oh, the weather and overall environment is just fine, although they won’t venture out with out suits since the scientist aboard the Independence haven’t done their test yet, but it appears that humans could adapt to this planet quite easily. They see a lot of strange flora, but no fauna, absolutely none! No bugs or crawly things or any type of animals or insects. That does place some suspicion on the entire planet, but with no obvious threats showing up, things move along quite quickly for the scientific group.
Then they find the plants all have some kind of strange protection mechanism. They appear to be as strong as metal and will curl up into an almost indestructible ball with the slightest touch. Now everyone is wondering what in the world could cause these plants to develop this strange protection system.
Then they find out. What happens next is very surprising and quite rapidly overcomes the ground teams while the exploratory team in the Satori also find a mysterious black planet-sized damaged ship that doesn’t seem to have a means of propulsion, but is rapidly orbiting the systems sun. There is danger her for the Satori and her crew.
As I said earlier, this is a very good read. It doesn’t really take off until the later part of the book, but it is interesting to read about the original crew members of the Satori and their new jobs. I’ll continue reading this series as long as they’re issued.