If you have read the first book, then you know it was pretty terrifying. Something so innocuous as a scuffle between two guys results in a struggle so terrifying you only hope it was just science fiction. But, of course, for Wash Williams and Jimmy Bonner, it was nothing but life changing. And for their mutual girl friend, Brenda Sands, it was certainly almost the end of her life. As for Jimmy Bonner, he joined with the Hive Mind and actually took it over, for awhile. Yeah, the thought he was running things and went so far as to send some of his drone minions to kidnap Brenda and bring her to what was affectionally called planet Hell!
But, Wash Williams isn’t just some guy that lets his girl be snatched away from him and not do anything about it. No, he went to Hell planet to get her back one way or another. That took a lot of courage. It also wasn’t part of his mission with the Delta Force special operations group that he had been assigned to after his first experience with the monsters created by the Hive Mind. So, he’s got her back and now what? Well, because of Wash’s actions, he was something of a hero now, getting the Medal of Honor by none other than the President of the United States. He wasn’t a fully qualified Delta Force operator, no, he was a long way from it having been only a Wyoming National Guardsmen until the world turned upside down. But, they accepted him based on the fact that he seemed courages enough to do what needed done.
While on his initial foray into the world of monsters, he had rescued a young woman by the name of Valon. She wasn’t from Earth, but from a planet called Thacia and the capital city of the same name. She was specifically a Primus of the Venators which equated to an officer of their military. That Wash had saved her from sure death left her with a stronger opinion that Thacia and Earth needed to form an alliance if they were to ever defeat the Hive Mind. What she didn’t know at first was that Earth was the reason that new gates were being opened by the Hive Mind and he was busy sending his monstrous minions through to destroy and consume anything organic on the planets where the gates were located. Wash didn’t know if the Thacians would even want to consider an alliance if they knew Earth’s scientist had experimented with ancient technology that they shouldn’t have been messing with. Yet they did and the resultant explosion had opened gates all over the Earth and were now opening on Thacia.
The humans, though, had figured out a way to shut these gates permanently. They could do the same on Thacia if only they were given the opportunity. That brought Wash and Valon together again and they began showing each other how to best cope with the Hive Mind. Only Jimmy Bonner, who was thought to have been killed by Brenda wasn’t actually dead. His mind, consciousness or soul was absorbed by the Hive Mind and now it knew everything Jimmy had known. And Jimmy was kind of a military “wanna be” in that he had study military tactics while never having served. So, since Jimmy knew how the US military operated, the Hive Mind also knew. But, the use of nuclear devices to shut the gates was working. As long as the Hive Mind didn’t know anything about these nuclear devices, they should work both on Earth and Thacia.
Then the Hive Mind created a new and previously unknown creature. Wash’s Delta Force team had managed to observe a Hive Mind planet where several of these new creatures existed plus at least a million more hideous monsters and wondered what they were waiting for. In the meantime, a scientist from Lawrence Livermore labs went missing. That wasn’t unusual except she or at least her mind showed up in the same place as Jimmy’s. She was consumed by the Hive Mind and now he knew what she knew completely. She happened to be a nuclear physicist!
This is kind of a strange story. I can’t put my finger on why it seems that way, but to me it is. I don’t see how the Earth and Thacia can join together to stop what the Hive Mind wants to do. He seems capable of opening gates anywhere it wants and can create his monsters in numbers larger than any civilization could ever expect to defeat, or at least that how the book sounds. I’ll probably continue to read the series and the next book 3, “Gates of Victory”, might just be the last one so that should be reason enough to read it.