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“Northwest Passage”


Northwest Passage

Rick Partlow is fast becoming one of my very favorite authors. I’m re-reading his “Birthright” series which I never do, but I didn’t realize at the time of the first reading that it even was a series. But, here we are with book 2, “Northwest Passage”, and I’m very glad I picked this series back up. Their are some very easy to understand characters starting with Caleb Mitchell and his wife, Rachel. With them is the Tahni cyborg, Trint. They are all comfortably living on the planet Canaan, for a while, anyway. Then there’s Deke Conner and Kara Mcintire. These two had gone their separate ways until just recently. Now they are together and headed for Canaan.

It’s been four years since the breakup of the Corporate Council by Mitchell and his friends. That had been a very tough job from which he was surprised everyone survived. Even his wife, Rachel, got involved when she was kidnapped by the then Council Chairman. Things didn’t go well for the Chairman once he did that and one of the main reasons is because he pissed off his Tahni Imperial Guard cyborg. Trint, as he was called eventually killed the Chairman as a results of protecting Rachel. Now he’s one friend you always want around. He’s on Canaan at Mitchell’s request and granted by General Murdock. But, the peace and serenity is about to be drastically interrupted.

Caleb noticed this huge think coming for him from across the field. It appeared to be a genetically engineered heavy-worlder called a Titan. While not extremely tall due to the heavy gravity they habitually worked in, they were very strong and made great assassins!  That appears to be what this one is attempting to do, assassinate  Caleb Mitchell! Well, we all know that Caleb isn’t a normal human either. He was genetically enhanced for the war and that has served him well in civilian life as a Constable. His fight with the Titan goes as everyone figured with Mitchell eventually downing the monster!  Of course Rachel and Trint are aware of what happened then they are informed that Deke and Kara are on their way to Canaan to “talk” to Mitchell. Rachel definitely doesn’t like the sound of that.

It turns out that their “talk” was more of informing Mitchell that General Murdock had gone missing. No one was sure why or how he had come up missing, but they were beginning to worry since no one had heard from him in quite some time. General Murdock wasn’t someone that just wander around on his own, yet this time, it appears that he went somewhere to meet with someone. Deke and Kara needed Mitchells assistance because it might directly involve something that no one wanted to deal with and that was Predecessor weapons. They believe that the General had a lead on some Predecessor technology and was trying to keep it out of the hands of the next bad guy. That “next bad guy” appears to be the former Director of DSI (Department of Security and Intelligence) named Andy Gregorian. It was thought that he might well be the one that had kidnapped General Murdock if anyone had done it at all.

So, of course Mitchell agrees to help Deke and Kara go find General Mitchell. Rachel refuses to let him leave her behind so she demands to go along as does Trint. Well, he didn’t demand anything. He just said he was going and no one argued!  They are off first to Starfleet Headquarters to talk to the second in command and see what he knows. Surely General Murdock clued him in on his pending activities. While they didn’t get much information out of him, they did figure out where General Murdock might have gone. They were headed that way when a Predecessor starship began attacking the Starfleet Headquarters!  While that didn’t seem a very smart thing to do, they noticed that this single ship was not being harmed by any of the starfleet fighters and other larger ships. In fact, it was cutting down everything in sight.

Now that they know someone is using Predecessor technology and weapons, they need to find out where that stuff is coming from. Has someone found another ancient archeology location full of Predecessor tech or has someone from outside the galaxy found a way in?  According to the Predecessors, they had sealed off this part of the galaxy from the outside to prevent the very enemy that destroyed them from coming and destroying all humanity. The enemy of the Predecessors was known as the Skrela. If they had found a way into our galaxy, then everything was doomed, unless Mitchell and friends could close off that entry point where every it was!

So far, each of these books have a beginning and end so you can read one without having to read the next to find out what happened. That’s kind of good since it gives you a breather, but after this book, I can’t imagine what’s coming in the next book, “Enemy of My Enemy”, but I’ll be reading it!

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