Rating:

5 Small Stars
The Battle of the Hammer Worlds
833

** spoiler alert ** Ok, what do you do with a war hero? In this book, Lt. Michael Helfort is a genuine war hero with medals and everything. He also has the scars that come with being a hero and being in the wrong place but just maybe at the right time. He needs to unwind after his initial ordeal in book one and does get to do that with his family at the family home.

Unfortunately, his rest period comes to a serious halt and he’s back with the fleet, this time on a ship of fools! His new Captain appears to be an idiot and there’s not much Helfort can do about it but follow orders. He does this to perfection when he develops a simulated battle that proves his Captain is in the wrong business. Of course, the Captain believes that Helfort created the battle sim just to make her look bad. So he’s brought up on charges and will be returned to base for trial.

As this is not Helfort’s day, his ship is destroyed by hidden Hammer of Kraa starship. Michael is captured and taken to Commitment, the capital planet of the Hammer of Kraa civilization. There he is interrogated and gets in to the hands of the dreaded DocSec. He’s treated pretty rough the entire time he’s here but they eventually put him in with the rest of his captured crew when he won’t sign a document telling that all the stuff that happened in the first book was a lie.

The Fed prisoners manage to escape and head for the hills, literally. There they decide to stay while they send Micahel and a Marine to contact the Federal embassy a long ways away. Michael and the Marine make their way across a lot of territory trying to cause problems for the Hammer military as they go. Eventually, the Marine is injured and she dies. Michael has to bury her but swears that he’ll return to get her back home.

This was a good read and had a lot of action. Michael Helfort gets a lot of attention that I’m not sure a lowly space Lt would normally get. I’m sure on a starship that has hundreds of officers, many much senior to the Lt, they would be of more interest to his enemies, still, they always seem to pick on him.

One interesting thing that happens in this book that bothered me was that Michael and the Marine attacked a civilian Police headquarters and killed an number of civilian Police. They needed their weapons to defend themselves and that was the reason for doing what they did. I didn’t believe this was right during the time and the author did make it seem as though it was bothering Helfort. Even in war, you just can’t go around killing anyone you want. Civilians are not combatants even if they are the local Police. It will be interesting to see how this is treated in the next book.

 

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