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4 Small Stars
Super Giant

This is kind of a strange book. I mean, I read book one, “Void Contract” and it sets the stage for all the other books in the series, but this one kind of changed the whole focus from Max to Roz a.k.a. Chief Engineer Shiraz Mendez. I don’t hardly remember much about Roz in the first book. She came on as one of the crew somewhere during the story and that’s about all that was mentioned of her. I didn’t even write about her in my review of the first book. Also, for some reason, Max Culp, is now Max Ellison. Why the last name change is beyond me. I hope the author isn’t losing continuity between books. Max, the main character in the first book, kind of fades to the background in this one. It’s all about Roz in Supergiant.

Roz is like Max, in that most of the humans and aliens in the galaxy have psi powers that enable them to be aware of each other mentally if not physically. Roz and Max don’t have that ability so they are called “nulls” by those with psi power. Max used his ability to sneak up on people who used their psi abilities to detect others long before they could see them. Max doesn’t show up at all. It’s like he’s not there for a psi enabled brain. The same for Roz, although she’s always thought of her non-ability as a very bad handicap. So she’s made up for it by becoming an introvert solely devoted to her engineering work. She is beyond genius when it comes to space and the mathematical solutions to space travel.

The crew is on the Far Traveler starship which is a Magi starship of unique capabilities. It has a Magi astrogator in it’s center and she is the only Magi aboard. Echo, as the Magi is called, needs the crew to help get her to her home world. She is supposed to be in a triad of three Magi, but two of her sisters were killed and now Echo is dying. She can only live if she can find two other people, preferably Magi and in an emergency, human, to join with her in marriage! Ok, this is just beginning to get weird. Echo is also working on a navigation problem that has plagued star travelers for eternity. She’s almost at a solution point and if solved, it would allow the Far Traveler to instantaneously travel vast distances. But, she needs Roz to help her solved the math puzzle and Roz needs the input of an alien Professor who is on his way to an isolated prison.

Roz is also madly in love with Max, as is Echo. Echo wants Max and Roz to marry her so she can have a full triad which will prevent her from dying before reaching her home world. But, Roz doesn’t think Max even knows she exist. Roz also doesn’t think of herself as a particularly attractive female and cuts her hair and wear clothes to hide her femaleness. Only with Echo’s help, does Roz start to become the most beautiful woman Max has ever seen. But, is it enough for him to marry both women at the same time? Yeah, kind of weird.

There is a lot of stuff going on in this book. It’s mostly about the ship trying to get to the prison to free the professor that Roz needs to help solve their spatial navigation problem. The thing is, the prison planet is located in a system that has no hyperspace exits; it’s a one way in and no way out system, unless their problem gets solved.

A lot of the book is kind of confusing as to who is doing what. You’ve got a lot of different characters involved. There are Bats, which are some kind of alien race that can’t seem to be trusted. Unfortunately, the prison planet is right in the middle of their galactic territory. I think I figured out what was going on by the end of the book, but this is a much stranger book than the first one. I prefer Max to be the main focus and I don’t understand why he changed his name and why Roz is now the prominent character.

I might read the next book, “Union of Souls”, but then again, I might not!

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