This story is kind of getting bogged down in details that aren’t all that interesting. Sorry to say that, but that’s my opinion. Still, there is a lot of action in three different places that keeps you on your toes following the story lines.
Around Gaia, the planet the humans from the Solar System have settled on, things are supposed to be settling down! But, they are not exactly for some people. We have 1st Sgt. Dina Curran running for her life after playing spy about the starship Cygnus who is Captained by Captain Donald Carlton. He’s a megalomaniac who strongly believes he should be leading all these humans and ruler over the new colony. Only problem is, nobody in their right mind wants him in that position. Captain Carlton had hired a formerly slick conn man by the name of Garland Quinn to do his dirty work in getting the other leaders of the human colony discredited for their work. Quinn has been given the rank of Captain, assigned a Lieutenant as a subordinate and was supposed to be doing what he could be make the other starship Captains and the Admiral look very incompetent. Captain Quinn wasn’t doing a very good job at this. In fact, he was having second thoughts about his whole role in disrupting the colony and the idea of Captain Carlton in-charge wasn’t such a good idea.
The author has added a lot of unnecessary confusion to the story by mixing military ranks. Captain Carlton and other starship Captains are called Captains because they hold that rank in the human Navy and command a starship. Captain Quinn, if he is in the Navy should have been a Lieutenant with his subordinate a Lieutenant Junior Grade or LtJG. So, I’m assuming that Captain Quinn has been placed in the Army and should be reporting to Lieutenant Colonel Beth Warwick, the ground forces commander. Yet, Quinn and Lt. Basher spend most of their time on the starship Cygnus, well at least the Lt. does, while Captain Quinn roams around on the planet getting into all sorts of trouble. The more he roams around, the more Colonel Warwick believes he’s not whom he should be. He doesn’t appear to be a very well trained officer in any military and, in fact, he isn’t. Colonel Warwick sent 1st Sgt. Curran to the Cygnus to find out just who this Captain Quinn really is and why he’s doing what he does. That would have been dangerous no matter who did it, but Dina got caught and had to flee for her life with the Cygnus coming after her on to the planet. She has finally teamed up with her side-kick, MSgt. Brooks (Ash) and they are attempting to get back to base and away from the Cygnus crews trying to kill them. She, Dina does have have some interesting information about Captain Quinn.
Ok, while that’s all going on, Captain Quinn kind of tells Captain Carlton that he’s not so sure he, Capt. Carlton should really be in-charge of this whole thing. That of course doesn’t set well with the starship Captain, but there’s not much he can do about it. He could have Quinn killed, but that would be kind of hard to explain since he’s now well known. Then, something happens that definitely makes Captain Quinn decide to change sides. He now wants to leave the Cygnus and get back down to the planet. He also has information that would be a use to Col. Warwick. So, Quinn decides to take off only to find out that Lt. Basher doesn’t agree with him and she’s going to do whatever it takes to get him killed. She even manages to have the ships security to fire on Quinn’s shuttle while it was landed on the planet. Fortunately, Quinn and one other had already left the shuttle and were not killed. But, there are more of the Cygnus’s crew coming down to hunt them down, so they have also got to get to the base.
Now, all this isn’t as confusing as what I’ve written, but as you can read, you’re going to be bogged down reading about a lot of stuff that really isn’t all that interesting. This is some kind of political in-fighting that shouldn’t even be happening. It’s kind of boring, and seems like a book filler if nothing else.
What should be of interest is what’s happening to the starship fleet that was sent to confront the Ghrell. That fleet has two of humanities largest starships engaged in a tremendous battle in which almost everyone was destroyed. They are now just recovering from a tremendous explosion and the invasion of Ghrell troops aboard their damaged starships. They are fighting off these invaders and attempting to make repairs so they can get back to their respective planets and again, plan on how to defeat the rest of the Ghrell space Navy. It’s taking a long time for these starships in this battle to get themselves back together again. In this book, there’s little fighting and a lot of talking about getting things done, but not much gets done. One of these days, Captain Warwick, Col. Warwick’s husband, will get his ship together and get back to Gaia. That’s where he should be, back protecting the only planet that humanity now calls home!
And, lastly, we still have Lt. Tori and her ship stumbling around trying to get back to Gaia. She finally got her ship fixed enough to get off the planet she had crashed on, but now they have been pulled out of slip space and are orbiting a strange planet that seemed to just been through some kind of gigantic battle. The entire planet seems to have been destroyed with the remains of thousands of starships floating around in orbit above the planet. Something on this planet is not allowing their pace drive to operate and push them to FTL. She needs to find out where that machine is and turn it off. So, back down to another planet from which they might never get off. It seems this crew and ship can’t get any breaks.
So, that’s the three story lines that have been going on in the last three or four books. I was hoping they would move on a bit, but not so much in this book. Fortunately, Mr. Walker does write in an economical manner and his books tend to be short and to the point. This book is no exception, while the story-lines are becoming way to familiar the whole book seems short. That’s about the best I can say about this one. I’ll continue reading the series, but I won’t put a priority on it.