I’ll start out by saying that the typography problem I found in book 1 has been fixed. This book reads much, much better. But, and I’m not complaining, it is a short book. While there is a lot of action, it seems to go by pretty quickly.
After returning to Earth with a second Orb and a Pahxin scientist, Doctor Thayne Randala, they now know their enemy is a rebellious group of Pahxin who are out to collect all the Orbs and other ancient technological artifacts. Doctor Randala believes that his people, the Pahxin, would be more than agreeable to an alliance with Earth if they were given something to help with defeating this splinter group the Tol’An. He informs Captain Bradford, commander of the Gnosis, that another scientist of his race might have more answer as to the origins of the Orbs. He also tells them that his scientist friend is currently located in self-exile on a neutral space station called the Rilla. Doctor Gil Vaedra is an expert in stellar archaeology.
So, after a brief rest for the crew and some very necessary repairs to the Gnosis, the ship prepares to head for Rilla station. This should be a relatively benign mission since the space station is a gathering place for various people seeking fun and entertainment. Little does the crew of the Gnosis realize that there is also very little in the way of law enforcement on the space station.
Once they find Doctor Gil Vaedra, they are immediately confronted with the situation where the good doctor owes a lot of money to the Kalrawv. This was a large corporate entity know through out space for its less than gentle methods of treating people that owed it money. When Thayne identified his friend, Gil, he was getting beat up by a bunch of Kalrawv thugs. Agent Cassie Alexander had two Gnosis Marines with her so they had no problem separating Gil from his unfortunate situation. That did lead to a running battle all the way back to the docked Gnosis. As there was no law enforcement on space station Rilla, every and anyone seemed to be taking shots at Cassie and her party, but mostly it was the large group of Kalrawy chasing them that she had to worry about.
Safely aboard the Gnosis, Dr. Vaedra, does share his knowledge of the Orbs and other ancient technology. He has retrieved some information from a slightly hostile planet while working for the Kalrawv, but he had to escape their control since they would have killed him when he was no longer useful. He provides information as to where a data source is located, but the planet is not an easy one to visit, but that’s how it goes for the crew of the Gnosis. They are now off on several short exploration trips attempting to access data libraries that could help in explaining how to fully utilize the Orbs they now have in their possession. The fighting gets pretty fierce for both the ship and its Marines.
This is a pretty exciting book and much more enjoyable with the typography corrected. It seems like I just sped through this book in short order, but that could be due to all the excitement. There appears to be some kind of romantic under-story developing between the second-in-command, Commander Bowman and Agent Cassie Alexander. Yet, they’ve been so busy fighting off the bad guys that it’s very difficult to find the time for any kind of romance. Still, if you like that in your books, maybe it will develop in the next one.
Book 3, “Alliance”, is out and I already have my copy. I think I’ll read something else for a while and then get back to this story.