Whew! This book tired me out! All that fighting and trying to not get killed. Seems like humans just gotta’ kill each other no matter what! We’re over planet Gaia, the sanctuary planet that the remnants of the humans from the Solar System fled to in order to escape the Chian. While the governments of Earth knew the Chian were coming for a long while, they bumbled along getting an exodus organized to the point that at the last minute it was a panic rush to get the ships through the “Passage” before they were destroyed by the Chian. Not everyone that made it through and to Gaia where best of the best which humanity needs to survive. It looks very much like Earth’s humans might not make it once they start fighting amongst themselves.
It seems that one particular starship Captain has been pretty obstinate and disagreeable from the moment his ship arrived through the Passage. There were about five of these super starships each with hundreds of crew members commanded by a ship’s Captain who not ranked at the very top of the very small human military chain. With Admiral Warwick not making the trip due to an unfortunate accident, small Naval military contingent was in disarray without a sole leader. Oh, the civilian side had their leadership and even one person was named as the overall leader, but the space Navy needed their Admiral so it appeared that one of the five starship Captain’s would get promoted. Yet, that wasn’t going to happen because the only one that wanted the job, was a ruthless egomaniac that ran his ship with an iron fist. He was also all about posturing and not really doing anything. If the five had to agree on something, you would be assured that Captain Donald Carlton would disagree. So, an old retired Admiral was brought out of retirement and was doing the job quite well to the chagrin of Captain Carlton. He still believed he was the right man to take over that Admiralty and in fact, he should have been in charge of the whole thing! From the day these remnant humans arrived at their new solar system, he started plotting to overthrown the current leadership. And he didn’t care who got hurt when he executed his plan.
Meanwhile, Captain Warwick (the lost Admiral’s Son) commanding the starship Daedalus and the Starship Horus were attempting to return to the Hub which was the orbiting command center over Gaia. They had just fought a horrendous battle against the Ghrell, but hadn’t destroyed them completely. Still, they needed to get back to Gaia and make some much needed repairs and to make sure that idiot Captain Carlton did something stupid. He hoped they made it in time, but he really didn’t know what was going on.
Well, Captain Carlton did something stupid. Events started taking place which he hadn’t really intended, but a young Lieutenant, now Major who seemed to have her own visions of grandeur, killed Admiral Bachman and was going to blame it on her former boss, Captain Garland Quinn. Only he managed to flee the starship Cyngus and down to the planet Gaia. There he intended to turn over all the evidence of Captain Carlton’s plot to takeover to Colonel Beth Warwick. But, the Cyngus sent a whole bunch of their Marines to make sure Quinn never gets to meet up with Col. Warwick. While this was going on, 1st Sergeant Dina Curran also had some dirt on the whole plot of Captain Carlton’s and she also fled to the planet. Now the 1st SGT and Captain Quinn were both fighting against starship Cyngus’ Marines although they were in separate actions not really knowing the others were there.
There’s a lot to this story, but it seems to flow pretty easily. The action is fast-paced and there’s a lot of it. You’re not sure which side is going to win out and don’t think it’s the good guys because that’s not necessarily the way it’ll happen, maybe. I really liked all the action and seemed to be speed-reading through the book quite easily (I don’t speed-read).
What I did find that some of the editing on this book could have been just a little better. There seemed to be a lot of small missing words just when the action got the hottest. It kind of made me have to stop and re-read a sentence or two just to make sure I understood what was supposed to be going on. Not overly distracting, but it was noticeable, something unusual for a John Walker book.
I’ll continue to read this series because it’s really, really good. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens now and that will be presented in book 9, “Swarm”. I think something is coming…