Well, this book is kind of confusing. We’re now past the strange creature that held the Tempest in some kind of gravity well and caused the loss of three crew members. We’re headed for Cypaxia at record speed due to the vast improvements of the engines by Zenfor, the Sil. For some reason, the death of Commander Suzanna Blohm, a senior Engineer, and Captain Lecia Grippen, a starfighter pilot was hitting Caspian Robeaux very hard; especially that of Suzanna Blohm. I don’t know why this was affecting him so badly. He wasn’t close to either of these people and both had volunteered to come with him and others on the two shuttles. While that effort had ultimately failed, resulting in their deaths, Cas now feels supremely responsible for those deaths. But, he feels most responsible for Suzanna’s death even if though he didn’t know her. He had to be told by Evie that Commander Blohm was interested in a relationship with him, and again he didn’t know. He now wonders if that relationship could have grown into something meaningful, but Cas doesn’t seem like he can form long term relations with anyone. Still, the death of Commander Blohm has caused Cas a sudden loss of confidence in the things he would normally do.
And to top this all off, Captain Greene has asked Cas to fill-in for the vacant bridge engineering position; the same one normally taken by Commander Blohm. At first, Cas seems to struggle with doing this, but finally relents and does the job asked as a tribute to Suzanna. The Tempest will pickup a new Engineer once they reach Cypaxia, so Cas’ job will only be temporary anyway. Additionally, Evie will be allowed to visit her father on Cypaxia, something she is dreading very much. Her relationship with her father has been pretty terrible all her life and she doesn’t believe it will get any better with this visit. She just hopes it doesn’t get any worse. Evie also decides she wants someone to come with her. And, strangely, she chooses Cas to accompany her down to the planet. She only tells him that her father is very ill and mentally unbalanced. She doesn’t want Cas to see him so she asks him to wait outside his room while she does her visit. Only things don’t work out that way. Her father is really bad off and Evie’s visit makes it worse, much worse.
The Tempest does eventually head toward their encounter with the Andromeda armada as it’s now called. They still need to find these aliens and see what they are up to. That’s going to be a problem because once they arrive in the vicinity where the armada was last seen by Starbase Five, nothing is there. They couldn’t have come all this way for nothing, could they? At first they thing it’s some kind of gigantic hoax, but it can’t be because Starbase Five still reports the alien armada in the same location. What is happening out here in this unknown and uncharted region of space. There are three stars in close proximity to each other and they are causing some unusual gravity fluctuations, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem. If something is hiding out here, they must find it. Could this be another trap?
Ok, the story is great so far. Commander Diazal starts having some strange issues after her visit with her father. Not sure what that’s about, but it some how ties in with finding this new threat in this unknown region of space. It’s strange to read about Evie not being up to par since she’s been a very commanding woman this entire series. And then the author has to introduce something I think is absolutely unnecessary! Again, this is my review, so it’s only my personal opinion, but introducing a relationship between Commander Diazal and Lieutenant Yamashita is uncalled for. It adds nothing to the story. This kind of relationship between a superior officer and a junior subordinate can’t work for either of them. Nothing Yamashita earns, from now on, will be looked at as her own achievement. It will always appear that she is getting preferential treatment due to her relationship with Commander Diazal whither that’s true or not. And since, most science fiction book readers are males (I have nothing to substantiate that), then a gay female relationship is just tantalizing their imagination for no good reason. It’s not germane to the story and doesn’t need to be here, again, all in my humble opinion.
I still don’t think I understand what happened at this end of this book. Yes, the Tempest got away, but from who and why. I’m interested in reading further so it’s on to book 5, “Secrets Past” and it appears a sixth book is in the works entitled, “Planetfall”. Can’t wait to read both.