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5 Small Stars

We’re back with Captain Timothy Granger and his relatively new ship, the “ISS Warrior” which he picked up after he crashed the “ISS Constitution” into Earth saving the planet from destruction by the Swarm. He’s now gone to another system that has reported a Swarm attack. This has been happening far too often and Granger’s task force seems to arrive just minutes too late to catch the Swarm. Once again, they have destroyed the only habitat planet with nuclear devastation. Granger is mad, steaming mad, and his thoughts are only about where the Swarm might have gone.

Soon, he’s getting some kind of mental message telling him to look near a certain astroid belt. He tells his navigator to set course and off they go. The navigator has told Captain Granger that there’s nothing showing up on his sensor board in that area of space. Still the spaceship plows on and finally arrives to find…nothing!

Granger then sends a mental image of “where are you”, “I am here.” No sooner has he done that then 10 or so Swarm carriers appear! Now he’s in a fight for his very life. He’s also sending out thoughts about the Dolmasi who were supposed to be allies. Right after that thought, the Dolmasi show up in sufficient numbers to win the battle.

This keeps occurring all during the book. Either a new ally comes to Captain Granger’s rescue or his enemy asks to form an alliance and stop the fighting. There is a lot of space fighting in this book and I mean a lot! There’s even some ground combat, but I don’t know if you call space Marines invading an alien dreadnought as a ground attack. The dreadnought has over a million inhabitants which obviously means it is extremely large.

Oh, yeah, Granger does manage to get the “ISS Warrior” destroyed. He’s executing a maneuver called Omega Three. That maneuver is nothing more than using your space ship to smash into the enemy. Doesn’t leave much of either ship, but at least the enemy got hammered. Of course the enemy has thousands of replacements, but the Earth Alliance is very, very short on ships. Not a good strategy. After this last Omega Three, Granger and his crew take over the, you guessed it, “ISS Victory”.

I like the character of Captain Granger. He does seem to do a lot on his own, but he is assisted by a very smart Commander Proctor. She also is interesting in that she’s a scientist trying to figure out what makes the Swarm tick. There are other background themes going on specifically with the Vice President who is out to become the President. And then there’s the Chief of Staff General Norton. He’s an enemy of Captain Granger if there ever was one. Unfortunately, the Swarm can infect humans with some kind of virus that can be activated and make them do stuff they wouldn’t otherwise. I wonder if General Norton is infected. How about others?

A great rousing space warfare book that has the hero getting his rear-end saved once too often. The series seems complete although the ending was a bit off. There might be some wiggle room for a continuation; just might.

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