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5 Small Stars

This is a very good book by an author that is new to me. I haven’t read a military science fiction book as good as this one in quite awhile. It contains a lot of human and alien characters. In this universe, the Earth is part of the Galactic community, albeit a lowly, young member. The only export and contribution to this galactic community is mercenary armies. Some would question if that’s not a commodity that Earth should want to be known for, but the Earth is technologically behind the rest of the galaxy. The only thing we can excel in is military technology and our ability to think while on the battlefield. Yes, human mercenaries are in demand if they can get the attention of those who are issuing contracts.

At the beginning, our main guy is Martin Quincy. He’s been a mercenary for a long time, but not long enough that he’s ready to quit. He’s a member of the Cavaliers, a mercenary outfit based out of Wichita (Kansas?). They have been through some pretty tough contracts which is the same thing as saying battles. Quincy seems to have a unique skill set that makes him excel on the battlefield. He did so well on one particular planet that the Sirra’Kan now call him the Koreverone or “Legend”. Of course, the other members of the Cavaliers are duly impressed with Qunicy’s new moniker so they remind him of it often. His best friend is always spouting off about the great exploits of the “Legend” which aggravates Martin Quincy to no end. He’s just doesn’t feel like a “Legend” and says he’s just doing his job. Fact is, Quincy has come up against some of the more dangerous and aggressive alien mercenaries in the galaxy. He has been captured on video while killing two of these alien monsters in hand-to-hand combat. So now he has to live with the title of Legend or “Gorestole” in Andori, “Torkanto” in Grawwl, “Daksada” in Torvasi as well as the previously mentioned “Koreverone” in Sirra’Kan.

“Fact is, Quincy has come up against some of the more dangerous and aggressive alien mercenaries in the galaxy.”

While Martin Quincy is a pretty good fighter, he also has a knack with the women. And I’m not just talking about human women, either! Rumor has it that while on Te’Warri, Quincy came to the attention of the Prime’s second youngest daughter. Now, the Sirra’Kan are very similar to humans in that bipedal and humanoid. They do have nice soft fur covering most of their body. Their world is gravity-heavy which means these aliens are very, very muscle-bound and as strong as ten humans or so. Anyway, to be favored by a Sirra’Kan is to be very, very careful when or if playing around. Quincy has found that out the hard way.

So, now he’s just recovered from a recent contract and is escorting his boss to the planet Karam to find more contracts for the Cavaliers. He is met by a squad of Torvasi who are accompanying one Kor’Tanna, eldest daughter of the Prime of the Sirra’Kan. As surprising as it seems, she wants to join with Martin Quincy in business to start their own mercenary company! Quincy had not thought of doing that on his own, but with the backing of the Princess and with the accumulated funds he had put together over the years, though the idea was very doable. The only thing is, Martin, Quincy is going to hire not only humans, but a lot of very strong and tough aliens that haven’t actually fought with humans before. Yet, due to his people or alien skills, he’s formed some strong friendships with several alien races. Those races have almost vowed to follow Quincy into any battle he might take them. So, he’s got the beginnings of a pretty strong mercenary company and it soon becomes evident that’s his bunch is going to be very hard to defeat and they all are going to get very, very rich. Of course they have to stay alive to spend that wealth.

This book has a lot of fighting, but most of it is short and to the point. The language is just raw enough to be natural without going overboard. The character building is excellent, even with the alien characters. I hope that Mr. Woods decides to write many more stories with Martin Quincy as the lead character. And I would very much enjoy seeing the rest of the characters in this book as well. Great writing!

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