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Another short book in this series. I’m not sure why I bother reading these books because they are kind of silly. Slim Taggart is our main character and he definitely is a character. I don’t know exactly what to make of him. He is a thief but definitely has a conscience that keeps getting him into more and more trouble. Right now he has more problems than he can shake.

He was supposed to be taking a Yannik Xawei, an Astral Assassin, to a very bad guy named Monkshull so she could deliver something called the Emberling. Only Taggart’s conscience got in the way and he declared that he wasn’t going to let her deliver this thing to a guy that was so very bad. Monkskull ruled his own part of space and even the Colonial Militia wouldn’t cross into his territory. While no one actually knew what the Emberling was or did, it was thought to be part of a super weapon who’s owner could rule the univers. Taggart was going to make sure Monkskull wasn’t going to be that owner.

He had intention of delivering it to the Colonial Militia, something that would have been definitely strange for him to do considering he was wanted by that organization and about every other government organization. But, that’s what he intended to do when he and his party were captured by the Sleepwalkers space pirates. They didn’t know what was going to happen to them, but they got a good idea when their space ship was ripped apart while dumping him and his passengers on the deck of the Sleepwalker ship. He knew something of the Sleepwalkers and that was they didn’t allow their prisoners to escape, ever! Rumor was that they usually just killed whomever they captured and dumped the bodies in space. It wasn’t looking good for Taggart and his associates, except something happened that surprised the heck out of him.

While this situation was pretty bad, the only other thing that could make it worse was if he was recaptured by Monkskull. In getting away from him the first time, he and his crew had caused quite a lot of damage. Monkskull wasn’t one to forgive and forget. Taggart knew that if he fell back into the hands of Monkskull he would be summarily executed probably on the spot. Well, he did mange to get away from the Sleepwalkers only because Monkskull’s troops were tearing the Sleepwalker ship he was imprisoned on to pieces.

So, this book is about fighting one thing or another. There are a few twist and turns that are surprising and a lot of new characters are introduced to make the fighting that much more interesting and to prolong the story. To say that much of this fighting is unnecessary isn’t fair to the author, but it gets pretty ridicilous after awhile. There’s only so much injuries that a body can take before they should be dead, but at least dying isn’t something the characters in this book actually ever do.

Where the story is going, I have no idea. The last chapter and the last page gives some kind of hint, but it went right over me. I didn’t understand that part at all. Still, Taggart and his now increasingly growing crew are at the mercy of the Colonial Militia Sector Commander and his is known for no having any mercy at all. Yet, the story continues in Book 3, “Surge”. If your that interested in finding out where this whole thing goes, you might want to add it to your reading list.

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