“Void Contract (Gigaparsec #1)” by Scott Rhine

06/16/15

I have to admit, this was a pretty darn good book once it got going. It was a little slow at the beginning since I had to get familiar with the characters who all are aliens, well, almost all.

The initial scene starts with a mission. You have to get situational awareness really quick because you’re introduced to Max Culp as the main guy, but he apparently is working for or with a bunch of Saurians. Saurians are like big lizards while Max is just a human that has some really good multi-species medical skills. He can patch up about anything. The mission they are on is to take out some kind of Phib compound. This Phib is a drug smuggler as well as a war criminal so he’s wanted by the Union for a lot of different things. Read the book to find out just what a Phib is.

The action is pretty fast at the beginning and kind of hard to keep up with, but it gets to the point of showing that Max is also an exception to the rule about humans and other species. It seems like most humans and other species have some kind psi abilities which enables them to notice other living creatures. So, those who have a high psi ability are now used as sentries since they can detect a heartbeat several miles away from their location. Max, on the other hand, has no psi abilities, in fact, he comes up completely blank to a psi scan. He, therefore, has the ability to sneak up on people who primarily use their psi to detect others.

Confused yet? Well, don’t be. The author explains it all much better than I did and it’s not something that’s dwelled on throughout the book. Just get through the first few chapters and then you find Max going back to Eden, his home planet, for a mission he isn’t really going to complete the right way. He’s now working for Saurian starship Captain who’s not the best type to work for, but when you’re broke and need a job, you take what you can get. And Max plans on taking it all.

Once on Eden, Max is thinking about getting his own starship and crew and heading out to do stuff good for a change. He’s tired of killing, but he has to deal with his current mission first. He finds a number of new characters, some human, some not, that will become part of his crew. He’s initial side-kick is a “Goat” or at least that’s the human name for his species, but Max calls him Reuben. Now I don’t know if he looks like a goat or not. Haven’t figured that out, but he must be somewhat similar to a human since Max sets about giving him some rudimentary military skills. Otherwise, Reuben might just get them both killed.

The story takes off once on Eden, with Max’s plan falling into shape. Unfortunately, one of his previous bad encounters turns at the worse moment, just as he and his new crew were going to depart Eden. Every time you think the book is about to end, something else keeps happening. This is probably going to turn into a very good series now that the main characters have all gotten together. It’ll be interesting to see what happens once they have to operate like a crew and a team on new missions.

I look forward to the next book.

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