I am at a loss for words! The difference between this book and the first book of the series, “The Lost Starship” is astounding! This book was a fantastic book to read. It made sense. The author finally managed to put some sense into the actions of his main character, Captain Maddox, and stopped making him sound like an idiot. He actually put some “humanity” into Captain Maddox and made him act like a normal person albeit a very smart person.
I’m still don’t understand the rank structure in this book. A Navy Captain ranks just below an Admiral. Will, there could be a Commodore in-between them in time of war, but usually a Navy Captain is also the commander of most Naval large and important Naval vessels. They have a lot of experience since you don’t make Captain until well past usually 20 years. I can’t remember how long Maddox has been in the Star Watch Intelligence Service but he seems to have been around for awhile. They are treating the rank of Captain in this book as one step above a Lieutenant which is crazy. Valerie seems to have some service time too and she has been promoted to Captain also hoping to command a Star War starship which as a Captain she should. Instead, she gets assigned to Captain Maddox and is busted down to a Lieutenant! What happened to the rank of Commander or even Lt Commandeer? It would sure have cleared
things up if those ranks had been included since that’s what most military readers would have expected.
Ok so on with the book. Maddox finally gets back aboard the Victory and he’s place in command but the alien AI hasn’t quite gotten his senses back and will only allow Maddox to command through him and only if it will achieve the AI’s objectives. The AI has a name now, Driving Force Galyan, but that doesn’t seem to change much. The banter between Maddox and Galyan has improved quite a bit with their discussions seeming to fit into the mission. It improves greatly later on when they wipe the AI’s core and rid it of a virus.
So, the purpose of this book it to rescue the Fifth Fleet which has fought the New Men but was getting annihilated and then decided to flee to fight another day. That decision was probably the correct one but it’s going to take the Fifth Fleet several months to reach a place where they might be able to jump back to Earth. Unfortunately, the New Men will have several months to fix their star ships and will be waiting to destroy the rest of the Fifth Fleet. But, Captain Maddox and his crew must bring the Victory to the aide of the Fifth Fleet and do so with the Victory’s advanced weaponry fully functional!
This book was pretty exciting. The writing was certainly better than in the first book and a lot of things were explained about Captain Maddox and his crew. They all got around to figuring out they had to work together and even the ship AI started cooperating even though he tried very hard to act like he wasn’t.
I think the encounters with the New Men turned out logically, although the New Men did set several traps that the Victory and Captain Maddox barely got out of. Meta did have much of a part in this book but she did provide some kind of love interest for Maddox to prove that he wasn’t just a cold hearted, ah, dude! I thought that was possible. Still, what I couldn’t figure out is why Professor Ludendorff so eagerly joined the Victory’s crew after he said he wasn’t going to board that vessel when he first discovered it. That was never explained as far as I know. It’s also interesting to have to write in another character that’s even more intelligent than Captain Maddox just so someone can figure everything out. Of course the author found that having a highly intelligent Professor around allowed him to fix things without explaining why just because we wouldn’t understand the explanation. That’s a good trick.
Ok, I change my mind. This series is now much better than I expected it to get. I guess there could be another book since the Fifth Fleet hasn’t returned to Earth and the New Men are still a threat. So, if the author can write a third book as well as this one, then please do. Just remember, I and other readers don’t know how a book will turn out until we’ve read them! Not fair!