“The Lost Destroyer (The Lost Starship Series Book #3)” by Vaughn Heppner

09/22/15

This was a very good story. I’ve been following the exploits of Captain Maddox, Star Watch Intelligence, since the very first book. He’s a very strange character. In this book, I finally figured out who he reminds me of, and that is none other than, Sherlock Holmes! Yes, that is exactly how Captain Maddox strikes me in his conversations, especially with Sergeant Riker (Dr. Watson).

Captain Maddox is always trying to figure things out. He discusses his thoughts with Sgt. Riker the same way Sherlock Holmes did in his books even recognizing Sgt. Riker when he makes a unknowingly brilliant statement. I like the banter and I’m now used to Captain Maddox and his mannerisms. At first I was kind of put-off by his arrogance, but I’ve come to see it as part of his character and the reflection that he is part New Man. All New Men are arrogant or at least I get that idea from the authors writing about them.

This book is about saving Earth. There is something out there coming to Earth that is worse than the New Men. Captain Maddox and his crew aboard the Victory must get back to Earth before this new enemy attacks. Warning Earth might not be enough. As it stands, there is no way Earth can survive this new threat. Even if they do, Earth forces would be so decimated that any additional attacks by the New Men would certainly mean the end of Earth.

So, will Captain Maddox once again become a hero? What about this New Man that wants to become the King of all New Men. Will the Starship Victory ever become whole knowing that parts of it have been shut down throughout its six thousand year existence. If you have any liking for the old Sherlock Holmes mysteries, I think you’re going to really like Mr. Holmes in space.

“The Lost Command (Lost Starship Book 2)” by Vaughn Heppner

2/24/15

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!

“The Lost Starship” by Vaughn Heppner

12/30/14

This has got to be one of the silliest books I have ever read.  I don’t know if the author meant this book to be that way, but, in my opinion that’s the way it turned out.  I don’t know if the author is British or not, but if so, that can explain the weird way Captain Maddox was acting. He was one strange dude!

I think I have the ranks right, Maddox must have been a full Captain like in the Navy while Noonan was a Commander one rank below.  I’m not sure what a Brigadier was doing working for the Lord High Admiral but that’s what she was.  Brigadier is short for Brigadier General, usually an Army rank.

I don’t think the Star Watch is very good at war fighting.  It seems they have way too many of their ships already compromised by New Men and they don’t even know it.  Why they didn’t send someone to help with the extraction on Loki Prime I don’t know.  Surely they would want to know that they had a compromised ship running around already knowing about Maddox’s “secret” mission!

And then there’s the stupid conversations with the alien starship Captain or computer!  I don’t know why the computer could only speak with Maddox since everyone on the mission, except for Meta, should have the “right” brain patterns.  And it was never explained why the ship had controls that would require a tentacle being to operate them.

All-in-all, I took this as a tongue-in-cheek story that I recommend NOT continue!  It’s nice to read about Captain Maddox once but too much of him could get quite tiring!

“Star Viking (Extinction Wars #3)” by Vaughn Heppner

12/02/14

This continues the story of Commander Creed.  If you haven’t read the previous two books in the series, then go back and do so.  I can’t remember Commander Creed’s first name but it doesn’t make any difference because that’s all he ever calls himself.  He also says his name on about every page of this book!  Any time he meets a new alien, they want to know who he is.  So, it’s “Commander Creed” and that explains everything.  Creed is one of a very few humans left in the galaxy but he is determined to ensure that humans are going to rebuild after the Lokars destroyed Earth.

Creed and his followers, those who survived the near total destruction of Earth, have just returned from a terribly costly battle with Abbadon and the Karg.  Commander Creed now has in his possession a very valuable and rare ancient relic.  The aliens view these relics as religious artifacts that definitely don’t belong in the hands of humans who they consider barely intelligent animals.

The first group to try and take the artifact away is the Starkiens, an race of intelligent (supposedly) baboons!  Starkiens are nomads who contract out to other races to fight or otherwise ensure deals and agreements are kept.  They want the artifact to give them some semblance of importance within the galactic community.

Of course, Commander Creed isn’t about to let them have it.  Nor is he going to let anyone else have this artifact.  Even though he has very little defensive capabilities since their recent fight left them pretty much wiped out equipment-wise, he uses what he has and that is his wits to convince the Starkiens to go away.

Now all he has to do is stop the Purple Tamika from coming and taking the artifact and they are much, much more powerful than the Starkiens.  So, Commander Creed and his bunch with the small assistance of the artifact, begin to raid other planets in order to gather starships and military supplies and equipment.  Their first raid (he calls his guys “Star Vikings” because they are like ancient Vikings raiding other villages) is highly successful and it is against the Purple Tamika which really makes them mad if they were capable of getting any madder at Commander Creed.

The rest of the book is all about Commander Creed being a brash and arrogant SOB to everyone.  That’s how he gets things done.  He carries a .44 cal pistol at his side and he doesn’t hesitate to use it no matter where he’s at.  How he manages to survive some of his exploits is beyond me.  It is really a wonder that none of the aliens he’s met so far haven’t vaporized him.

This is a good story although it can get a little tiring listening to, “…my name is Commander Creed.”, all the time!  I think it should be changed to Superman and leave it at that.  The book is well written with good editing.  I can see a possible continuation but I’m not sure how that would be written.