“Planet Killer (A Captain’s Crucible – Book 4)” by Isaac Hooke

“Planet Killer (A Captain’s Crucible – Book 4)”
by Isaac HookeBuy on Amazon


I cannot for the life of me understand why I did not read this book right after book 3! Instead, I read book 5 and just continued on. This book explains a lot about what happened to Captain Johnathan Dallas, former Commander of the United System starship Callaway. To put it bluntly, he is facing a General Courts-Martial. He is of the opinion that he will be convicted and either imprisoned or just booted out of the Navy. Either way, he’s not looking forward to the outcome of the trial.

Still, when you’re ordered to kill over a hundred million humans, there’s got to be somebody around with a moral code that says this isn’t the right thing to do. Captain Dallas was that person and thankfully he made things happen that did prevent the Admiral of his fleet from completing the mission. It was also noted that the original order sent by Navy HQ was withdrawn not long after the fleet had entered Vega 951. Unfortunately, by then, the enemy had destroyed the slipstream gate and cut off all communications between the fleet and the Navy HQ. And since, Captain Dallas took actions against his Admiral without the knowledge that the order had been rescinded, he looked pretty guilty.

Well, obviously the outcome of the general courts-martial wasn’t detrimental to Captain Dallas’ career. He’s now back with the fleet and specifically one that has been assigned another mission. They are to rescue his old Task Force 72.5, if they are still alive, and then proceed to a Raakaar colony planet and, once again, deploy a planet killer bomb destroying the planet and every living alien on it. In this case, these aliens had already wiped out two Earth colonies. This strike was to send a message to the Raakaar’s that humans weren’t going to stand for those kind of attacks. There were an estimated five million aliens on the colony planet, about the same number of humans that had been killed in the Raakaar’s prior attacks. Continue reading ““Planet Killer (A Captain’s Crucible – Book 4)” by Isaac Hooke”

“New Threat (The Survivors Book Two)” by Nathan Hystad

“New Threat (The Survivors Book Two)” by Nathan HystadBuy on Amazon


Once you’ve become “The Hero of Earth”, I didn’t think there’d be much left to do! In the first book of this series, “The Survivors”, our hero, Dean Parker, saved most of Earth’s population from going into the Sun. He also managed to kill an entire race of aliens that needed killing. He got all the colony ships headed for the Sun turned around and managed to get almost everyone back to Earth. But, Earth’s population is and was quite large and there were a lot of deaths. Most by the hands of other humans who went kind of crazy when they were all stuffed into giant alien colony ships. Dean couldn’t help that nor could he do anything about those that were already weak, old and helpless before the aliens took them. Those people died right off the bat. So now Earth’s population is considerably smaller, but things are moving slowly back to normal.

Dean still has Mary with him and of course Carey, his adopted dog. Mary came to him by the way of his previous wife’s Brother. Janine, Dean’s deceased wife, died before “The Event”. Unknown to Dean, she was actually a hybrid alien who was bred by the Kraski whose intent was to have these hybrid humans take the Earth population and drive colony ships into the Sun. That would free up Earth and the Solar System for the Kraski. Unfortunately, the Kraski, themselves were wiped out by the Bhlat, another hostile alien race, so the Deltra stepped in and helped the hybrid humans continue the destruction of Earth’s population. Dean managed to find an alien machine that once coded to a races specific DNA, destroyed that race if it was anywhere near it. So anyway, Mary was Janine’s Brother’s wife! Got all that. Janine’s Brother was also a hybrid. Both of the hybrids gave their spouses a green emerald, a ring for Mary and a necklace pendant for Dean which allowed them to escape the traction beam that pulled all the humans from Earth into the colony ships. Continue reading ““New Threat (The Survivors Book Two)” by Nathan Hystad”

“Renegade Earth (Book 6 in the Renegade Star Series)” by J. N. Chaney

“Renegade Earth (Book 6 in the Renegade Star Series)”
by J. N. ChaneyBuy on Amazon


We’re now back aboard the Titan, the moon-size starship which left Earth eons ago and was found by Jace Hughes and his crew of the Renegade Star. They had just defeated Hephaestus, the Cognitive in charge of Earth’s defense network and drone factories. It had cost them a lot of lives and equipment. The lives couldn’t be replaced, but the equipment had to be repaired. Their journey to find Earth was almost, but not quite complete. They also found a Union scout ship still trailing them.

The original plan was to head straight for Earth and see what they would find. But with the Union scout following not far behind, the crew decided it wouldn’t be good to lead the Union straight to Earth. So, they looked at their long-range scans in an attempt to find a system that might give the appearance of Earth, but not be Earth. They soon found one. So that’s where they headed. You’ll read about their plan to fight the Union and how they would like to split the forces of General Brigham. Jace also comes up with a “bag and grab” idea that involves the very same person I just wrote about. Unfortunately, nothing ever goes as planned! Continue reading ““Renegade Earth (Book 6 in the Renegade Star Series)” by J. N. Chaney”

“Ashes of War (Starship Satori, Book 7)” by Kevin O. McLaughlin

“Ashes of War (Starship Satori, Book 7)”
by Kevin O. McLaughlinBuy on Amazon


Well, you know what happened in book 6, so I won’t dwell on it. Let’s just say, the Starship Satori is now part of the US Air Force and needs a new captain. Dan has gotten the use of his legs back strangely from being tortured by the Naga. One of the devices they used cause incredible pain, but the other one actually heal and repaired his previous spinal injury. They did that only so they could torture him more, but of course he managed to escape. Now he’s back in the Air Force and just recently promoted to Lt. Colonel Dan Wynn and the new commander of the USS Independence. The USS Independence and the USS Constitution were the former Naga battlecruisers that were captured in book 6. Dan had been a major player in capturing the USS Independence so it was fitting that he be her first human commander.

That still left command of the new re-built Starship Satori. This was not the old Satori repaired and ready to go. No, the previous ship was almost totally destroyed saving Earth. Majel had managed to save herself and that precious starship engine which became the nucleus of this new ship. It was bigger, had more firepower and was practically an entirely brand new ship. But, she had no captain. General Hereford even offered to let Majel rename the new ship since it was actually her new body, but she refused so Satori was what it was going to be called.

Then General Hereford shocked everyone when he named Elizabeth Wynn as the new Captain of the Starship Satori! The most shocked person of all was Beth. She had no idea this was going to happen and didn’t have a clue as to why he would do such a thing. The General had stated that the Satori was to be an exploration ship and not a ship of war, therefore, her Captain would be a civilian even thought most of the crew would be Air Force. Beth did immediately demanded an explanation in private from the General. She didn’t know how in heck he considered her qualified to command a starship. But, the General stood firm. He told Beth that she was the only person that had the guts to standup to him when necessary to do the right or better thing and she knew the engineering of the Satori like nobody else. He told her this was her new job and to get on with the mission he had for her and the Satori.

So, even though she couldn’t fathom what it meant to be a Starship Captain, Beth reluctantly took on that role. She immediately found out that ti wasn’t going to be easy since her second in command, Major Ayala, clearly didn’t think she was up to the job and made that clear during their first meeting. He told her that he was commander of the away teams and security detail and that she should remain on the bridge and stay out of his way! That did not set well with Beth. Continue reading ““Ashes of War (Starship Satori, Book 7)” by Kevin O. McLaughlin”

“Starship Satori Omnibus (Starship Satori, Omnibus Two, Books 4-6)” by Kevin O. McLaughlin

“Starship Satori Omnibus
(Starship Satori, Omnibus Two, Books 4-6)”
by Kevin O. McLaughlinBuy on Amazon


I normally don’t read book collections. They are usually just too short and don’t tell a very good story. There are exceptions, of course, and this set of books definitely defines the kind of exception I’m talking about. You can tell these books were meant to be short and pretty much stand on their own. The author writes about one specific task or mission and nothing else. There’s no three of four story threads going on at different places that all seem to come together at the end. No, the crew of the Starship Satori define their mission and they go to it. Simple as that.

I’m going to break my review down by book so you’ll know where you’re at in the book and my review.

No Plan Survives Contact (Book 4)

John Caraway is the financier or mastermind behind the Starship Satori. He’s built a base on the moon for the purpose of mining Helium-3 which is the principle fuel used in space vehicles and soon to be the power for other needs. Earth has almost depleted their natural resources and desperately need an alternate fuel source. While building his moon base, John’s team came upon a buried derelict, an alien starship that was in very bad shape. He immediately shut down the discovery and placed anyone who knew about it, in a quarantine status until they could be vetted to ensure they wouldn’t reveal this amazing secret. He also hired Elizabeth (Beth) Wynn as his Chief Engineer and she managed to build a fully functional starship around what was left of the ancient alien vessel. What was left was pretty significant in that it was a computer system, an amazingly powerful engine, and a star-drive. Those things were integrated with human technology and the results were as you read about in books 1 through 3.

So, along with Beth, we have Dan Wynn (Beth’s ex-husband) and pilot, Charline, the computer genius, and Andy, the Chief of Security. This was the team for this mission. They needed to go back to the dead planet which had an oily goo for water and nothing but ratzards alive. Linda, the teams exobiologist needed more samples of ratzards and the oily goo in order to try and find something that could destroy both and bring the dead planet to life. This mission was supposed to be a “cake-walk”. John also wanted to see if Charline could hack into one of the orbiting defense satellites and gain some more intelligence on the Naga, their enemy last encountered in books 1 through 3.

As usual and as the title of this book says, things didn’t go as planned. The team was split, with John, Beth and Andy landing on the planet while Dan and Charline looked for an orbiting satellite. Things started going bad as soon as they began approaching the satellite. And once things go back for the Satori, you can be assured they go bad for the team on the ground. A pretty good book to continue the series with. Continue reading ““Starship Satori Omnibus (Starship Satori, Omnibus Two, Books 4-6)” by Kevin O. McLaughlin”