Rating:

5 Small Stars
First Command

Commander Tad Thatcher was the XO of the USS Hepburn currently located in the Milky Galaxy. He was on leave spending some time with his pregnant wife and contemplating the coming birth of their first child. He was a very good XO, but the chances of him getting his own command and his own starship were not that great for quite a few years more. He knew that and was comfortable with it, yet he did have a new enlistment date coming which he had to make a decision about. He could stay with the U. S. Space Fleet and follow in the footsteps of his Grandfather who was a hero of the Xanthic Wars of fifty years ago. Or, he could get out and join one of the growing number of private corporate star-fleets. He had been offered jobs by several of these corporations which would pay him much more than what he was earning now and he would have his own command. Very tempting, but not what he wanted to do. Tad was a very patriotic guy and felt it was still his duty to serve his country so he leaned towards reenlisting when the time came.

Then things changed. He was called away from leave to report to a Rear Admiral Faulkner at U. S. Space Fleet Forces Command. Tad had no idea why a Rear Admiral would want to see him. So, with great curiosity he went to his appointment with the Admiral. While Tad was doing this, the Xanthic appeared to have returned. They had destroyed a human colony by coming from deep underground when no one had any idea they could be on the planet in question. It seemed that another war with the Xanthic was about to begin.

Tad Thatchers role in this coming war was going to be a lot different than he anticipated. Rear Admiral Faulkner had a command opportunity for Tad, but not with the US Space Forces. It seemed that Tad was being heavily recruited by the Frontier Security Corporation. The Frontier Security Corps was operating in the Dawn Cluster, a galaxy on the other side of a wormhole tens-of-thousands of light-years from Earth. While his wife didn’t want to see him go, she felt that he would at least be out of the coming Earth – Xanthic war. Tad had thought the same only he was worried that he wouldn’t be around to protect his wife and new child while everyone around them were fighting the Xanthic. It appeared that his new command and he would only be facing pirates who now seemed intent on forming their own corporation.

What Tad Thatcher didn’t know was that the former Captain of the New Jersey, the Frontier Security Corps. ship he’s to command, was killed during a recent battle with pirates and the Xanthic! What could he be getting himself into? While he though his new assignment would be very interesting and challenging he didn’t need another surprise. But, that came when the wormhole gate he had just traveled through collapsed! Now everyone in the Dawn Cluster was trapped with no way to return to Earth.

Tad Thatcher knew he couldn’t fix the wormhole on his own so he set out to accomplish the mission he was given and that was to contain the pirates and find out just how far the Xanthic had gotten into the Dawn Cluster. He job was going to be kind of difficult when his crew turned out to be less than professional and more like paid mercenaries. Things were going to change in a big way.

Good first book and there should be more good stories in this series.