Rating:

5 Small Stars
Max Frontier

The colony ship, Exodus Ark, has finally reached it’s destination, Kainos, even after running into the Blight during the long trip from Earth. As you learned in the first book, the Blight was sent by the First. This appear to be an alien entity upon who’s territory the Exodus Ark has trespassed. The Blight initially grabs on to anything and gradually turns humans into something non-human and down right horrible monsters. These creatures were later called the Flux. They did a lot of damage to the ship as well as causing the death of hundreds of colonist. The Blight eventually adapted to human physiology and became more of a threat since you could no longer tell if a person was infected with the Blight just by looking at them. That was when Dr. Rhys St. John came up with a device to kill the Blight and the Flux.

Fortunately, all of that appears to be in the past. Now the ship is looking forward to exploring and settling this new world. It is supposed to uninhabited, but according to Director Wright, that might not be the case. He now wants Chief Mission Ward Kent to lead the first ever away team to scout out the intend initial landing site and the proposed site for the establishment of the new colony! You are to take with you a suitable security team and Dr. Rhys St. John. The Director wants you to make sure there is not evidence of the Firs, the Blight or the Flux anywhere near their expected landing site and colony.

So you gather your team and head off. What you’re going to find is much more than you expected. While the planet appears to be densely covered with jungle consisting of huge trees, you make some interesting discoveries about what is under those trees and in other parts of the planet. Not all of those discoveries are going to be pleasant. Is the First and their dreads Blight on this planet already? Possibly. If so, how do you over come that and still make the planet suitable for the colonization? Well, the second question is probably beyond your current mission assignment, but you do have to contend with what you find. It’s not going to be easy. You’re going to lose a good portion of your team on this mission, but the first priority of your mission is to shut down whatever transmission is coming from the planet which is disrupting your communications over the entire planet. That strange broadcast seems to be coming from a large mountain range at a distance from your proposed landing site.

I like the smoothness of the writing in these stories. The actions by the characters seem really logical and what would normally happen. While Chief Mission Ward Kent has a weird name and title, he’s slowly becoming a normal human. As you’ve read, he was a Black Shield Corporation (BSC) asset most all his life, which means he’s not like normal humans. He’s been genetically enhanced to be the almost perfect soldier. That’s what he’s been doing for as long as he can remember up until he was sold to the Rodon Corporation and placed on the colony ship as the Chief of Security. He and a very small team of security personnel managed to beat back the Blight attack on the Exodus Ark, but the colony lost over five hundred of their number due to that infection. But, Kent has not mastered the fact that he no longer has his emotions dampened by the drugs he used to take on a regular basis. He isn’t used to conversing with “normal” humans on a day-to-day basis. So, a lot of this personnel interaction is very new to him. It’s also not easy on his team members. Like most humans, they can and do get emotional about everything.

While this story did cover a lot of activities, it didn’t really get that far into the settlement of the colony. There is some considerable more fighting that’s going to have to take place and probably sooner than later. We know the First are on their way, we just don’t know as to how big their numbers will be. We also have just found out who we can ally with, but we’re not sure of their numbers or capabilities yet. We also have to defeat the threat that existing on the planet right now, so, Chief Mission Ward Kent has his job cut out for him.

Oh, I can’t figure out what the title is supposed to mean. Max Frontier didn’t come up anywhere in the book and I don’t know what that term is supposed to be applied to. I don’t think it’s a characters name, because there isn’t anyone by that name in the story, so I just don’t understand why the book got this title. Maybe you can figure it out.

Next up is book three, “Lost Heritage” supposedly coming some time in March of 2021!