Lt Adonis Olin Magnus, Commanding Officer of Charlie Platoon, Seventy-Ninth Reconnaissance Battalion, Marine Special Units, was on a “milk-run” mission or so he thought. He was to escort one Emissary Awren dau Lothlinium of Luma to a potential peace conference between the Republic and the Jujari Empires. That’s a lot of words for one paragraph, but now you know the names of our two main characters.
Of course Lt Magnus is the warrior-type while Awren is the peaceful-type. They obviously didn’t see eye-to-eye and especially since the peace conference was going to be in hostile territory and could turn deadly at any moment. The Jujari were the on species that had opposed the Republic for as long as most could remember. They were a hostile race and very good at war. For some reason, they now wanted to discuss peace terms. Awren was to be a go-between for the negotiations if they got that far. Unfortunately, the Republic was notoriously bad.
During the conference, Lt Magnus’ job was to keep Awren safe. That was going well until the entire palace blew up! Three separate explosions, one after the other, pretty much killed everyone in the meeting except for Awren and Lt. Magnus. Awren was left unconscious while Lt Magnus just came to his senses. He found the Emissary and took her out of the palace where he hoped she would be safe.
It turns out that after running from the Jujari, they ran right into the lair of bad guy name Abimbola. He had them tied up and was just wondering if they were valuable enough for some kind or ransom or if he should just kill the two. Turns out that Awren’s family had a history with Abimbola and when he found out her full name, he completely changed his attitude. It seems Abimbola owed a very great debt of gratitude towards Awren’s family. With that debt, he immediately released both captives and promised to get them to wherever they wanted to go.
That’s when everything starts going haywire, if it wasn’t already. During the conference and before he died, the Jujari mwadim gave her a star drive which contained something that it seems everyone now wants, even her peaceful organization of Luma. Once Awren reaches her home temple, she finds that not everyone is a kind as they used to be and she eventually has to flee for her life.
Meanwhile, Lt. Magnus has been assigned to find a derelect starship that has asked for help. Apparently it has a Senator aboard with his family. Rescuing the Senator should be an easy mission, but nothing is ever easy for a Marine.
This is a good story off to a good start. I think it’s going to make for a very good series. There’s just enough humor added to make reading this book enjoyable without it getting stupid. I also can’t figure out what will happen next and that’s good for a science fiction book.