New author and a new series. Reads like it’s going to be pretty good. This is just the beginning. Our main guy is Eric Frederick. He happens to be a pirate (space pirate), but not by choice. His ship, the Fortune, is trying to harvest ice from a comet and it was going pretty well. Then he and his Lieutenant found something. It appears to be a ship encased in ice. They have to dig a tunnel through the ice to reach the ship which is done, but only Eric can initially fit through the narrow tunnel.
Once he makes it to the ship, he notices some strange markings near an airlock door. Upon manually opening the airlock outer hatch, he finds that he can actually enter the ship using manual controls for the inner airlock hatch. His short exploration of the ship finds that is is very old and belonged to the “United States of America”, whatever that was. He does know that this ship came from Earth and that means he’s found a significant relic.
Then, his Lieutenant calls for him to come back out. Another ship has arrived and it’s a Protectorate ship that doesn’t like pirates. They start shooting at the Fortune and Eric and his Lieutenant watch as their home is quickly destroyed! So, now they have a choice of staying and dyeing on an ancient ship that they could never get working or surrender to the Protectorate. Such a surrender would mean immediate execution for the Lieutenant and possibly for Eric.
But, surrendering is what they choose and they are immediately taken prisoner aboard the Protectorate ship. This is when Eric’s nightmare starts. He’s imprisoned, interrogated, and threatened with all sorts of death. He has to fight off another prisoner and isn’t very successful doing so even though he was fighting to save a female prisoner from this monster. Bruised and battered, Eric is finally taken to a doctor who tells him they want to know exactly what he knows about the “United States of America” ship he saw. He can’t tell them much since he doesn’t know exactly where he was when they found the ship.
What he does tell them isn’t enough so…he’s expelled out an airlock of the prison ship. This should have meant his certain death, but that didn’t happen some how. He find himself on a shuttle heading for the planet Solitude. Here he will be exiled for the remainder of his life.
As it turns out, this is really the beginning of Eric’s life; one that could lead to more freedom than he’s every known.
A very well written story with some good character development. A little fanciful in that Eric turns into some what of a brain while he’s really had no formal education. This book also turns into a political science dissertation which seems to take up a lot of the middle of the book. Still, there’s a lot of exciting action throughout the book to keep it very interesting.