5 Small Stars
Cradle of War

I haven’t been reading many of Isaac Hooke’s books, but now I’m “hooked” on them.  This is the third book in the series (as you probably guessed from the title) and each one is just as good as the last.  Captain Jonathan Dallas commands the USS Calloway and a small fleet that has gotten themselves stuck in a galaxy far, far away.  They came through a slipstream gate believing it would take them closer to home.  But, someone change the gate endpoint and the USS Calloway plus the fleet wound they know not where.  This unknown system also has no return gate so it looks like they may be here quite some time.  

Initially, this small United Systems fleet was followed by a hostile band of Raakarr ships that do not need a gate to go from one system to the next.  So, Captain Dallas finds himself faced with an enemy whom he must defeat and then find some way to get his ship and the others of his fleet home.  Neither task is going to be easy.  Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, his fleet does contain one Raakarr vessel that has a supposedly rogue group of Raakarrs called the Zarafe faction.  They wish an alliance with the humans and do not agree with the attacks that have thus far taken place by the Elk faction of Raakarr.  Captain Dallas doesn’t yet trust these Raakarr, but he does recognize their ship now called the Talon as a possible way back home

Then a new alien vessel comes through the other slipstream wormhole.  It’s shaped like a Möbius strip and currently just sitting in front of the slipstream wormhole. Who are these guys and what do they want?  Captain Dallas doesn’t have unlimited resources and if he and his fleet are to return to human control space, he needs to get his gate builder ship working ASAP.  So, as you can see he has a lot of problems to solve in this book.  

This did seem like a very fast read.  I don’t know if it’s because I knew a lot of the background or if all the characters were just that familiar from reading the previous two books.  The author’s writing is very smooth and he keeps the book flowing in a logical progression.  It has an excellent editing job since I found no errors of that nature to interrupt my reading.  I think the books is about the same length as the other two, but it just seemed to read faster.  

The book doesn’t specifically mention the title of the next book in the series.  I hope it is being written now or almost ready for publication.  This is a very good military science fiction series that I really hopes continues.  It better since the USS Calloway and crew are still stranded!