Rating:

4 Small Stars
Devastator

I just can not get my mind around starships as characters in a book. This is what the main characters in this book are, Mind-refurbs built into AI capsules inside a gigantic starship. These were once humans that for some strange reason, volunteered their brains for transplanting into AI cores when they died. Some knew that the technology to do that didn’t exist when they died, so they really didn’t know what they were agreeing to. Most of the Mind-refurbs are or were military and once the military gets hold of you, they don’t let go.

Jain is the main character and he leads the Void Warriors. The Void Warriors are a collection of surviving starships from a battle that happened prior to the first book. In that book, Jain was the first one to come to and realized what had happened after he again realized what he was. He was damaged some in the battle because not all of his memories are intact. Still, he knows enough to get his starship (himself) repaired and ready for combat again. The other Mind-refurb starships, I think there’s six or so in total, do make a similar recovery with Jain around to tell them what he things happened. They all agreed to let Jain lead them and, the set about trying to find out who had attacked and what their mission had been.

During that first mission, the Void Warriors found out who the enemy was and tried to report back to Earth Command. Instead, they were accused of making up a story about an alien enemy while they actually went rogue and destroyed the rest of the fleet themselves. Seeing how they had no concrete evidence of the alien enemy, the Void Warriors fled human controlled space so as not to be reprogrammed.

There is an inordinate amount of discussion about the fact that while their AI brains can be backed up and later restored, they don’t believe they will still be themselves. The believe that they die no matter what and the restored copy of themselves will be an entirely different person. They won’t remember anything thatg happens from the time they died or were destroyed until the time they are recovered from a backup copy. While this is a good philosophical debate, it doesn’t really matter because the Mind-refurb that died will be dead, end of discussion. If the copy realizes it’s just a copy of the original, so what, they are alive and the original (or other copy) is gone; get on with it!

Anyway, back to this book. The Void Warriors are trying to figure out who the new enemy is and why they are attacking humanity. They are accosted by a human fleet in a remote star system where they have been repairing and building new ships for the last ten years. This human fleet tells them that they can come back to Earth if they will assist Earth Command in defeating the new enemy, who have been named the “Mimics” because they can appear to be human spacecraft anytime they want. That’s what happens in this encounter. The friendly human appearing fleet is really the Mimics who are seeking to destroy the Void Warriors. The Mimics are also Mind-refurbs so there are no humans in any of these books apparently!

So, can the Void Warriors defeat this new group of Mimics and can they really return to Earth and help defend humanity. It seems strange though, in that humanity has already been destroyed. Most everyone on Earth and other colonies have become Mind-refurbs by transferring their consciousness into highly advanced android bodies. Keep in mind, these Mind-refurbs will live for all eternity since they have no frail human forms any more. I’m not sure what they are fighting for since the enemy is the same thing, Mind-refurbs.

Again, this series continues with book 3, although it’s not given a title in this book. I don’t think I’ll be reading any more of these, although I did say that in my first book review!