Anytime I just want to read an good fighting book, I pickup one of the books in this series. Rade Galaal and his Argonauts are always, always fighting something. Now ex-military forming a Universal Unlimited Security Company, they can be hired out to help with whatever is needed. They are not mercenaries, according to Rade, but security consultants. Right now, they are employed on a continuing basis by a Green Phant which happens to inhabit an Artificial construct called Emily Bounty. The Phant takes over the cybernetic artificial and then communicates to the Argonauts through it. This is a cooperative effort in that the Artifact has to agree to the “possession”, something most normal humans would never agree to, that and the fact that a human in physical contact with a Phant gets incinerated.
Anyway, a Green Phant called Surus is their current employer and has been for awhile. It has agreed that Rade is in charge of the company and that he can make all decisions as to what missions they go on. He’s also free to find other customers who might need his companies services and that is something that just happened. A diplomat from the Kenyan Consulate in Talan has just contacted Rade and requested he provide security and transportation to a Kenyan colony out near the outskirts of known space. The name of the outpost is Kitale and it has lost communications with the Kenyan government for quite some time. Mr. Batindo needs to go there and find out why. He doesn’t suspect anything serious, just a comm problem or it could even be a local uprising. Either way, he agrees to Rade’s price and they start their journey.
In the meantime, Rade has to explain to Surus why they won’t be continuing on towards their intended meeting with another Green Phant, but Surus hasn’t much choice and agrees with the detour. Hopefully, this side mission won’t take that much time, will provide the Argonauts some additional money for operating expenses and give them something to do instead of just flying around in their starship, the Argonaut. In fact, this seems like a milk run and should be quite enjoyable even if they don’t get to kill anything.
But, the Argonauts aren’t that lucky. Something is definitely going on at Kitale. It sits right next to a slipstream with out a gate. Now there are alien species that are capable of going through slipstreams with the use of a gate, but there’s no reason to assume something like that has happened, so far. But as soon as they land on Kitale, Surus alerts Rade to the fact that it feels the presents of another Phant, and not a friendly feeling. So, what should have been a milk-run turns into a fight for their lives. Not only is there an active Phant on this outpost, but he has aliens allies. The Argonauts are going bug killing again. It sure would have been better if they had ben better prepared.
These are fun books. There’s a lot of crude banter between the members of the Argonauts, more than I think there should be and some which I’m surprised is said in the presence of a female. Yet, Shaw, Rade’s companion, is one tough female and she can dish it out just as well as the men although she rarely gets involved in this banter. Still, I you don’t feel comfortable with some salty language, you might find these books offensive. But, that’s why they are so good and just keep the story going. It’s amazing that none of the Argonauts have been killed up to this point.
The next book, “City of Phants” is already in print on one my Kindle. I’ll be reading it very soon.