Rating:

5 Small Stars
Artifice

Twelve books! Man, that’s a lot of books for one series. But, this has been one of the best series that you can read. It’s also one of those series where you have to start at the beginning. Mr. Jucha fills his books with so much human interaction, sensitivity to others and a way of doing things that don’t show up in other books. Yet, this series also has fighting scenes both in space and on the ground. I haven’t read any other book where a group of nice people utterly destroys whomever they are facing and make the defeated foe fell wonderful about what just happened.

Now on with this book. We finally get to face our supreme nemesis, Artifice. As you read in the previous books, this is the entity that has terrorized the entire known universe. He’s been watching every star system until he feels that they need to be destroyed so as not to challenge his supremacy. Alex Racine and his group of Omnians have come to confront this entity and destroy it if necessary.

They had previously met the Nu’all which were the first emissaries from Artifice that were sent to destroy those they encountered. Their ships were large and very silver with smaller ships that acted like starfighters. Alex and his bunch were able to defeat the Nu’all and even captured one of their large vessels. There they freed the Swei Swee, crab-like intelligent creatures who actually built the silver ships. They began building them for Alex and that bond has existed ever since. It didn’t take Alex’s highly intelligent people long to figure out how to construct their own silver ships, which they did in abundance. The Omnians also met up with the Dischnya, dog-like aliens that like to fight. Once again, Alex made lasting friends with the Dischnya who are now part of his entourage. So, as you can see, the Omnians are anything but a single group of beings. And that’s what Alex Racine has done in all twelve books, bring people or aliens of all kinds together to form one peace-loving group.

Now they again face another of Artifice’s dangerous emissaries in the form of huge black ships. These ships are from the Toralians and they come to confront Alex and his Omnian fleet. Alex finds out that their entire civilization is bound to Artifice through his computer programming in all of their electronic devices. Artifice can send commands to every device he controls which would then wipe-out the targeted civilization or at least set it back to their dark ages. Even the Toralian ships are rigged to destruct at Artifice’s command if they don’t do as he says.

Strangely, though, the Toralians are confronting Alex and the Omnians for reasons much different than expected. Can they be a solution to Alex’s desire to rid the galaxy of Artifice’s tyranny? Another great book in the series that you don’t want to miss. It’s kind of hard to put down because this is science fiction at its best.

Oh, and according to the author, this isn’t the end because his next book, Sojourn, already has a title!