Rating:

4 Small Stars
Ballistic

This is a very good author, but not this book or this series! It’s been awhile since I read the first book in the series (“Aftershock”, Jul 2019), so I could have become jaded due some other great books that Mr. Kloos has written. Still, this story continues and does get through with an exciting end. I think whatever is going to finally happen has been setup slowly through these first two books.

Again, we follow three separate story-lines. One concerns Aden Rangar who, because of his past, has taken on a new identity as Aden Robertson. As you read in the last book, he’s just been released from military prison after 5 years. Gretia lost the war and he lost his freedom for five years. Now, he just wants to get on with his life so he’s taken a position on a fast freighter called the Zephyr. The Zephyr was a very modern ship, sleek and fast and something very different from Aden’s past ships. He was hired on-board as the Comms Officer due to his extensive linguistic skills. Everything seemed to be going well for him now. He was slowly being accepted as part of the crew, but it was early yet so he had a lot of catching up to do and most was due to his stunted social skills. After being in prison for five years, it was kind of difficult to get used to the freedom and ability to do as he wanted even aboard a starship. Still, he was part of the crew even though Captain Decker was the only one who knew that he was a former POW and Gretian Blackguard. It might not have made any difference to the other crew members since the war had been over for five years, but he just as soon keep his identity hidden because he was also trying to stay away from his Father, Falk Ragnar. His reasons were a whole other story you’ll soon find out when he talks to his sister, Solveig.

As I mentioned, everything seemed to be going pretty well for Aden. He even got a say-so in what cargo the Zephyr got to carry from one starport to another. The Captain had arranged for a rather unusual contract to pickup a package from deep space and deliver it to another point in deep space. Everyone of the crew agree to the contract, even Aden, but they all knew that what they were picking up was unknown. Could it be contraband, drugs, weapons, or something else illegal. Maybe, but, if they just operated in deep space who’s to find them out?

Then there’s Color Sergeant Idina Chaudhary. She’s a Palladian soldier severing on temporary duty on Cretia acting in conjunction with the Gertian paired up with a Captain Dahl, Gretian Police. They are getting a long very well even though their patrol duty of late has been very boring. Palladia is a gravity heavy world and being stationed on Gretia is taxing on the Palladian body, so Sgt Chaudhary is due to rotate back home a month early since her body is showing definite signs of the bad effects of working in a too light gravity planet. She doesn’t necessarily want to leave, she’s getting along very well with Captain Dahl and they had just recently arrested a young man who could lead to something very interesting. This young man was found carrying an illegal weapon. They had managed to find out who he got the weapon from and were going after the guy, but that job was turning out very difficult and dangerous. Sergeant Chaudhary hoped she made it home and in one piece. She survived the war and now she was hoping to survive this assignment.

Lastly, we meet with Lieutenant Commander Dustan Park, master of the RNS Minotaur. His ship is on patrol, as usual, covering Rhodian territory which has become a very boring duty. Well, it was boring until they got an emergency signal from an Rhodian light cruiser, the RNS Danae. It was an automatic broadcast so, until they arrived at the location of the Danae, they couldn’t speculate on why the broad-cast. Once they did arrive in the area, they wished they hadn’t. There was nothing left of the RNS Danae. So, who destroyed an RNS starship and where could they be now? That could turn his routine and dull patrol into something interesting and dangerous. Then he gets a call from the Zephyr which is carrying, among other things, Aden Robertson. Now why would a fast freighter be hailing an Rhodian Naval ship?

So, as you can see two of these main characters will meet, if briefly. Will Lieutenant Commander Park have a reason to find out who Aden really is and why he’s traveling under a false ID? Even if he does, will that matter after what happens once the RNS Minotaur reaches Rodia One? What happens there could actually effect everyone of the people in this book, but you won’t find out exactly how until book three, “The Citadel”, yet to be published.

As I said, the story is good, but it’s quite slow and kind of boring. I’m used to a lot more action so I might be tainted in my opinion, so you’ll have to read this second book and make up your own mind.