This is a very good book! You ought to read it right now! I have read some of Mark Wayne McGinnis’ books before and they were good, but tended to be a little more scientific than I cared for. This book is a really down to earth story-line that is very exciting.
We have Commander Galvin Quintos, Executive Officer (XO) of the USS Hamilton thinking about his upcoming new assignment away from the USS Hamilton. He’s been the XO for this ship going on two-years and that’s about the length of a tour in that position. The thing is, Commander Quintos likes being an XO, he doesn’t want to become a Captain of his own ship and that is something he’s heard rumors of just recently. He knows the overwhelming responsibility placed on a ship’s Captain and he feels that it’s just not something he wants to do.
Yet, things are about to change and change drastically for not only Commander Quintos, but for everyone aboard the USS Hamilton. They are on a diplomatic mission, escorting two VIP diplomats to the Auriga star system and the planet, Bon-Corfue. The Grish, an alien and semi-hostile, civilization was making aggressive moves towards Bon-Corfue as though they wanted that system which currently belonged to Earth. It was hoped the diplomatic mission would prevent any time of warfare which certainly wasn’t desired by Earth.
Unfortunately, the Grish had other plans. The USS Hamilton was part of the U.S. 3rd Fleet and was considered a definite show of force any where she went. It was hoped that the USS Hamilton’s presence would dissuade the Grish from taking any kind of unwanted military actions. Didn’t happen that way. As the USS Hamilton was preparing to disembark it’s diplomatic VIPs, all heck broke loose! And that’s where the fun starts!
Of course, one of the very first casualties of this surprise attack by the Grish, was Captain Tannock, Captain of the USS Hamilton. He suffered a sever head injury and had to be carried to HealthBay. With him out, command of the ship falls to none other than Commander Galvin Quintos! Although he doesn’t think he’s ready for command, he’s a very well trained XO and he knows his ship. The crew respect him and his abilities so he has no problem assuming command other than his own reluctance. As it turns out, Galvin is much, much more capable of doing the job than he ever though and that’s a very good thing since the USS Hamilton is about to be destroyed if someone doesn’t do something.
To say the ship and it’s new Acting Captain are in a bad way is a vast understatement. They can’t even move initially, but the Grish have left the immediate area to lick their wounds and assess the damage they have done. Most likely, they will jump back in and finish off what they started. Acting Captain Quintos has no way of preventing their defeat unless he can solve some very critical problems and do so immediately.
There are several characters in this book, all developed pretty well. There are aliens and a giant robot that also shows up and you get to see all of these people working the numerous problems that arise. I like the way the author writes. The book just kind of flows from one event to the next and it’s logical. There are periods of downtime when the crew is actually recovering from the most recent incident which has to happen in real life. Oh, the author does have a penchant to write terrible long paragraphs, so be ready for those Still, with the ship’s AI gone bonkers, Acting Captain Quintos has to rely on his own grey matter and that of his fellow shipmates to pull the USS Hamilton out of this terrible fix they are in. Great reading!