For some reason, this book caught my eye so I got it on my reading list and just finished it the other night. It’s not an extremely exciting book although it does tell a pretty good story. I didn’t think much of it was really reasonable and I’ll go into that in a minute. One of the small problems I had with the book was that the chapter headings were in very tiny print compared to the rest of the chapter. I think authors should use chapter titles to let readers know who their talking about or when they are talking about. This book would switch between two characters, Nicholas Stein, Admiral (Ret.), USN and Thomas Stein, the Son. Most of the time, these two characters were at different places doing different things, i.e., they book had starships and were out fighting at different locations. When you jumped from one action scene in one chapter to another, it wasn’t clear which Stein you were reading about. The name of the main character was show in very tiny print right under the chapter number and I think the author could have provide more info on the chapter right there. It was confusing as to who I was reading about until I got further along in the book. Again, this is a distraction that only I might have encountered. You might not find this at all.
Ok, back to the story. The retired Admiral Stein has made his mark on the world by becoming a very wealthy shipping magnate. After leaving the Navy as a hero, he used that notoriety to form a shipping company that provided services between the asteroid belt, Mars and Earth. Since his company was one of the very few that did this, space transportation was all his. Earth nor Mars were interested in running a government owned shipping program, so the former Admiral became quite wealthy. His son, Thomas, had just graduated from Harvard and was going through the process of learning the shipping business by running a small ore freighter out from the belt to Mars.
Thomas Stein was pretty confident in his captaining abilities and handling this freighter. It was routine run with a large amount of ore in the holds. Well, it was routine until his freighter came under attack! Through some creative thinking, he managed to out run these pirates and get his ship back to Mars Station. There he met his Dad who had heard about the attack and came to checkup on his Son. The fact that a space ship had attack another space ship was something of significant event in Earth/Mars space travel. A few years ago the Lunar Accord had been signed by all Earth nations which strictly forbid any and all weapons in space. So the fact that a group of pirates were operating armed space ships was a huge problem for everyone, every where!
Admiral (Ret.) Nicholas Stein did not like the Lunar Accord. He was very vocally in his disagreement of the Accord and did not hide his feelings. He had always warned those who would listen that the Lunar Accord left Earth. the Moon, and Mars totally unprotected from any spacefaring entity that first armed their space assets. No one would listen to his warnings. But, it was now too late. These pirates were operating armed spaceships and were highjacking freighters and turning them into more armed pirate ships.
What really caused a problem was when the pirates began throwing rocks (asteroids) at Mars! Without a way to interdict these rocks, Mars was left open to great destruction and huge loss of life. These asteroids struck with the force of an atomic bomb and dug great craters wherever they hit. If they were to attack Earth in this way, the death toll would be tremendous.
Could anybody do anything? Well, maybe the retired Admiral had been up to something that not everyone was aware of. It was time to bring his Son in on the secret R&D facility out in the vastness of space. Would his secret plans be enough?
As I said before, this was a good story, just not very exciting. I didn’t buy the premise of the Lunar Accord. No one could ever believe that weapons wouldn’t ever show up in space! There are weapons in space right now (in my opinion), but so far there’s been no need for them to show themselves. Someday, though, someone will threaten something in space and they will suddenly show up. This story was about those pirates now showing up and everyone is under their guns. Secondly, the one person on Earth that really hated retired Admiral Nicholas Stein, was the next in-line for the U.N. Presidency which, in this story, enforced the Lunar Accord. That guy had a very strong beef with the Nicholas Stein since he believed he was responsible for the death of his wife! His persecution of the retired Admiral was pretty obvious that he was out for revenge! He was also slightly deranged, but so were a lot of the U. N. senior staff!
I’m not sure if I’ll read the next book. I might if I see it pop-up on Amazon. But, that’s just me. You should read it if you like a quick, simple space story.