Rating:

5 Small Stars
Fire Base

Another great read from one of my favorite authors. I have only read thirteen of the forty-three books Mr. Partlow has written, but I’m probably going to read each one some day or another. He’s one of the very best military science fiction authors I have read. In this book with continue with Cameron and Vicky Alvarez, Marines who just happened to become farmers on the planet Hausos. It didn’t work out so well as you know from the previous book, “Danger Close”. Some Tahni rogue General, Zan-Thint, had acquired an ancient weapons of some sorts and was carrying it around before attempting to use it on the good guys. Cam and Vicky found out they didn’t like farming all that much so when Wade Cunningham showed up on planet Hausos and they found out he was pursuing this Tahni, they agreed to join him and become part of the Corporate Security Force. Not exactly Marines again, but at least they got their combat mechs called Vigilantes back and could defend themselves a lot better now.

They have now tracked the Tahni General to one of the Pirate Worlds, Bathala. This place was largely a volcanic wasteland with nothing going for it, but, well volcanoes! Most of the land that didn’t have a gigantic volcano on it were islands and it was believed that the Tahni had set up a base on one of these islands. But, to get on the planet so they could operate, they had to have a cover. They planned to meet with a pirate gang/family called the Kurotang and pretend to be mercenaries for hire. Essentially, they were spies for the Corporate Council and if that was every found out by the pirates, they wouldn’t be leaving this planet alive, ever! They were definitely taking some risks but the Corporate Council was footing the bill and had given Cam, Vicky and Wade their almost military grade Vigilantes to convince the pirates that they could be of use.

Sure enough, they get hired right off the bat to do a mission for the Kurotang, but that of course means their going to have to go against one of the other pirate families. Once they’ve done that, then there will be the revenge thing that the pissed-off pirate family will fee the need to extract! It’s not going to be a safe place on Bathala once they get to doing their thing, and they haven’t even located the Tahni, yet.

It just so happens that the Kurotong do know the whereabouts of the Tahni. So, Cam, Vicky and Wade start putting together a plan on how to get to that island and find out what General Zan-Thint is up to. This is where all the trouble starts. They do ally with a information trader in Bathala City who seems completely out of place. Cam and Vicky kind of wonder about this guy, but it turns out he’s not at all what they expected and he’s very good for them to have around. What is not good is wha they find the Tahni up to and what that secret ancient weapon will do. It unleashes un-holy hell and now they have some idea of how the ancient Predecessors were wiped out. The only problem now is that Cam, Vicky, Wade and every living soul on Bathala are going to be wiped out just the same. If these wapons/things get loose in the rest of the universe, a whole lot of humans and aliens are going to be wiped-out.

So, it looks like there’s another war coming. Will Cam and Vicky be a part of it? And, just how do they manage to get back into the Marines? The Marines apparently aren’t done with them as you’ll find out and that will lead to a lot more stories in the future.  These are good stories with some great characters and easy reading. The action is exciting and keeps moving along in the book. I’ve been reading these books pretty fast because they are so interesting and the writing so smooth.

I’m on to the next one, “Shock Action”, which appears to be up for pre-order and appears to be available on or about 15 June 2021!  That’s not too bad a wait!