5 Small Stars

I was caught by surprise with this book. So as not to have you in the same position, I’ll tell you why. This book happens before “Serengeti”. I prefer to read my book series in sequence and don’t particularly like to go back in time. Still, this was a very good book although some of the military aspects are kind of strange. Our main character is a human this time, not a starship. He’s Commander Henricksen in Command of the Meridian Alliance Hecate, an Aurora-class vessel. Surprisingly, he’s seems very rank conscious for some reason. I, personally, don’t think this is very typical of most senior military leaders; they don’t worry about the next promotion, they’re too focused on doing their current job. Commander Henricksen gets preoccupied on several occasions with his desire for Captain “stars” versus paying attention to the mission at hand. That’s obviously not a smart thing to do.

The book starts off with a very precarious mission for the Hecate. She is suckered into a trap which Henricksen nor his crew recognize in time to prevent Hecate’s destruction.
Yeah, that’s right. The name-sake for the book is destroyed in about the second chapter. So, the real story turns out to be about Henricksen’s next command. That’s another reveal right there. While his ship is destroyed, he and his bridge staff all survive to some degree. He then teams up with his former gunner, Chief Sikuuku, and they both form the leadership at his new command. It’s in Black Ops which is a real problem for Henricksen.

I think there’s some thing a little wrong the way the AIs seem to be in-charge of these starships. I don’t doubt they are smart and can come up with solutions a lot, lot faster than their human crew, but to just turn everything over to the AI and let it command a vessel, is not something I would want to do. Still, it happens throughout this book and the other books by this author. In this book, it’s especially bad because some of the AIs are not very experienced, yet they are making decisions without consulting their ship’s Captain. That would be a complete failure and I wouldn’t command a ship in those conditions. Also, towards the end of the book, the AI’s seem to get more and more insubordinate which make them very unreliable. That shouldn’t be tolerated at any level.

Ok, so now I know about Henricksen who eventually comes to “command” Serengeti. I don’t know if we had to have this information, but I guess it’s just another good book. I would encourage the reader to continue reading this author’s books and definitely read “Serengeti”.