This series is so good that I couldn’t wait to get back to it, so I went straight to book 2, “Into the Battle” As we left book 1, Captain Miles Hunt was getting ready to take his ship, the RNS Rook, into battle against not one, but two Zodark starships! He had the RNS Voyager trailing ship and the RNS Ottawa, a small destroyer, with him, but it was hoped the won’t have to directly engage in the battle. Well, that didn’t work out so well! The Rook had all it could handle and more. Not knowing the capabilities of the Zodark ships was a very dangerous situation to be going into. The Rook is equipped with Havoc missiles and their deadly magrail guns seem to have a major effect on the Zodark ships.
This first battle proves to be short and deadly. While the Rook was able to take out the first Zodark battleship, the second one was much, much larger, larger even than the Voyager. It also sprang a surprise Captain Hunt wasn’t expecting. Fighter craft came swarming out of the Zodark carrier and these little ships packed a heck of a punch that the Rook’s close in weapons systems had a hard time defeating. Finally, the Voyager and the Ottawa had to intercede between the Rook and the Zodark carrier to protect the Rook from becoming completely destroyed. The Ottawa didn’t last long. It was no match for the Zodark carrier’s pulse weapons. It took only a few hits to completely destroy the little ship. Still, combined, they both took down the second and last starship the Zodark had around New Eden. Then Captain Hunt then came up with a questionable decision. Why not attempt to capture the Zodark carrier? While it was disabled, it still was floating in space. Only problem was that it’s crew was still largely on-board, all that weren’t killed anyway.
Now, it was time to land the invasion force and capture the planet. This story moves along quite rapidly from here on out. There is fierce fighting on the ground as the Republic begins landing its massive Army troops along with the Deltas. The humans quickly take over the air and begin bombarding all the know Zodark encampments. There is one large one and several smaller ones around the various mining activities. The fighting is tedious because of the way the Zodarks fight in that they never hardly every surrender! It does take awhile, but the planet is finally rid of most of the Zodarks and the occupation then starts taking off. Even Fleet Admiral Baily and President Luca arrive to see what the new human planet looks like.
So, while it appears that the Republic has captured New Eden, will it actually be able to keep control of it. They know the Zodarks aren’t going to just go away. From talking with some of the the Zodark slaves who were surprisingly humans called Sumerians, they learn that the Zodarks have an enormous empire. It is believed they should be able to send countless number of ships to New Eden if they wanted it back bad enough. Fortunately, one of the Sumerians was a former scientist for their very advanced civilization. He and his fellow Sumerians were very grateful to the Earth humans for freeing them from their slavery and were willing to help the humans any way they could. That lead to some very significant changes in the humans technology. The Sumerians began showing the Earth humans how to develop much more powerful power plants which would significantly improve their ships and weapons. It appeared that Earth just might have found a way to finally combat the Zodarks on an equal basis. That is until they found another alien race called the Altairians!
The writing is still pretty good in this book and the story moves along quite rapidly. It’s hard to tell sometimes how much time has passed between events. Some of the battles take place and then nothing happens for quite some time. This isn’t all that surprising, but it does allow the Earth humans to build a lot more starships than they would have otherwise. It’s somewhat explained that the vast size of the Zodark empire is what’s keeps them from immediately returning to New Eden. Also, it appears that the Zodark are in another war some where very far from New Eden and Earth. I am finding out that the author needs to work on his aliens names. Some of them are becoming quite comical and should have been developed a lot better. Still, what I like best about this story is that humans from Earth aren’t just being killed off because we’re so inferior. Even with our supposedly ancient weapons, we’re able to fight the Zodarks very effectively and hold our own. Even in close combat with the Zodarks, enhanced humans can and do defeat these eight foot tall monsters when necessary. That’s a good change of pace from Earth humans just being wiped out like livestock in some books.
I’m moving on to book three, “Into the War’, which I think will be just as interesting as these first two. I did notice that book four, “Into the Chaos”, won’t be available until June 2021, so I guess I will have to slow down with the series at some point.