Rating:

5 Small Stars
Artifact

These books are getting better. There is no long one single solitary starship protecting the entire Solar System. The Behemoth had been tasked with that job and did it well until Human Central Command started sending it off on mission outside the Solar System. Why they did this is unknown, but due to some wise assistance from their allies, the Kielans have provided temporary protection for the Sol System by leaving a few of their ships in orbit around Earth.

So now the Behemoth is off on a special mission for the Alliance High Command. Having just joined the Alliance, Earth must provide it’s share of the protection for the entire Alliance and right now the Behemoth is the only ship and probably the best ship available to conduct this mission. Some one has been attacking new colonies and utterly destroying them. These are not large planetary colonies, but newly formed without much in the way of defenses. Yet, this new enemy, which seem to operate as pirates, but much, much better organized, completely obliterate eveything of value on or near these colony planets. They kill all the civilians, men, women and children while conscripting the young males into their outfit. Of course these young men would have probably been better off killed, because they will soon be brain-washed to becoming a devote of Lord Krilan.

Lord Krilan is an ex-Anthar formerly of the Kielans military. He has a great tendency to be ruthlessly brutal to those under his command and does anything he wants to carry out his mission. Unfortunately, he was previously assigned to quell a rebellion on one of the Kielan colonies which he did by killing every single person on the colony planet! He was subsequently court-marshalled and sent to prison for life. Having broken out of prison, he now has his own army and has the idea that he needs to become emperor of the entire galaxy so it will be peaceful the way he wants it. Right now though, he’s looking for a star map which might lead him to a significant weapon used by the ancients. With that weapon, he should be able to conquer the galaxy much easier. Some how he and his Orion’s Light outfit has obtained some advanced weapons already. They seem to be better matched against the usual Alliance combat starships.

On-board the Behemoth, the Alliance has gained the cooperation of one proven genius Durant Vi’Puren, an engineer of unparalleled capabilities. He has already improved a number of the Behemoth’s on-board systems stating that their original programming came front him and he’s now developed much better code to replce the old stuff with. Captain Gray Atwell seems to trust Durant and has turned him lose on the Behemoth to work with his own engineering crew to make these improvements. Having encountered these Orion Light enemies once before and heard various reports from other Alliance ships, Captain Atwell knows he’s in for a fight if he plans on taking down their command ship.

So, that’s about the gist of the story. The Behemoth is off to capture or kill the Orion’s Light pirates and to ensure they stop killing off colonies. They find some very brutal action on the part of the Orion’s Light which eliminates the idea of capturing them. They much die and the Behemoth is the ship to get this done, or is it?

Again, these books are getting better and with Earth building more just like or even better than the Behemoth, the story should get even more plausible. Not sure what or when the next book will be released, but I plan on reading it.