This was a very enjoyable, but predictable book. For once, a military science fiction book that didn’t involve an alien war, but piracy. Yeah, this story is kind of mild to the ones I’ve been reading and pretty predictable as to what happens when. I didn’t mind that predictability. The story is about a mining station that has been take over by pirates. They want to take all the precious ore called Ulem for themselves and sell it on the black market. This ore is very, very, very valuable and happens to be the last item required to finish construction on Earth’s latest two starships.
Now, the mining station is owned by the Kielans, but it’s ran by a mix of humans, Kielans and other alliance personnel. It’s total population is a little over 2,000 from what I remember. Anyway, it’s big, but about thirty-six pirates managed to take over the entire complex. And, these pirates are not your typical kill everything and take what’s left pirates. No, they have already managed to commandeer a Kielan battleship! It is about ready to dock with the mining station after sending out a warning to the station to not interfere or face serious consequences. The pirates will load up all the ore than can and then leave. No one needs to get killed so the station security force has to stand-down, which it does. Except for one security officer on duty deep in the maintenance levels of the station.
The Kielans have received word from the hidden security officer of the situation on the station. They believe that it would be in the best interest of the Kielans and the humnans, if the humans would resolve this incident. The Kielans would agree to ship Earth all the Olem they needed in return for the Earth Defenses freeing the station and securing their battleship undamaged. They believe it would be a suitable job the the Behemoth! Only, the Behemoth isn’t in the galaxy. They have just started repairs after their ordeal at the supposedly secret Kielan research facility and won’t be home for a few weeks. But, it is a mission they should be able to handle.
Ok, so you can now figure out what happens. It’s not all that hard. Pirates usually don’t have the know-how or the resources to attempt this kind of job so how did they get this far? Well, that’s not part of the story. And how they took over a Kielan battleship that was fully crewed is another interesting fact that is also not written about. We also don’t get much background on any of the pirates and when we do, it’s only about one individual who, although a pirate, has his own agenda. Still, the book is a good, easy read. There’s not a lot of fighting, but the intrigue is there.
I assume that the next few books in this series, if it continues, will have something more to do with fighting the alien enemy. Earth is about ready to release two or three new ships so they will then have a significant armada if not still very small. I found one passage in the book that kind of hit me funny.
The First Officer Adam talking, “Lieutenant Collins,” Adam turned to the navigator, Timothy. “Set a course for the open space between the moon and Mars. Then plot us a jump. I believe you have the numbers for that?”
Well, you know how much “open space” he’s talking about? Let me tell you, it’s a lot. There isn’t anything more than open space in space. I just hope the navigator has some kind of clue as to where they’re supposed to go because the open space between the moon and Mars is mind-boggling enormous! Might want to pin down your navigational directions a little better, there First Officer!