5 Small Stars

A really good space warfare, military science fiction book. I like to read stuff like this. In the previous book, Captain Timothy Granger, with the ISS Constitution had almost single-handily save the Earth from destruction when he and his ship defeated a Swarm flotilla on Earth’s doorstep. He had become known as “The Hero of Earth” and is now in demand everywhere to save the United Federation’s planets and citizens. Unfortunately, the United Federation Defense Forces are very thin and getting thinner with every encounter with the Swarm.

The Swarm has started using singularities, small black holes, which can destroy about anything they touch. They can’t be let loose to touch a planet or they could almost destroy it entirely. They certainly can destroy any starship that comes in contact with a singularity. The only way to defeat such a weapon is to through enough mass into it to cause a premature detonation destroying the singularity and anything close by. Unfortunately, during the early part of this war with the Swarm, the only thing with enough mass to cause these premature denotations are the fast flying star fighters, Strykers, who have to fly directly into the singularity. And, the Swarm has its own carriers of deadly star fighters which come out of a large landing bay in their mother ships. If the humans can damage or destroy this landing bay, they largely incapacitate the Swarm carrier and can finish it off from a distance. Again, unfortunately, the only thing big enough to damage the large landing bay of the Swarm mothership is another ship!

Captain Granger has been using deadly tactics in defeating the Swarm; deadly to his own forces as well as the enemy. He’s ordered several of his star fighters to fly into a singularity and into the large landing bay of the Swarm mothership. But, he doesn’t initially have any other choice. He gets the nickname of “Brick-layer” since his other Captains feel he is just throwing bricks at the enemy target not realizing that he is killing his own forces. Captain Granger believes he has no choice. Each starship he sacrifices saves the lives of thousands of other Naval personnel and civilians who would otherwise be dead from the Swarms lethal weapons.

In this book, Captain Granger is awaiting orders that he believes will end the war. But first he must find the Swarm’s home planet. Having done that, he must convince his President that she needs to execute Operation Battle-axe, the destruction of the Swarms home world. But, things are not that simple. For one, the President has to jump all over the place to escape being assassinated. The Vice President is initially out to assassinate the President, but then he to starts getting attacked and barely escapes being killed. Meanwhile, the Russians seem to have some kind of relationship with the Swarm! They aren’t fighting along side the Federation for some reason and it’s getting time for them to explain why. Their reason will be interesting.

Lots of war fighting going on. Lots of political intrigue. Even the President of the United Federation gets into the action, although she seems to be an absolute nut! And the Russians, who would ever trust them?