Space Opera meets Horse Opera in this fast-paced adventure story featuring the Space Command Intelligence undercover team headed by Trader Vyx. The team, introduced in Book 4 of the A Galaxy Unknown series, and with small roles in subsequent books, is now featured in their own story as this AGU: SCI series kicks off. This story is a mix of low-tech and high-tech as shootouts in saloons and city streets vie with spaceship chases and space battles to dominate the pages of this book.
Space Command Intelligence operates to the full width and breadth of Galactic Alliance space— and sometimes beyond. Intelligence gathering is a dangerous profession, and most agents operate alone, or with a single partner, but there are exceptions. Trader Vyx, originally a lone field agent, was saddled with two information gatherers when he left the Gollasko Colony, but mutual bonds of respect soon grew between the three men. When two female operatives were rescued from Tsgardi slavers by Vyx, Byers, and Nelligen, SCI temporarily assigned the women to Vyx’s team. Now, years later, the team is still together, and operating as one of the most effective groups in SCI.
With the defeat of the Uthlaro Dominion, their former territory has fallen into anarchy. Space Command doesn’t have adequate resources to bring the region under control while facing other enemies on multiple fronts in Regions One and Two, so SCI agents have been sent in to do what they can.
Trader Vyx and his team are on the planet Bleadalto, two hundred light-years from Uthlarigasset. Their mission is to assess the situation there and learn everything they can about the slavery problem, but the once out-of-control-violence situation on Gollasko seems like a tea social compared to everyday life on Bleadalto. Within hours of arriving on the planet, Vyx is forced into a gunfight with a Brotherhood thug. The large crime organization is not pleased.
This a rather short (less than 200 pages) side story in the A Galaxy Unknown universe featuring Trader Vyx as the main character. As the blurb states it is really a match between science fiction (I’m not really sure I would call this book space opera) and western shootouts. I quite liked it. It uses the latest adventures of Jenetta Carver as the backdrop for a light and quite enjoyable little adventure story.
Trader Vyx is a do-not-fuck-with-me gunslinger or at least that is the image that he makes an excellent effort to convey. In reality he is an operative of Space Command Intelligence. I really liked the character as well as the characters of his friends and quite a few of the people that he encounters. The not so likable characters in the book usually have rather short lifespans. At least after they made the poor judgment of trying to step in Trader Vyx way.
Like any true adventure hero Trader Vyx seems to have considerable number of fair ladies strewn out over the galaxy as well. Needless to say these are not disposed off as quickly as the previously mentioned less likable acquaintances.
The story itself is a rather simple one and moves rather quickly from one situation to another. Most situations involve the use of weaponry for their solution. I would say that my only real complaint concerning this book would be that it is rather short and the joy of reading it was a short one.