It was supposed to be a quiet retirement. One minute Hal Nellis, former air force fighter pilot, is mowing his lawn; the next, he finds himself drafted to fight interstellar pirates set on sacking Earth and other backwater worlds.
When the pirate ships acted independently, the civilian Merchants’ Unity had no trouble keeping them under control. But when the pirates organized to better coordinate their activities, they became an unstoppable force, pushing the underfunded Unity to the brink of collapse and leaving backwater worlds like Earth defenseless.
As one of the rare humans with the hypertasking gene, Hal is able to pilot the best the Unity has to offer. With his help, and that of Captain Kalen Jeffries—the son of human slaves, the remaining ships of the Unity plan a last-ditch effort to break the pirate hegemony. Succeed, and the pirate organization is crushed forever; fail, and the people of Earth and countless other worlds are doomed to slavery and death.
When I am writing this there is a big sign on Amazon saying that this is the #1 best seller in their Military Sci-Fi category. Now this is not a bad book but to me it is at best average. How this can be the #1 on any list is really beyond me. Also, if you look at the ratings it has been given a fairly wide spread of ratings between 1 and 5 stars but there have also only been 12 people rating it so far. Only 12 ratings for a bestseller??? To me this doesn’t add up. Amazons best-seller system seems flawed or broken to me.
Anyway, as I said, it is not a bad book. It was quite an okay book to read. The story and the background as to why Hal became a starship pilot is perhaps a bit underwhelming but I have read much worse. Hal is more or less drafted into service on a spaceship defending the space lanes against various despicable scum commonly referred to as pirates. Along the line he learns to pilot a starship (of course) and is drawn into various adventures, becomes captured, escapes, fights back etc. The usual fairly light adventure stuff.
The book is decently written. Nothing to write home about but no major flaws either. The story holds together…mostly. However, to me, the story rather quickly went away from what I hoped it would be all about. Actually it did that twice.
First, the part where Hal is introduced to the fact that spaceships, aliens and bug-eyed monsters are real was over and done with way to quickly and early in the book for me. It felt rushed.
Second, After Hal had mastered the art of piloting a spaceship (I really would like to do that) there were a few chapters with some actual space action including a rather large battle but then the tide of the battle turns and the story changes to become something rather different where our heroes are forced to survive as refuges/escapees on a pirate base. This confined the story quite a lot as far as I am concerned and the entire setup removed the wow element involved in discovering a whole new universe way to soon.