The Aurora begins clearing a 20 light year sphere of safety around Earth, taking out Jung forces as they liberate the core systems. However, Captain Scott and the Alliance quickly discover that not every world wants to be liberated, and the Jung have a few surprises of their own.
Chapter 13 in The Frontiers Saga is as enjoyable to read as most of the books in the series have been. It is great entertainment and I definitely liked this book except for a few things that I get to.
The book starts off right away with the Alliance giving the Jungs a good beating. There is plenty of action in this book and, for once, the Aurora is not totally shot to pieces. At least not right away. A decent amount of the action is down on the ground, either in the form of the Ghatazhak liberating former Jung worlds or Jessica on undercover and infiltration work on the next Jung world to liberate.
As the book blurb states some inhabitants are not all that eager to be liberated but, to be honest, that does not really play an enormous role in the book. Most of the book is more straightforward action and strategic decisions in order to achieve the 20 light year sphere. The action is good, very good, and the writing and characters are as enjoyable as always.
Naturally not everything goes exactly as planned and, as the book blurb also states, the Jung have a few surprises as well. Not all of them being of the kind that involves lobbying ships, missiles and blunts instruments at each other. I found this “other” surprise to be an interesting twist and it ties together some of the events on Earth with Jessica’s experiences when working undercover as well.
However, there are these “few things” that I mentioned. A minor gripe is that they are going through Ghatazhaks at frightening speeds, sometimes due to reasons I found not to be very valid. It is as if the shooting up of the Aurora now have been replaced by killing off Ghatazhaks. A less minor gripe is that Jessica, in my opinion, during her undercover work is behaving somewhat amateurish in that she is opening her mouth rather quickly and spilling details about jump drives and god knows what to people who’s integrity have hardly been satisfactory proven. Actually she is not the only one behaving amateurishly from time to time.
Then we have the situation in the Pentaurus cluster where the “nobles” are stirring up things and everything, quite frankly, goes to hell. This I could have been without. It was a totally unnecessary element of the story. It also created quite some sadness and losses and I felt that this book did not at all end on a happy note due primarily to this and, since I am a sucker for happy endings, I really did not like this.
If not for these issues, especially the latter, this book would have earned another star for me. It is still a good book though and, as is often the case, these gripes are due to the personal opinions and tastes of myself. I am indeed looking forward to the next instalment in the series.