Last voyage, Captain Maddox entered a distant star system with a Swarm fleet. The sheer numbers were staggering, a 100-1 advantage against all human spacecraft. If the highly aggressive, racist insects gained hyper-spatial tube technology—allowing them to cross a thousand light-years in seconds—it would mean Armageddon for Earth.
Star Watch desperately needs something powerful to offset the annihilating Swarm numbers. As if on cue, Professor Ludendorff declares he has discovered the whereabouts of ancient Builder technology, a tech so potent it could defeat the Swarm.
Star Watch takes the bait, ordering Captain Maddox to find the lost planet holding the ancient technology.
Ludendorff has a plan involving androids to lure his arch rival—Methuselah Man Strand—to his doom.
The crew of Starship Victory knows nothing of this and thus blindly enters a web of intrigue and danger. The captain will need the AI Galyan, Valerie and Riker like never before. Humanity’s hope against the coming Swarm holocaust rests on the outcome.
The Lost Planet brings us more of the intrigues and scheming by Ludendorff and Strand. I felt the main story, the Swarm, got drowned by the vendetta between these two Methusaleh Men. This book was more fun to read than the previous one in the series but I still felt there was too much focus on nefarious schemes and backstabbing.
I was also somewhat underwhelmed by the nature of the artifact they were searching for. I was hoping that it would be something more in the nature of things that go bang. I would say that the blurb about “a tech so potent it could defeat the swarm” is pure hype.
Having said that, Captain Maddox and his friends are back and in pretty good shape. As the blurb states they are embarking on a journey to find the lost planet and extract the advanced technology. Of course not everything goes as planned when the author starts to throw one surprise (somewhat at least) obstacle after another at Maddox & Co.
The biggest surprise awaits them at the planet itself which is inhabited by the remnants of an ancient and wise race. Unfortunately they have degenerated due to the effects of a catastrophic war. Some have mutated into monsters and the rest have become deeply religious and rather stupid. I was only mildly entertained by this turn of events.
There is of course plenty of action happening. We cannot leave Maddox without anything to clobber, shoot or blow up can we? I was also happy that the more and more insane Strand got some of the bitter medicine that he was due. I find the behind your back scheming of Ludendorff somewhat tiring and Strand extremely tiring by now. I hope Strand mostly stays out of the picture in any future books.
One the whole this was a good book but again, not really the best one in the series.