Earth is conquered.
Sol is lost.
One ship is tasked to free them.
One Captain to save them all.
When an alien armada destroys the United Earth Space Force and takes control of the human homeworld, newly reinstated Captain Annette Bond must take her experimental hyperspace cruiser Tornado into exile as Terra’s only interstellar privateer.
She has inferior technology, crude maps and no concept of her enemy, but the seedy underbelly of galactic society welcomes her so long as she has prizes to sell and money to spend.
But when your only allies are pirates and slavers, things are never as they seem—and if you become all that you were sworn to destroy, what are you fighting for?
I have to say that I was a bit hesitant about this book. I’ve had it on my reading list for a while but I am always a bit hesitant about books that start with Earth being conquered, overrun or downright destroyed. However, after having read the Vigilante series by the same author, although co-authored by Terry Mixon, I decided to have a go at it.
Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Not that I really expected the book to be bad or anything but, as it turned out, I ended up liking it…a lot.
Yes there is the thing about Earth being conquered and there is the stuff about our hero being screwed over by her fellow officers (male of course just to be politically correct…sigh) when trying to bring a rapist to justice. But it gets better from there.
The story really starts when Captain Bond takes of into space after having delivered perhaps not a blow but certainly a sting to the invading forces. Her secret mission to become a privateer, obtain knowledge and technology, and give Earth a chance to repel the invaders.
Naturally she embarks on quite an adventure. This another one of those books that, although being military science fiction, is more of an space adventure story. Bond will meet aliens, buy technology, steal technology, kill pirates, become a pirate and generally kick ass. Bond herself is a quite capable, honorable and very likable hero. So is a lot of her shipmates. The latter group expands considerable during the journey. Obviously these new additions are not human.
As I write this more of an adventure story than true military science fiction so there are perhaps some elements which are a bit off the realism scale. Like giant pirate space stations hidden around and being able to just buy anything from handguns to battleships. Not to mention how quickly advanced technology can be retrofitted onto a strange ship from the backwater planet of Earth.
Speaking of backwater planet. Although it is true that Earth generally lags far behind on the technology scale they actually do have a technological edge in a few areas. An edge which gives them a surprising, for their opponents at least, advantage when it’s ass kicking time.
As with any good adventure story there are a few twists and turns along the ride but I have to say that the surprise at the end was…well…surprising. I did like it though.
I noticed that some reviewers wrote down the book a lot for some perceived LGBTQ preaching. I cannot say that I found much preaching in the book. A few cases of must-get-something-PC-in-there perhaps but nothing really preaching. Yes there are homosexual characters in the book. So what? I do not like heavy handed politically correct preaching in books I read so I think I would have noticed if there were much of it going around.
Bottom line, another series that I will continue. Sigh I have too many of those for my own good right now.