Red Bounty: Van Tudor and his merry band of adventurers grows on me.

Red Bounty (Backyard Starship, #2) by J.N. Chaney & Terry Maggert.
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars

Van left his old life behind, but some things remain the same.

Even in space, crime still exists.

After taking a Peacemaker job to find missing fuel, Perry finds something far more sinister than simple theft—a voice, crying out in a forge of heat and flame, and the discovery reveals a series of acts so vicious that nothing short of revenge will suffice.

Following leads across the stars, Van, Perry, and Torina discover the wealthy elite are doing more than just taking fuel.

They’re stealing lives.

But it takes money to make justice, and Van has to work. Torina’s land must be restored, and the Dragonet needs new armor, and Van’s sword isn’t going to sharpen itself.

So Van throws himself into the life of a Peacemaker, where he discovers that doing his job—and doing it well—makes him a target.

He’s got the will. He’s got the sword. And he’s got help. Now all he needs is a little fuel.

And maybe a gun or two.

This is the second book in the Backyard Starship series and I have to say that our main protagonist, Van Tudor, and his merry band of adventurers as well as the story itself grows on me.

In the first book I was a bit miffed that the author started off by more or less crippling this “backyard starship” of his and I feared that he was going to play the underdog that everyone beat up on for the foreseeable future.

Luckily we moved on from that rather quickly. Not that Van Tudor is flying around in some uberpowerful battleship or anything but thanks to the rather original story idea as to how the peacekeepers function he has been able to upgrade his ship so he can indeed kick some ass now.

The books is more or less a chain of adventures with a red thread following through them. Some of the concepts and story ideas in the book are somewhat silly and certainly not very realistic. The idea to steal brains of sentient species’ brains to run mundane equipment. Is pretty ridiculous. Especially in an age where AI is rather commonplace. But it does keep the story going so I can live with it.

Van Tudor’s battle AI is hilarious and the bantering between Van, Perry and Torina is quite enjoyable. The story wanders between science fiction and fantasy fiction but it is quite fun to read.

Van Tudor & Co ventures back to Van Tudor’s home for a few chapters in this book. I really hope that the author writes in some nice jaw dropping surprise moments for some of Tudor’s friends back on Earth and that a bit more connection is made to Earth. Preferably with some ass-kicking retired marine or something. Certainly not any of our dumbass politicians of course.

There are some treacherous scheming going on inside the peacekeepers, a kind of story I’m not too keen on, but it’s not too bad and I really hope Van Tudor gets to do some more ass kicking with respect to this despicable and generally useless relative of his. I have to say that I am rather looking forward to the next book in the series.

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