Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book #37 - Helfort’s War Book 2: The Battle of the Hammer Worlds

51dzXV9tnoL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_After finishing Book 1 of Helfort’s War, I jumped right into Book 2: The Battle of the Hammer Worlds. The book starts out with a bang, having Helfort being charged with mutiny.

Actually that’s a trait of these books, a few paragraphs at the beginning that are from a later chapter, but they shock you. In this case Helfort is back to a Lt, after having to captain his last ship. It was damaged by the Hammer patrol and eventually scrapped. Now he’s on a new ship, with a captain that won’t listen to him, or much of anyone, and miserable. Tasked with patrols, he’s struggling to survive. After he sets up a simulation the captain fails, he’s charged with mutiny and under arrest on his own ship.

Meanwhile the Hammer Worlds have another plot. The old chief councilor is dead and the new one, Polk, is even more brutal. He has converted merchant ships firing on and killing Federation merchant ships. When Helfort’s Issaq wanders into the killing field, they are destroyed, but Helfort and much of the crew escape in life pods and are captured.

Much of this book is Helfort’s time in captivity. He manages to get some respect from the Hammer ship, though he’s beaten badly. Since he was a Federation hero, he’s taken by Doctrinal Security when the rest of his crew is put in a prison camp. They beat him, then heal him and want a confession. He refuses and bluffs them into thinking his neuronics can put him in a coma. He then reunites with the rest and they escape from the camp, hiking over the wintery mountains.

The book is exciting, with a look back at technology from the Hammer worlds, which seems more normal, while the Federation technology seems amazing. There are harrowing thrills, and moral issues with the decisions Helfort must go through to escape and get back to Federation space. He does, and with the amazing new anti-matter weapons the Hammer have, the book ends with an amazing destruction of much of the Federation fleet.

A great read, and if you enjoy book 1, you will like this one.

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