Rating: 4 stars
Henri Duschelle reminds me of Buckaroo Bonzai (without the guitar chops) or the 1930s pulp hero, Doc Savage. Like Buckaroo and Doc, Duschelle is clever, honorable, courageous, and armed with the best technology available. He surrounds himself with capable people he can trust, and then leaves them to do their work: chasing murderers, slavers, pirates and other miscreants across interstellar space, where Captain Duschelle manages to stay one step ahead of his enemies – at warp speed.
This novella begins with the destruction of three colonizing space ships and their crews, and Duschelle is assigned to investigate. With two “Brains” (academics) on board, he and his crew head to Ossilan, the uninhabited planet where the disaster occurred, and discover that all is not as it appears. Duschelle has to unravel the mystery, which traces back to his home planet of Igran.
It’s great fun to watch the good Captain using pieces of information the author keeps hidden from us until the right moment, and the plot never eases up. However, two things are missing from the Duschelle stories: the Captain never makes a mistake, and none of his crew ever sneaks around and does something they aren’t supposed to. Take those “Brains”, for instance. As it is, they’re on the scene only to provide Duschelle with the latest translating equipment. But if a Brain had secreted herself onto one of the landing ships, and then gotten in the way and endangered Duschelle’s crew, and he had to figure out a new plan on the fly …. Then the Captain could have shown his mettle.
Lizzie Ross, from The Kindle Book Review
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for an independent, fair, and honest review.