Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Wolf Worlds by Allan Cole and Chris Bunch

Our hero from Sten, the inimitable Sten, is the leader of a Mantis team (think future Delta Force) sent to do a mineral survey in the Eryx region of space. They have discovered a sample of a mineral that will serve as a replacement for Imperium-X, the shielding material used in star ships. A "gold rush" of epic proportions is about to ensue, once the word gets out. There's only one slight little problem; the route to the system passes through the Wolf Worlds, which are inhabited by two different groups of militant religious fanatics, known as the Jann (short for Janissaries).

The reward for a job well done is, as usual, another job, so Sten's band of troops is assigned to covertly make sure that peace rules in the Wolf Worlds. They hire on with the less aggressive side as mercenaries, and wreak havoc on their enemies quite effectively, with the help of additional mercenaries and a nearby alien race of traders known as the Bohr, who have inhabited an icy world for millenia.

Unfortunately, after accomplishing their mission, the cluster refuses to stay pacified, and the newly triumphant worshippers of Talemein decide to go on a galaxy-wide crusade, converting all to their religion. Sten and his people are betrayed by his employers, and abandoned on the last ship-building world of the Jann, where they have sabotaged the facilities. You don't want to mess with Sten, though, and when he finds a way to escape, things get even more bloody.

Great fun, wry humor and epic adventure abound in this second book in the series.

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