Set between books two and three of the original Sten series by Allan Cole and Chris Bunch, Sten and the Mutineers is a short novel (I blew through it in a couple of days) encapsulating a single adventure, straight-line and the team’s abilities and workings to deal with it.
It throws back to the old days when the good guys were good guys getting their hands dirty, General Mahoney was still around, and the Eternal Emperor was actually a good guy (and also a good guy, if you parse the difference). There are other throwbacks and call outs to reel you in as well, tiny things to tie into Sten’s childhood or provide links between The Wolf Worlds and the two Damned books, plus characters that have been too long absent from my life.
Oddly, I seem to have missed Alex Kilgour more than the rest of the characters, though I was quite happy to have Doc and Ida back, too. Sten didn’t seem to have as much to do as sometimes, not quite as much the main character as I’m used to, but standing out in front of the rest of the ensemble a little. Which is okay, but makes the title a trifle misleading. Still, how else would I have made the connection?
Aliens and space ships, battles and potential romances, plot twists and treachery, enemies and allies, sometimes both. A fully resolved plot that still leaves things open for more (which I’m fairly certain there is because Mr. Cole’s website says that Sten and the Pirate Queen is coming soon).
And it’s available for free in a serialized format on Mr. Cole’s website. Here’s the link for “episode” one: http://stenbooks.blogspot.ca/2015/11/chapter-one-episode-one.html.
Overall rating: 3.5 stars, which I’m rounding up to 4 in recognition of this story bringing be back to a universe that’s high on my list of favourite series for the sheer number of times I read the original books and the hours of reading pleasure they brought me.
Be well, everyone.by