Home > Book Reviews > Review: Starship: Mercenary by Mike Resnick

Review: Starship: Mercenary by Mike Resnick

After precipitating a Mutiny and then trying out the life of a Pirate, Wilson Cole and the crew of the Theodore Roosevelt take up the mantle of Mercenary in this third adventure of Mike Resnick’s Starship series.

One of my peeves from the second book was that Captain Cole exposed himself to danger too often rather than using his officers and crew to take the lead on various missions.  This lessens a bit in this book as several of the officer-level crew point this out.  While Cole is still obviously in control, he doesn’t have to be the center of attention for every incident.

Another miscellaneous item:  I really like Cole’s nonchalance during crises.  When a battle or a deadline is soon, but not imminent, the author has Captain Cole head to the mess hall for a quick bite or coffee, or to the rest room (after the coffee!).  This suggests a man who has fought in many battles before, but who (1) wants to put his crew at ease and (2) realizes that one can plan and plan but in the hours before a battle, one must recharge his batteries.

Another interesting incident is that one of the Republic’s enemy fleet captains, disenchanted with his government, military, and the war in general, joins up with the Teddy R.  It was refreshing for the author to comment that the enemy can be noble and true — sometimes it is difficult to tell who is really in the right (if anyone) — but moral, ethical behavior can transcend nations at war.

In this book, the Teddy R must face its biggest challenge to date.  After taking on a number of mercenary contracts (each of which is vetted to ensure that they don’t violate Cole’s sense of ethics), he must defend a giant space station / floating city using only five ships.  In revenge for being permanently barred from the station due to a drunken rage where he destroys property, a warlord decides that no being will ever use the station again.  In addition, Cole’s protégé Val (for Valkyrie) joins up with the warlord.  Can Cole find a way to save thousands of lives and redeem Val?

This series continues to be a fast read, with interesting characters and situations, some humor, fast action, and a nice bit of brain power over brawn.

The series:

  1. Mutiny
  2. Pirate
  3. Mercenary
  4. Rebel
  5. Flagship

4 1/2 out of 5 stars (finished March 1, 2011)

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Currently reading:  Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom, Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris,  Darkspell by Katherine Kerr, & Starship:  Rebel by Mike Resnick

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