Catching up on some loose ends before I dive into another long series. This week I finished up Amazon Indie S. H. Jucha’s space opera series “The Silver Ships”, with the fourth and fifth installments, Haraken and Sol.

The familiar cast of characters was back here, with a new story set nine years after the completion of the story from the trilogy. As the title of book five indicates, the antagonist this time are the inhabitants of ancient Earth, who appear looking to stir up trouble in an interesting way.

The story is fairly straightforward, without a lot of surprises or plot twists. But it is well told and the political setting and the dynamic of the story are new and interesting. IMO Jucha has thus far done quite well at presenting old Hard SF concepts in new and intriguing ways. I also appreciate the simplicity and directness of his style.

My main complaint would be that the antagonists were more sneering and glaringly villainish than in previous Silver Ships novels. Also, some major characters from previous stories get short shrift here (Rene and Pia come to mind), which may bother some readers (though it’s understandable, as new character had to be injected to go with the new setting and story).

The story told in these two books is more or less complete at this point, though at the end a new book is announced. Since there’s no cliffhanger or any real story leads it’s pretty much an open guess what that will be about, but I don’t imagine we’ll have to wait long to find out. Jucha has really cranked these out quickly, which is great to see.

I look forward to reading Espero when it comes out.