cover image The Privateer: Flight Engineer II

The Privateer: Flight Engineer II

James Doohan. Baen Books, $21 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-671-57832-9

In a sequel to their coauthored The Rising, Doohan (""Scotty"" on the original TV series Star Trek) and SF veteran Stirling (the Drake series, etc.) again deliver the exhilarating action that their fans want. Commander Peter Raeder of Space Command is facing reassignment to an earthbound desk post for a reckless act of bravery that saved every hand aboard the Dauntless, but contradicted the orders of his superiors. So when the inscrutable General Scaragoglu offers Raeder a dangerous and deadly assignment, he accepts eagerly. Doohan fans will be delighted as the high-spirited crew of the Dauntless set out on their new ship, the Invincible, and Raeder's highly talented fighter-jock buddies--including the lovely Lt. Comdr. Sarah James--train for their top-secret mission. Piloting ""Speeds""--fighters reconfigured to resemble the ships of space pirates--Raeder's band conducts attack raids on their enemy, the ""Mollies,"" within a dangerous asteroid belt. But when the Invincible is nearly crippled in battle, with just enough fuel to limp home to Ontario Base, Raeder and his band are left, with supplies dwindling, to face the enemy on their own and to rescue Sarah, who has been taken prisoner. Though they're writing here far from the borders of serious SF, Doohan and Stirling bind sharply drawn characters and rousing adventure with an energetic story line, offering first-rate escapist entertainment. (Oct.)