I’ve enjoyed Honsinger’s Man of War series as a fairly typical energetic military-SF series borrowing from the Age of Sail literary series. My main disappointment with the series is that it halts at a dramatic moment, and the sequel series hasn’t come out yet.

Instead, we have a prequel series, dealing with a teenaged version of the main character. Instead of a look at the operations of a small destroyer, Robichaux is on his own, scouting in a small stealthy craft monitoring Krag (the bad guys in the long-running war Earth is in) activity.

Well, that’s the theory. Things go extremely sideways for Robichaux once the story starts, and he ends up dealing with mysterious Vaaach, and an entirely different situation as part of that. Dealing with the Vaaach isn’t done with at the end here, but that is the overarching spine for this prequel series.

The action is as well done as ever. What we see of the setting is fairly well done, and the characterization is good. But, because Robichaux is the only real character here, a lot of the strengths of the main series are blunted. However, this is a novella instead of a novel, so it’s not allowed to outstay it’s welcome.