Tor, Mar 2008, $26.95
In 2453, humanity has established a thriving colony on Argo, a planet in the Pollux System with incredible military and archeological treasures left behind by feral aliens estimated to have been here a million years ago. Other similar findings have been found on the orb’s moons and humans have taken advantage of the superior technology.
The military conducts a training exercise on Argo’s inner moon Charybdis. Commander Manuel Rusk inadvertently turns on a defense system left behind by the aliens that ignites the sun to send trajectories of fire at the planet. Based on interpreting records to save the colony, Rusk believes he must journey to Spider Star where he hopes an expert exists who can turn off the switch. He and space explorer Frank Klingston lead an expedition that makes it to Spider Star; only to have most of the landing party including Klingston taken prisoner by spider-like aliens while robots attack Rusk.
This is an exciting fast-paced futuristic outer space thriller with an interesting unique climax to the Argo extinction issue although there are some seemingly implausible moments especially on Spider Star. Rusk and Klingston are heroic FIs (F**ken idiots) as they blunder about starting on the moon affirming the oxymoron military intelligence. Fans of faster than light science fiction will join the expedition to Spider Star to find someone to save Argo.