Lanyon runs into trouble when he tries to keep a crucial memory disc out of the hands of a ruthless band of blackmailers. If that isn’t bad enough, Jophena, an eleven-year-old Selenian girl and Lanyon’s traveling companion, turns what Lanyon expects to be a simple chore into an all out war. Just when he thinks everything might turn out all right, the Vermenian blackmailers return to exact a vicious revenge on Lanyon.
Lanyon left Earth when the planet was no longer habitable and moved to the Malcosian system, where he became a gun-for-hire. This novel contains three of his latest cases. The Malcosian system supports a number of different species and life styles, and as expected the different species do not necessarily get on well together.
I found John Paulits’ descriptions of the different life-forms to be intriguing and well-thought out. I especially liked the purple skinned Argonians. The varied worlds were nicely described so that the reader could get a real feel for what they were like. The first chapter draws the reader in nicely and the first adventure is captivating. However, I had trouble staying with the story in the second chapter when Paulits introduced a lot of characters and places all with very different names but without a lot of context. Eventually I caught up and I was hooked again. Nevertheless, the action did seem to drag a bit in several places, but never enough to lose my interest. I just would have liked to have had either more pace or more depth or ideally, both.
The individual assignments are well-connected with reappearing characters so the plot is certainly a novel rather than just three closely connected stories, and a several of the reappearing characters are well-defined and appealing. Lanyon himself is most engaging and his adventures make for a fun read. When he is landed with a precocious eleven-year-old Selenian girl as a side-kick, the action is both exciting and humorous. And Lanyon may be a gun-for-hire, but most of the villains are captured using long-acting stun weapons, keeping the violence down, which I found refreshing.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any readers who enjoy fun, light, space adventures.