Mavericks Pt.2 The Titan Deception
Hail and well met again Free Folk! We are back with the final review for the second book of The Battle of Phobos: Stretti.
This time we again follow the adventures of charming rogue extraordinare Jack Wilgress. This time he isn’t on a simple rescue mission though. Through threats and manipulation, our hero has been recruited by master manipulator Jylan Rathe whom you may remember from the Earther series of books. Rathe has recruited Jack and his gang of Knaves to steal and important shipment from a Maverick base on Ganymede, one the moons of Jupiter, hoping to boost his own standing as well as disrupt Maverick operations.
Author Jim Perry does a good job of building up solid characters as the plot moves along, nicely allowing the tension between Wilgress and some of his crew to build due to the nature of the mission and Jack’s vendetta against the Earther military following the events of the first book. This allows Perry to grow Wilgress as a character as is allowed to develop from the honorable pirate into a consummate leader, inspiring confidence in his men through the respect he shows them and his own willingness to sacrifice himself for their own good. Jack of course it too self-effacing to admit any of this until events near the end of the book leave no room for doubt that Jack Wilgress is not only a leader but one that his men are willing to follow into the jaws of death.
Weaknesses are also displayed as is especially clear at then end during a confrontation between him and Cait, an old friend who is more than a little upset with him over the mission. One wonders why Jack does not simply tell her why he did what he did. But there is another book left in the Maverick series that will give him some more time to realize that even he sometimes needs to ask for help.
There isn’t much room for supporting characters as the story focuses so much on Wilgress but what is there is well done. Ace McAllister in particular returns from the first book and is given added levels of depth, making him more than just a handy cyborg with lots of built in gadgets. Other new characters such as Misty Miller, Jack’s go-to infiltrator are also introduced and given some space to grow. Also, one of my favorites is a particularly tragic character that Misty meets while infiltrating the base on Ganymede. I don’t want to give away the details but his situation is one that simply leaves one wondering how a person lets that happen to himself.
In summary, The Titan Deception is another fine entry in the Wars franchise. It is fast paced and entertaining, making it very easy to turn the pages. Perry also does a good job allowing his characters to develop as events progress, providing some heft to what would otherwise be nothing more that cardboard cutouts of characters from other franchises.
You can pick it up online individually or as part of the forthcoming Battle of Phobos: Stretti collection which compiles the second books from these Earther, Gongen and Maverick series’.