The second of the Deathstalker series is divided into two major parts, each centered around one group of rebels, though other members of the extended cast may appear. In the first, Owen and Hazel head to Golgotha to attack the Imperial taxation office, crippling part of the empire and adding funds to the rebel accounts in one stroke. Also, they hook up with the rebel underground on Golgotha, teaming up with the Suzie Blues (a group apparently destined for a bad fate) and one Alexander Storm, an old friend of Jack Random. Who may not, in fact, be who he claims to be (Jack, that is).
Regardless of who he is, Random heads off to rescue slaves from the plant producing the new stardrive that the Empire is counting on. He takes Storm and Ruby Journey with him, and again they hook up with the local rebels, but in addition to the best troops House Wolfe can send against them and the top battle-jesuits of the Church of Jesus Christ, Warrior, the whole planet seems to be fighting them.
This planet is actually the biggest problem for the story. Its seasons are measured in days, which is an interesting concept, particularly when we learn that it was caused a century ago by a hacked weather satellite system. No one can fix it, which the story makes sense of, but we are never told why it isn’t shot down and replaced by a new one. Also, life on the planet has adjusted and now lives and dies by the seasons, just as it would if they were their natural selves. Problem is, there just hasn’t been enough time for anything to evolve to deal with those conditions. Even insects and bacteria would have died off in the first couple of winters, each coming less than a week after spring. The planet would be, at best, devoid of native life.
But, yeah, space opera; don’t sweat the science too much, if things slow down have a man with a blaster come through the airlock. Also, it’s Simon R. Green so he’ll probably have a blaster and a sword. Mindless fun. Mildly recommended, with a bonus recommendation for fans of Green’s other works.