New Horizons: Host Saga Book 4 by Michael J. Farlow continues the space adventures of the Galactic Force headed up by Commander Van Childs. The Galactic Force is a collection of like-minded humans and Zarminian’s who are committed to building and equipping a battle fleet capable of defending Earth and Zarminia from a planned attack by the bellicose and dangerous Arkon, who have designs on universal domination. The Earth Federation, the Zarminian’s and the Galactic Force have combined to face the threat that is posed. New Horizons is a space ship left to the Galactic Force by the mysterious Host people, who wanted to give them the opportunity to have the necessary technology to defend themselves against the Arkon. With the production of new battle cruisers and other armaments being hampered by both internal sabotage and piracy of supplies, the Galactic Force is engaged in a furious race to discover and catch the culprits. When it becomes apparent the Arkon timeline for invasion is much shorter than the Galactic Force had anticipated, there is a frantic rush to complete and man new ships of war plus to find any other assistance that may be available, out there, in their defence of their freedom.
This is a classic, low-tech science fiction novel, which makes for an easy read without the necessity to try and understand fanciful technical issues beyond our imaginations. I like my science fiction to be action/adventure with a minimum of science, so New Horizons: Host Saga Book 4 fits that bill admirably. Author Michael J. Farlow has created an interesting set of characters that no doubt run through the full set of Host Saga Books. Although I have yet to read any of the others, it’s worth noting that is definitely not a necessity to enjoyment of this particular episode. It is stand-alone and the author has done an excellent job of sprinkling the narrative with hints and clues as to what may have happened before. Without giving any of the plot away, I particularly liked the exposition by Van Childs and the other defenders, to the Host Ambassador and Admiral, as to what it was that made humanity and indeed the Zarminians willing to die rather than sacrifice their freedom or control over their lives. I thought the battle scenes in this novel were extensive, well-described, and exciting. It was easy to place oneself at the controls of one of these space fighters and feel the power of the weapons and the fear they induced. All in all, this is an excellent sc-fi read and I can highly recommend it.