A Review of The Dog from Hell

The Dog From Hell (Star Risk, #4)The Dog From Hell by Chris Bunch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This fourth Star Risk, Ltd. novel is pretty good, much better than the previous one. The mercenary group is back, but this time, their nemesis, Cerebus Systems, a huge “security” firm with thousands of operatives spread out on hundreds, perhaps thousands of worlds, with a huge fleet and massive armies, has decided they’ve had enough of the five person Star Risk group and decides to do away with them. And they ruthlessly do. It’s ugly and painful to see and, decimated, the group disbands while they’re still alive. Unfortunately, things are so bad, that even when they go their separate ways and are trying to make livings on their own or are even at home relaxing, Cerebus attacks them still and in Riss’s case, demolishes her beloved home, almost killing her in the process.

Slowly and secretly, the group gets back together, hearing about a possible job that involves Cerebus, and decides to try and act on it, both with the idea of replenishing their decimated funds and sticking it to Cerebus. The job in question involves a politically unstable system with armed rebels and a pirate problem. They’ve hired Cerebus to quell the disturbances, but so far, things haven’t gone well. The Star Risk group, no longer calling themselves that, decide to infiltrate the main planet’s capital city and see what sort of mischief they can get into.

And mischief they find. They befriend the rebels and both deliver them goods and materials, help train them, and ultimately lead them into combat. They find a decent armed ship and become pirates themselves, which frankly is a little disturbing, but they do this to make some money in order to fund their efforts. They eventually enlist the aid of their former pilot buddy and some more pilot mercenaries and their ships and ultimately quite a few more. They assassinate the leading Cerebus official there and we see the Cerebus board get ticked at their problems there, not realizing Star Risk is the cause. Star Risk ultimately assassinates the next high ranking Cerebus official sent there, and the system’s president, causing great political upheaval, and things unravel quickly. Soon, their identity is given away by a mercenary traitor and Cerebus is out to get them. A mini-war happens and, well of course you have to know who comes out on top, but I won’t tell you what happens or how it happens as I want you, dear reader, to read the book for yourself. Ideally, you’ll read the series, but this can be read as a standalone book with no problem whatsoever. You don’t need to have read the previous books in the series to understand what is going on.

This is the author’s final Star Risk book before he died shortly after. A fifth was written by Steve Perry and his son. I have it and will read it soon, but I doubt it will be as good as Bunch’s. Bunch has a unique talent that I doubt can be duplicated. This isn’t the best Star Risk book, but it’s not bad. There’s a lot of action, as always. It’s good military sci fi, which you can always expect from Bunch. Recommended.

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