Sten Adventures Book 4: Fleet of the Damned
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|Author||Chris Bunch and Allan Cole|
|Cover artist||Not listed|
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Publisher||Del Rey Books, reissued by Orbit Books|
|Media type||Print (paperback)|
|Preceded by||The Court of a Thousand Suns|
|Followed by||Revenge of the Damned|
In this book Sten goes to flight school to learn the ins-and-outs of space combat and then heads off to the front lines of the impending war with the militaristic Tahn.
Being assigned on the planet Cavite to Admiral van Doorman, Sten assumes his command, 4 new tacships (Bulkeley Class) with Alex Kilgour having somehow "assigned" himself (We'll never quite find out exactly how he managed that...). They have a rather interesting time evading van Doorman (who is revealed as more of a social admiral rather than a military one), crewing their tacships with a mix of ex-cops and ex-convicts, and finding ways to get their much needed supplies (with the help of an alien spindar).
Eventually, due to events from the previous book, the Empire ends up at war with the Tahn, a war that Sten sees coming but is powerless to prevent. Sten's tacships stop the first invasion attempt, but Sten is unable to protect the planet indefinitely and eventually loses all his ships (one due to friendly fire, a second mysteriously "vanishes", and the remaining two are destroyed while defending against the second invasion). Sten, Alex and his surviving crew continue in defense of the planet as infantry, but eventually the situation on Cavite becomes unsustainable and Sten is forced to evacuate all remaining military forces.
Unfortunately, the Tahn fleet intercepts Sten's convoy and he has no choice but to attack his numerically superior opponent. When his transports manage to escape, Sten surrenders his heavily damaged ship and both Sten and Alex are captured by the Tahn.
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