by Jason Fry
Harper, 2014. 241 pgs. Science Fiction
First in The Jupiter Pirates series, Hunt for the Hydra is a goodish sci-fi-thriller with an unusual array of heroes and villains. For once, the earthlings are the bad guys. Tycho Hashoone, his twin sister Yana, and his older brother Carlo are vying for positions of importance in the family business, which is privateering. They hold a Letter of Marque from the Jovian Union giving them the right to move against Earth's merchant space fleet. The Jovian Union consists of a confederation of people living on Jupiter's moons, and their relationship with earth seems to be something similar to the American colonies and Great Britain, back in the day. In any case, the kids are full participants in the family business, including the dangers of that business, so they not only fly the ship, but take on enemy vessels as member of the boarding party. On one such mission, the captain pleads diplomatic immunity - he has an ambassador on board. But his "ambassador" and hundreds of newly-minted state department personnel seem to be crew members suddenly elevated in rank to protect their vessels from pirates. Soon Tycho and his family are sent into what would have been the Neutral Zone in Star Trek-speak to try to smoke out the notorious and dangerous pirate, Throadbone Max. Hunt for the Hydra is a good adventure story with appealing characters, but is slowed considerably by lots of talking to supply background information. Hopefully the sequel will move along a bit more briskly.