Contact (Red Company Book 3) by B. V. Larson

Devin Starn and his Red Company marines onboard the Borag are sent to deal with the pirates once and for all, but their meddling in ancient alien technology has unintended consequences.


  • Some engaging action scenes
  • Mystery of the aliens is intriguing
  • A slightly different take on the consequences of time meddling


  • Some elements of the story don’t quite make sense or have a clear purpose, like the economics of the world and the pirates’ motivations

Contact Review

Contact by B. V. Larson is the third and exciting book of the Red Company series.

Read reviews of other great military science fiction books below. Devin Starn has come a long way from the beginning of the series when he was an indentured servant working and sleeping in the bowels of Borag, a deep-space mining ship that is itself indentured to a larger mining corporation on Mars.

The exciting battle scenes found in previous books continue in this book. Borag and her crew continue to fight off pirates who are intent on protecting their own and earning a living out in deep space. Readers learn more about the pirates—who they are, how they live, and what they have discovered in the farthest reaches of human space.

It’s no surprise that the pirates want to live their lives in relative safety and peace, without the threat of the inner planets hunting them down. Of course, there’s some irony in the pirates attacking miners and expecting not to be punished for their crimes. There’s a strange give-and-take with the pirates.

The pirates attack the miners and steal their resources. The miners retaliate. A proxy war breaks out that involves the inner planets and the pirates that is carried out by the mining ship Borag and Devin Starn. While Borag wins most of her fights because of her competent captain, the pirates deal a fairly massive blow to the ships in the inner system as well as some of Earth’s latest warships. But just before the pirates can claim victory, their leader surprises Starn with an offer that holds serious consequences for humanity.

One of the great aspects of this series is the mystery of the ancient, but advanced and powerful, alien technologies that the pirates have discovered, mastered, and utilized and that Borag is only starting to understand. What these pirates have learned about the technology as well as the potential enemy that faces Earth adds a sense of urgency to the story.

Perhaps this aspect of the story is the most intriguing. Who are these aliens, what do they want, and where did they go? These aliens have left evidence of their presence behind, and Starn even encounters some of them in this book, seeing firsthand the awesome power that they wielded. But one crucial decision he makes on this trip changes his life and his timeline.

Any avid reader of science fiction knows that when time travel is involved, then the alteration of the timeline is inevitable. So there’s no surprise when Starn goes back in time and witnesses firsthand the power of the ancients. And just like in Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder, one little action reverberates across time.

The decision to focus on the indentured service of both the crew and Borag to a corporation feels a bit weak to the story, almost like a distraction from the main plot of discovery. For instance, taking out the corporation and the indentured servitude would do little to impact the story: Borag and her crew would just be miners attempting to scratch out a living among the stars.

Contact by B. V. Larson is a great action book that teases readers with some more tantalizing pieces of alien technology and foreshadows an upcoming conflict that promises to be packed with exciting action.

Read reviews of other great military science fiction books below.