Rogue Planet (Flight of the Javelin Book 3) by Rachel Aukes

The Black Sheep are caught in a wormhole and discover an overwhelming threat that they must stop before it exceeds in causing the extinction of humanity.


  • Interesting solution to the overwhelming odds, though it seems unlikely
  • A lot of space fighting and action scenes
  • Expands the story from one system to the wider galaxy with new technologies and implications


  • Introduces new conflict that may not be resolved

Rogue Planet Review

Rogue Planet by Rachel Aukes provides non-stop action and fighting in a fantastic resolution to the immediate threat posed by the artificial intelligence Vantage Core and its army of probes.

While the story is filled with non-stop action with its fight between the humans and the artificial intelligence, there’s a bit of an unexpected solution to the conflict. This solution feels a bit anticlimactic in the same way Anna East’s fate felt anticlimactic.

Whereas the pacing for the first book in the series felt a little slow, the space battles in Rogue Planet propel the story forward at a fairly quick pace, leaving readers with anticipation and anxiety as they await the fate of the human plan to destroy Vantage Core.

While the immediate conflict posed by Vantage Core is somewhat resolved in this story, the overall threat posed by the artificial intelligence still exists. Indeed, while the threat of the rogue planet near a human system is resolved, the bigger threat of its army is introduced, leaving readers with a sense of anxiety as to the future of the series.

As a result of that loose end, there’s no sense of resolution for the series. The absence of a definite conclusion leaves open the possibility of a new series by Aukes.

The introduction of Punch and his daughter to the story refreshes the dynamics of the crew. In fact, the addition of any child to the story line exploits the human need to protect our young, so Punch’s daughter adds to that sense of existential dread posed by the Swarm: not only do the swarm pose a danger to miners, marshals, and pirates, but they threaten a little girl, and by extension the future of humanity, as well.

The addition of Punch to the Black Sheep crew makes for a more interesting dynamic, and Punch’s motivation for his actions in the previous book Free Station become clear. While his daughter doesn’t have much of an impact on the plot of Rogue Planet, it’s clear that her role in any future story will become much larger for the Black Sheep family.

Rogue Planet by Rachel Aukes delivers a satisfying conclusion to the immediate threat posed by the Swarm while leaving an open ending that makes a new story arc possible. Overall, the story gradually opens up the universe from a lowly refugee colony ship and its troubles to a threat that faces all of humanity. And the execution of the story, the writing, characters, and plot, make for one thrilling science fiction adventure that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.

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