Straker’s Breakers (Galactic Liberation Book 5) by David VanDyke and B. V. Larson

Straker is forced to fight for his Breakers once again when a despot rises to power in the Republic and goes after the Breakers. The Breakers go beyond the fringe of the Republic, and they not only have to defend themselves against the Republic, but they have to find themselves a new home.


  • Fun and engaging story that continues the story universe
  • A lot more aliens that gives readers a broader perspective of the universe
  • A lot of action and military strategy
  • Shift away from human-centered story and toward a more adventurous story as mercenaries


  • While I enjoyed the story, I felt that there wasn’t as much a sense of urgency in this book as there were in others

While I felt there was too large of a gap between this book and the previous one, I really enjoyed the story here.

The best part is that there are a lot more aliens in this book than there were in the previous books, giving readers a broader view of the universe and humanity’s place in it. And those aliens aren’t necessarily evil or bad like the ones in the other books.


Five years after the Hive War, Straker and his Breakers have finally found a new home. But the Republic is now controlled by the Victory Party, led by Steel. The Republic is now hunting down Straker and his Breakers to prevent an uprising and to consolidate their power.

Derek Straker is forced to retreat beyond the borders of the Republic, where he’ll have to fight for a new home and defend himself against anything the Republic sends his way.


Derek Straker and his Breakers return to this fifth book in the Galactic Liberation series. Favorite characters like Carla Engels, Loco, and Zaxby return in this book.


The setting of the story takes place at Crossroads, a place beyond the fringe of the Republic empire and other areas outside the Republic.

Straker’s Breakers Review

B. V. Larson isn’t a stranger when it comes to stories involving mercenaries. Indeed, one of his works is titled Undying Mercenaries. I’m ambivalent when it comes to this turn of events for Galactic Liberation. Generally, mercenary storylines are more open and lack story depth, even if they are exciting adventures.

On one hand, we already have a story about mercenaries from Larson’s other works. On the other hand, I prefer Straker over James McGill or Leo Blake. As a protagonist, Straker isn’t sexist like James McGill or Leo Blake. Instead, Loco fulfills this role, though I’m not sure why such a character is necessary in these books.

If the series and if Straker both live up to their names, then we may see the Breakers act as a liberating mercenary force outside of the Republic. That sounds like a fun direction for the story universe, and the mercenary force can replenish its forces through alien recruits, making it a symbol of diversity and cooperation among the alien races.

We get a hint of this when Carla recruits a Ruxin. Unless Straker is able to come to an agreement with the Republic, I don’t see how the Breakers can replenish their forces or last long as a mercenary force without a lot of recruits.

There’s space and ground action in this book, and those scenes are fun and full of action. The action and suspense left me wanting more, though we don’t really see as much action involving Indy. The AI was essentially a main character in previous books, but she seems more of a supporting character in this one.

One nice change in this story is Zaxby. He’s less annoying with his arrogance and narcissism. He’s still Zaxby, though that haughty attitude is toned down, revealing a more likable and mature character. In fact, I think once readers learn about Zaxby’s situation, he’ll become a much more sympathetic character in the story.

Larson’s works usually include characters who are kind of one-dimensional. That hasn’t necessarily changed in this book. Loco still chases after women. Carla is still sometimes a worry wart. Straker is still an idealist. But having children has supposedly changes Straker. I’m not entirely convinced that he’s changed though.

Straker claims to be thinking about his children and the civilians. But his actions still reveal that he’s the same fighter he was in previous books. He still leads battles on the front lines. He puts himself in danger. If he had indeed changed, he’d lead from Indy. If he dies, the Breakers will no longer have a figurehead and a leader, and it seems like he’s the only one holding them together.

I suppose from a story perspective, having kids on the ship would only make Straker and Engels question every one of their decisions. So it only makes sense that they’re secreted away and not really mentioned again save for a few token appearances.

Overall, the book is a fun continuation of the series. I didn’t find it as exciting as the previous books since those books had a clear goal. This book seems like it’s going to establish a new story arc, and as a result, it seems a little directionless in terms of plot or objective. Of course, that means the next few books in the series will be more interesting.