Sci fi / Adventure Space Opera. Good pacing. I probably would have liked it more if I'd read the first book.
Book Description ....... Hawks had refused to help the ambitious Lazlo Chen in his quest to find the five gold rings that could break Master System's hold over humankind -- and that refusal had landed him on the deadly prison planet Melchior. But when Hawks and some fellow prisoners engineered a bold escape, it seemed almost too easy. Hawks guessed that Chen was pulling the strings, but he couldn't shake the feeling that there was another, greater power involved. And that scared him. Now the stakes were rising, and Hawks was more determined than ever to find the gold rings. But Master System was out to capture him, and Chen was trying to follow him -- and the only place his small band of rebels could hide was smack in the middle of pirate territory...
I have the complete set of 4: Lords of the Middle Dark 1; Pirates of the Thunder,Book 2; Warriors of the Storm 3; Masks of the Martyrs 4.
Entertaining stories about variations on human nature around a theme of humans against a computer system gone to intolerable extremes.
In my "younger days"... lol... I absolutely loved Jack L. Chalker and this series was no exception. Very reminiscent of his Four Lords of the Diamonds series with some shades of The Well of Souls this is adventure SF at some it's best. Definitely not hard "science" fiction, just great stories with engaging characters. Robert Louis Stevenson does sci fi adventure. Loved them all.