No Going Back (Jon & Lobo 5) by Mark L. van Name [Book Review]

A pivotal book in the series

The new Jon & Lobo novel is already available at baen’s ebook store. So I just had to get it, and started reading it shortly after.

I have followed Mark L. van Name and this exquisite space opera series with military science fiction tendencies, for some time now. It is about a man and his intelligent assault shuttle.

Jon is the man, a nano-machine-human hybrid, the only known survivor of horrible experiments on children on Aggro. He destroyed Aggro with a cloud of nano-machines when he escaped as a child, putting it and his home planet under quarantine ever since (this was more than a hundred years ago).

Lobo is his grumpy but lovable intelligent assault shuttle also created in horrible experiments on children. They have dealt with Lobo’s creator in an earlier book and he got what he deserved.

Rescuing abused children has been a theme in the series, one easy to care for. It is easy to forget that there are many children in our own time faring badly. The book starts with them rescuing ten kids about to be auctioneered of to a bunch of rich powerful men. Particularly one of the men takes offence and woe to hunt them down. Unluckily for them he is one of the most powerful men in the sector.

Lobo is worried with Jon’s increasingly destructive behavior. He is taking greater and greater risks. Jon is struggling with the secret that he is a nano-machine hybrid. He hasn’t even told Lobo. His struggle with that and also Lobo’s thoughts on the matter is a big part of the book that brings you close to the characters.

A love from the past complicates things for Jon. There are as usually a bit of romance in the tale, enough to give a spice. Jon is not a playboy but he has had one different lady in each book so far. Some of them do come back though.

This is a pivotal book in the series, you learn a lot about the nature of our heroes and they truly have to take steps that there are NO GOING BACK from. The stakes get higher and the ending plays directly into the next book without being a cliffhanger.

Jon and Lobo are even more like good old friends after this book. I highly recommend No Going Back.

A little bit of warning though – the burb is off a bit, seems someone mixed in things from a previous book there; they don’t go after any artifacts in this book.

Book Information & Blurb

No Going Back (Jon & Lobo 5) by Mark L. van Name (Baen) – uk us


Jon and Lobo are back–and enemies on all sides are out to get them.

Haunted by memories of children he could not save, Jon Moore becomes so increasingly self-destructive that even his best friend, the hyper-intelligent Predator-Class Assault Vehicle, Lobo, is worried. So when Jon receives both a job offer and a message from a woman from his distant past, he and Lobo leap at the welcome diversions.

That the job is illegal is the least of their problems. They’re happy to retrieve stolen artifacts from Jon’s quarantined home world, and their fee is high even for a job so highly illegal.

The forces protecting their targets are formidable, and the assault team that’s chasing them is even more dangerous–but Jon and Lobo are used to that.

The scientist Jon and Lobo need for the mission has an agenda of her own, but they’ve faced that problem before.

This time, though, the knowledge that they and the others seek spells doom for Jon.

Racing from planet to planet, Jon and Lobo come at last to a world so inhospitable that its statues and monuments outnumber its living inhabitants. Desperate and out of options, they encounter their deadliest challenges yet and must make life-changing decisions from which there truly is