Now the series has a great premise, starting with a unique main character, and that is what drew me in, because who has ever heard of an engineering fleet admiral? The MC, Admiral John Irons, is an engineer and after waking up from stasis some 700 years later, he finds that the war he was fighting is over, but that civilization across all worlds has backslid dramatically.
Maybe that part is a little far-fetched, but I liked it anyway. And I continued to like the series for a few books.
But after reading Plague Planet, I was ready to throw in the towel and write a review on here that, while not intended to keep people from reading the series, probably WOULD have kept people from reading the series.
But I waited, and I'm glad I did. Plague Planet might be a plague on the series, but Pirate's Bane (the next book in the series) is fantastic. Finally, after 6 books, Hechtl is delivering on the promises he made in New Dawn.
Even better, Pirate's Bane has been edited--not to a high degree, but better than New Dawn, which is a lesson in patience when it comes to typos, grammar, and commonly confused words. It has action and great characters, and I'm very glad that I gave Hechtl's series one last chance.
For anyone else reading The Wandering Engineer or wondering whether to continue on when it seems that the series is spiraling down...stick with it. If I could, I would unread Plague Planet and deal with the few things in Pirate's Bane that wouldn't make sense without reading the previous book rather than slogging through page after digital page of poor writing, poor plot execution, and characters ripped straight from comic books and popular movies with no attempt at changing names or behaviors (Lewis and Clark report for the Daily Planet...).
But finally, in Pirate's Bane, Irons grows a pair, takes charge, fights back, and basically does everything we wanted him to do since halfway through New Dawn. So if Irons being such a baby is weighing you down, and the lack of forward movement is giving you the urge to write the series yourself, I suggest that you skip Plague Planet and jump right to Pirate's Bane. You'll thank me.
This whole near-miss on the review thing has also taught me a good lesson--don't blog until you are sure your opinion won't change. I'd much rather be writing THIS post now than eating crow in the near future.