Jules Rammis is an astrobiologist with telepathic (“tel”) powers and a penchant for getting into trouble. In this, the fifth book in Jean Kilczer's Star Sojourner series, trouble has come to him. He's been kidnapped by Boss Slade, the Altairian master of a none-too-nice mining operation on the planet New Lithia. Slade is losing too many slaves to attempted rebellion, and he needs Jules' tel abilities to help him keep the situation in hand.
Rammis is my kind of hero – a good guy who just works at doing what he sees as the right thing to do. Kilczer handles dialog and action with equal aplomb, and in good balance. And … There is plenty of action, especially as Jules digs in to the task of taking down the lithium mine and rescuing the 300 slaves who have been captured from across a galaxy. There's also humor, romance, and adventure in abundance.
I must make note that, even though this book is part of a series, Satan's Forge does fine as a stand-alone. There's enough backstory to provide what the reader needs to know, when he or she needs to know it.
If you enjoy an exciting SF read that focuses on people rather than hardware – which, to my thinking is the best kind of SF – then you will love Satan's Forge. Since 5 stars is as high as the rating goes, I give it 5 stars. I'd give it more if I could.