Pirates of the Milky Way

by jaxonreed

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Sci-fi Multiple Lead Characters Space Opera War and Military
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore

Check out Book One on Amazon. Amazon versions have all the bonus chapters.

Book X is ongoing on Patreon. New chapters are released first there Sundays and Wednesdays. You can also download bonus content, and the full epubs and mobis of all the books.



New technology allowed humans to reach for the stars. Now technology has led to war.

Opposing AI systems battle each other in a monumental struggle for control of the galaxy. But one planet remains a refuge of independent thought. Lute is home to pirates, harboring ruthless companies of warships hunting for prey.

The pirates are offered the spoils of war, for a price. Captain Christopher Raleigh leads an ongoing effort to snag lucrative transports, disable enemy space stations, and battle it out with League destroyers. But ultimately he and his crew have to decide if the spoils of war are truly worth it.


Pirates of the Milky Way updates daily on RRL at 22:00 UTC.


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Table of Contents
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Nicely written, fun Space Opera, with pirates!

Reviewed at: Tetrarch's Dilemma 38

I have been pleasantly surprised by this story, not often that you can find Space Opera on royalroad, especially one as fun to read as Pirates of the Milky Way.

Humanity has taken to the stars with advanced technology and now inhabits dozens of worlds, travelling between them with repeated short range teleportations. Many of the old problems that assailed humanity have been solved, but new ones have arisen among the stars. The known space is divided between two major factions that are respectively being managed by massive AI systems, they have been at war for three years now, all started over a single planet. While the two factions fight it out in quick fights, with often there being devesating losses for both sides. In all of this, there is a third player in the war, the pirates of the planet of Lute, from where pirate companies raid shipping routes, taking advantage of the war. But things are more complex than that, as the pirates of the Ultima Mule soon find out after a succesful raid on a transport.

This story features many characters, and if im to be honest, im liking the majority of them, the author has just written them well and made them all interesting in their own ways, with characters one can absolutely love, and others that could be hated, and even characters being redeemed in the eyes of the readers.

This is quite the good Space Opera, and the author has done that setting very well, with some twists to the usual norm of the genre. For example there is the way of how AI are used, as the ones who keep the inhabited worlds running along with the fleets of the respective factions. Yet they are not all powerful, and quite flawed, since they are programmed and not exactly independent AI's.

Then there is how travelling between systems is done, i havent seen repeated short range teleportations being used as a method of travelling between the stars before, this makes the story quite more unique and distinct from the other sci-fi stories there are, since it changes the way how combat in space works.

Ill be fair that if one seriously does think about the science used in this story, that it sort of falls flat, but lets be honest, the author has done a quite good job at it overall at making this story have its own kind of tech, even if that tech is not exactly scientifically accurate.

This story is almost without grammar errors, the most i have seen is a couple of missing spaces, which got fixed after being pointed out. Maybe some odd sentences, but those are hard to detect and overall dont matter at all. Grammar should thus pose no problem at all to new readers.

Seriously, the author has a such great writing style, it can draw in readers instantly, from the very first chapter, and flows so well, without any bumps at all. Also excellent pacing so far and a great mix between action, humor and adventure. Im also liking that the story swaps almost seamlessy between characters. I woulnt be surprised at all if the author took writing as a degree or atleast followed extensive lessons, his writing is that good.

Maybe this cant be put on the same level as the Classics like the stories of Jack Vance, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven or Frank Hebert, it still stands as a worthy addition to the sci-fi genre and the underlying Space Opera.

Honestly, stop waiting already, and start reading this story, its by all right a hidden gem, in a genre that should be much more popular, it will most likely draw you in just as it drew me in.

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Story:  A well thought out novel

Easiest way to describe this story to think of it as a mix between The Expanse & Two Worlds. Both are amazing and Pirates of the Milky Way definitly meets that tier of skill in writing and enjoyment in terms of the story.

Note: Unlike those two stories there are no alien encounters as of yet.  Is that a spoiler?  Eh, anyway the story focus's on humanities internal struggles which is a positive in my opinion as it's very well done.


Not sure if the author really only has two novels under his belt as it feels like he's highly experienced when it comes to writing.  As such I can happily say that the story flows and is very well paced overall.


After burning through all the way up to book 3 in a single long night I can say that for the most part this area feels perfect.  Or at least the story drew me in so much that I never noticed any flaws in terms of grammar and punctuation etc.  Which is amazing when it comes to RR standards.


The characters are well fleshed out and feel real.  There will be some you love and others you will absolutely HATE. Even temporary side characters that are only around for a ten chapters or so can be very interesting.

The main cast is great and there's definitly room for growth and improvement, but so far the best character interactions are clearly the AI banter with Gran-gran.  xD


Things to knitpick:  Only things that bothered me are some sciency related things, like:


Explosions in space and suddenly losing all momentum when thrusters/drives are crippled.


1st: Shockwaves in SPACE.

You won't see them in space unless you meet two requirements: the first being a large amount of energy being released.  Now I know there are those explosives designed to blow up ships from the inside, but the energy to blow open what is essentially a sealed can is far lesser than what is needed to generate a vacuum shockwave.

2nd:  The most important part: particle density

If you aren't near a body wither it be a nebula, a planet, a star, or other dense body of particles you won't have a shockwave, period.  In the vastness of space most of it is simply too empty for real concussive shockwaves and the like to deal damage as there's not enough matter to carry the raw force involved to be relevant. Or it would require a massive release of energy in such a empty region of space that you might as well just detonate a star. :3

As such missiles would essentially be required to be very similar to bunker busters?  Where the initial impact melts a breach through the hull of the ship immediatly followed by the payload detonating, hopefully fast enough, to bring its destructive & explosive yield to bear inside of a ship before the hull breach becomes vacuum.  Otherwise you're literally just trying to melt a soda can with matches or a small hand lighter. It's not very effective.

Another thing to note is that the forces in a explosion will followe the path of least resistance.  Meaning if you want to do the most damage the explosive has to be aimed at your target not just traveling in the direction of it, otherwise: rather than pushing a baloon directly with your hand, you will just push it slightly via the air drifting by as you miss the baloon.


If you see my comment of the relevant chapter, I explain it pretty well there.  But to recap momentum isn't dependant on their being thrusters or not in the circumstances of the chapter. Acceleration is.

  • Overall Score

Good story, not my cup of tea

Competently written space opera with everything it entails (spaceships, space battles, shootouts, incredibly hot women and robots, mutants and experiments).

That said this one is not my cup of tea. What drew me off was the overarching plot with sinister convoluted conspiracy affecting everything in the middle of ongoing war. That is not my cup of tea, mainly because it's so overused I just can't help but cringe and secondly because I've yet to find this trope done in a way that would draw me in.

It makes my blood boil every time there is just another uncanily timed incursion.

Four stars.

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This is an awesome story, but I am biased cuz I luvz SciFi. It is very well written and entertaining to boot. The characters are very good and all their little stories intertwine very well without losing you. I am enjoying it very much so I hope the Author keeps on writing.


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Awesome like "Firefly". A must-read epic space opera!

Reviewed at: Subversive Elements 38

(as of the end of book 9, "Subversive Elements")

In the far future, the human part of the galaxy is divided and at war. On one side there's the Star League, a totalitarian system with a powerful intelligence apparatus that meddles in human rights violations and the subterfuge of their own AI system. On the other side is the Planetary Republic which, as a representative democracy, has its own shortcomings but at least they try to be good. Outside of those huge factions is the independent planet Lute, founded on the principles of freedom, home to space pirate companies. One of those is the Ultima Mule Company of Captain Raleigh and his crew, who privateer against the League's ships to fill their coffers. At the beginning of the first book, they board a transport only to find out that the "valuable cargo" is something very different than they expected. And so it begins, the tale that spans the stars...

Style/Grammar: The story is a soap opera taking place in space. As such it is told in third-person style by an omniscient narrator, but as internal POVs from a large number of people. Some are short glimpses that show one scene to flesh out the background info or add a different perspective of an event. Others make up the regular cast: Captain Raleigh, some people of his crew, the Big Bad leader of the League, bureaucrats and spies from the secret service, people from the (anti-League) Resistance, small-fry people that live their lives but are caught up in the big events...
Word choice and the descriptions both of the events and the surroundings are great. Grammar and spelling are very good.

Story: As it is normal in soap operas, there is not one single storyline, but a large number of those. While it might be a bit difficult at times to remember all the names, the many storylines interact, then drift apart just to converge again. A side character from storyline D will meet a character from storyline B, then after a while something happens that makes them end up in storyline A; at that point the reader notices that it was their own distinct storyline all that time! The main storyline is beyond doubt the one following the Ultima Mule Company and their exploits and the other overarching plotline is the war, but there is so much going on that those take the back seat in some of the books.
One thing that is unique to this story is how the AI systems are working, each faction (League, Republic, Lute) has their own very powerful and almost omnipresent AI that governs the life of their respective people, from communication over administration to steering the spaceships, but still remaining rather neutral towards their humans' behavior as they are programmed that way.
While there are some very dark secrets that the readers learn about rather quickly (thanks to the POVs from bad guys or victims) and some not so nice developments affecting the people, most of the story has a rather light-hearted vibe with many lovely or humorous scenes and an overarching direction towards "good". At the same time, some plots are a bit predictable in their general outline due to this.
The science in this story is secondary, there are things like teleportation and life-like androids but all that is only as background for the character-centered story. The pacing is good, in the individual storylines it can be quick but due to the large number of storylines the overall background plot is progressing rather sedately.

Characters: Lots. The reader quickly finds out that some of them are clearly the good guys and some are clearly the bad guys, but there are also "other guys" and guys that change from one side to the other, making this story very NOT black-and-white. Most of the regular characters are presented in a rather fleshed-out way that gives the reader a good way to imagine them in your head, but without laying bare everything about them. You will love many characters and at times you will even root for people that stand on the "bad" side because they are so well done. It's not visible at first glance, but over time the author narrates character development for some people that is expertly done and really impressive.

I'm sure there are people who will not become fans of this story, either because of the multi-POV /multi-storyline style or because of the (mostly bad) surprises that sometimes happen with the death of sympathetic characters. But for me this is an awesome tale on an epic scope, with the same lovely mix of diverse characters, exciting action (both on a personal level and on an interstellar scale), a bit of romance, fun and lots of adventure that I remember from the regretfully bygone Firefly series. It's been a while that I added a RRL story to my favorite list but this here made it.

  • Overall Score

Action, Great Characters and Some Humor All Good Stuff

This story has all the things I look for in a great story. It's got some great characters that I love and others I love to hate. It's got ship battles, heists, some interesting...ok, kick ass mutant powers (not overdone), little bits of humor to keep it from getting too dark, a touch of "space western"...all kinds of stuff to keep me looking for the next chapter. If you like "action sci-fi" you'll probably enjoy this...I know I do.

Stephen Lewis
  • Overall Score

First impressions were good 

I didn't notice any spelling or grammar issues 

Worth a try to see if you like it