Read No Going Back by Mark L. Van Name Online


#5 in the popular Jon and Lobo military science fiction series.  A  nanotech-enhanced soldier-of-fortune joins with his A.I.-equipped intelligence and weapons platform (spaceship-sized!) on a mission to acquire forbidden tech that leads Jon to a confrontation with his own shadowy origins on a deadly planet.  A substantial portion of Van Name's profits from the Jon and Lobo#5 in the popular Jon and Lobo military science fiction series.  A  nanotech-enhanced soldier-of-fortune joins with his A.I.-equipped intelligence and weapons platform (spaceship-sized!) on a mission to acquire forbidden tech that leads Jon to a confrontation with his own shadowy origins on a deadly planet.  A substantial portion of Van Name's profits from the Jon and Lobo saga are dedicated to Falling Whistles, a fund for the rehabilitation of child soldiers. 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 No Going BackAbout Mark L. Van Name:   “Just when I was thinking science fiction might be over, Mark Van Name proves that there are still smart, exciting, emotional sci-fi stories to be told.” –Orson Scott Card on Mark Van Name’s One Jump Ahead “He’s going to be the guy to beat in the race to the top of SFdom.” –John Ringo, best-selling creator of the “Posleen War” seriesAbout the Jon and Lobo series:“[P] owered by breakneck pacing and military-nuanced action and adventure. . .Van Name's focus on character development. . . makes for a much more cerebral–and enriching–read.” –Publishers Weekly “…an undeniable page-turner…highly entertaining.” –Publishers Weekly on Mark L. Van Name’s Slanted Jack“Many twists and turns…outstanding action.”  –Midwest Book Review on Mark L. Van Name’s One Jump Ahead...

Title : No Going Back
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781451638103
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

No Going Back Reviews

  • Liviu
    2019-05-03 15:13

    FBC Rv replacing older and rawer review as it is just an edited version of it:OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS Mark Van Name's debut "One Jump Ahead" introduced Jon Moore mercenary ex-soldier and a man of many secrets that are so dangerous that he must live alone and make no attachments, and partner Lobo, personal AI warship (PCAV) mooning as park statue/exhibition on an obscure world, an AI ship of many secrets of its own, secrets that would not do for anyone to know either."No Going Back" is the 5th Jon and Lobo adventure and it came two years after the previous installment rather than at the one year schedule of the first 4. The novel returned to the more classic adventure feel of the first three books and while the darker and weightier Children No More was very good, I think the original tone works better especially now that the author has it down pitch perfect.What makes No Going Back stand out is precisely what the title literally means, namely that from now on it is no going back to the older days as the series finds here focus and a narrative pillar. The super-competent hero with extraordinary powers trope revived so well in this series gets one more dimension, a clear goal and I am really interested to see how the author handles it.Of course Jon and Lobo are such great characters as the first person narration of which Lobo gets a little share here in this book, has worked so well to have established and any new series installment is still a huge asap, get the e-arc on the spot and read it immediately notwithstanding how many other books I have in the queue.As style goes, the novel is a gripping read from the first pages when Jon is in the process of trying to crash a party of rich old pedophiles - party where 10 children are auctioned off - on an obscure planet with great natural beauty but harsh physical characteristics. In the link above you can read the first 15 chapters on Baen's site and see how smooth everything goes. The structure of No Going Back is a bit different from its predecessors, with chapters numbered "x days from the end" mixed with the 100+ year old backstory that continues Jon's memories from long ago, now from the time in his youth immediately after escaping the hell of his native - now quarantined - planet when he was not understanding his powers and trying to get the time needed to do so, while Lobo's interludes offer more insight into the AI's special human-like personality, the why's of which having been set-up in "Overthrowing Heaven". No Going Back functions well as a standalone as all earlier books' story lines are recounted briefly here and there, while the salient facts about Jon and Lobo are also gone through, so you can start delving in the saga here, though from the way things end, I suspect the next volumes will become much more tightly connected in both plot and secondary characters.As my usual, positional rankings go, this series is in my top tier, get/read asap any installment, while No Going Back is probably the best executed to date, though Children No More was "more serious". The clear series focus established here should only add to the pluses in the future when new Jon and Lobo adventures will appear.Overall No Going Back still remains a pretty classical space adventure sf novel with modern style and sensibilities and with the the generally expected stuff implied by such, very well done but nothing previously not seen and it is one of my highly recommended novels of 2012.

  • Ove
    2019-05-18 20:01

    A pivotal book in the seriesThe 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.

  • Cathy
    2019-05-13 17:45

    This book was not as grim as the last book in the series, Children No More, but still continued the more serious bent in Jon's character development that has taken place since the first two rather fluffy (fun) heist stories. Jon is at a point where he can no longer ignore the nightmares from his childhood, and in response he keeps throwing himself, and Lobo, into situations where he has to help people, usually children, even at great personal risk to himself. As Lobo observes, he's spinning out of control. And he won't tell Lobo why and stupidly thinks that it's OK to keep huge secrets from not only his best friend, but his greatest asset; it's hard for them to really protect each other if they can't honestly assess what each can really do. And with Jon's emotions fluctuating so wildly, from the things Lobo has been able to observe about Jon's abilities, he's very concerned about what the consequences of a blowout could mean for the world they're on when it happens. He doesn't know just what Jon can do with his abilities or if he'll care enough for his own safety to control himself. Our boys are a mess, but Jon is determined to see the job through. Even though there's yet another lovely woman involved as well. The job comes first. Because maybe, just maybe Jon may finally find some information about his past in the process and nothing is more important than that.

  • Brian
    2019-05-21 15:08

    I love this series, I hope to read a new one every year. I've had the privilege of getting to know the author very briefly and only online and via his blog, but he's an amazing author and person.Jon and Lobo are so fun to read. This universe Mark has created is so fun, so full of potential!This is probably my favorite book in my favorite series by one of my favorite authors (Steven Pressfield being my other favorite)This is an amazing book. Get the series. Read it now. Read up to this book.

  • Dan
    2019-05-15 17:50

    7/16/17 reread.

  • Kelly
    2019-05-01 19:01

    I have been following the adventures of Jon Moore and his predator class assault vehicle (PCAV), Lobo, since the first novel, ‘ One Jump Ahead’. Jon is the first successful hybrid of human and nano-machine technology and Lobo is the only truly intelligent ‘ AI’. Together, they form a remarkable team. But they are keeping secrets from one another, out of habit and necessity. At one hundred and fifty-seven years of age, Jon still resembles a man in his late twenties. Technology has advanced to the point where a man might actually linger into his sixteenth decade, but he would more resemble an octogenarian than someone flush with youth. The fact Jon does not age has been mentioned in previous novels, as well as his everlasting youth being the reason he does not form close relationships. It’s an important factor in ‘ No Going Back’, however, as Jon confronts his past of over a century ago and Lobo contemplates their future. Jon and has very few true friends, but has Lobo and his intelligent PCAV is a better friend than he realises.Lobo is worried about Jon. The man’s quest to save every mistreated child in the galaxy has become more than a focus. It seems to be Jon’s entire reason for being and he has been taking an increasing number of risks. In Lobo’s opinion, his behaviour is or soon will be, self-destructive. Every ‘ Jon And Lobo’ novel combines action and adventure with the revelation and resolution of an aspect of Jon’s or Lobo’s past. ‘ No Going Back’ moves one step further and, in keeping with the title, presents the pair with a series of events and a final choice from which neither of them can turn, or return. The action rolls off the first page with Jon surfing down a sand dune toward his assignment, the daring rescue of children who are being auctioned off to the highest bidder. From there, we follow the duo as they answer a call from Jon’s past, a call which could unravel one hundred and twenty years of hiding and comes from the same planet as his current, most powerful foe. Jon is then faced with his past and present combined and a lead he has been waiting nearly one hundred and thirty years for: evidence his sister might still be alive. In this novel, the action is interspersed with chapters from Lobo, which is the first time the reader ‘ hears’ his voice. In these interludes, set out like journal entries, Lobo not only expresses his concerns regarding Jon’s behaviour but reveals the fact he knows who and what Jon is and what he is capable of. Jon’s secret is not so secret. Lobo also gives many facts about himself and his own capabilities as an exchange and a legacy, should Jon require it. These chapters are compelling, for Lobo’s voice and what he reveals. As always, humour adds levity to the darker themes in the form of Jon’s conversation with appliances and machines and the sarcastic interplay between Jon and Lobo. Oh and there is a love interest in this one, too, the progress of which is quiet and contemplate and serves to properly highlight Jon’s hesitance to connect with other people. All in all, ‘ No Going Back’ is a very satisfying novel and the conclusion will guarantee fans of the series will be watching for any mention of the next instalment. Stay well, Mr. Van Name, we need to know what happens next!(Review originally written for and published at

  • Barb in Maryland
    2019-05-01 16:49

    I'm a fan of this series. I love Jon and I really love Lobo! That said, the last book(Children No More) and this one are a bit darker than the earlier ones. Indeed, Lobo worries (as only an almost omniscient entity can worry) that Jon has some kind of death wish. His 'jobs' are getting even more dangerous and his nightmares are getting worse. We get to watch Jon grapple with morality. He doesn't want to turn into a vicious, cold-blooded killer and gets himself in all sorts of jams trying to not kill anyone. Lobo has no morals and sees nothing wrong with killing the bad guys if that is the most practical way to solve whatever problem they are facing.This book opens with Jon out to rescue some children from a group of wealthy pedophiles. As often happens to Jon, something goes wrong. The kids are rescued (yay!), but Jon acquires a really bad enemy. Well, that's nothing new for Jon and Lobo.The bulk of the story, however, involves Jon's love life--yes, dear readers, he had one in the past--the far distant past--and this lover, now dying, contacts him for a final face to face. This being Jon, the meeting does not go smoothly at all. So now he's got to watch out for two enemies.The plot gets even more twisty from there--there's a celebrity, a new romance and a lot more danger before Jon and Lobo can wrap everything up.Lest you think the book is all grimness, the dialog between Jon and Lobo is wonderful, often funny. And there is food--the freshly squeezed fruit juice started to sound really good.This book can stand on it's own, as can the others in the series. However, as with almost all series with continuing characters, you get a lot more out of it if you've read the books in order. Longtime readers of the series will be especially interested in a late development in this book that points toward future stories. To say more would be really spoilery.

  • Leons1701
    2019-05-12 21:04

    This series has been quietly gathering steam, particularly in books 3 and 4 where we learned a lot more about the respective origins of Jon and Lobo. And here's the payoff. Jon takes a job rescuing a child from a group of rich old men that kidnaps children and auctions them off. Of course, Jon insists on rescuing all the children, which complicates things slightly, but not as much as being identified by the leader of the group, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in all of humanity. Normally, Jon and Lobo would go to ground on some backwater world until the heat died down. After all, when you're an immortal and your best friend is a sentient spaceship, you can afford to just wait things out. Unfortunately, things never quite go as planned for Jon and Lobo. Jon gets a message from an old friend. Very old indeed, one of the oldest people alive (except of course, Jon himself). So old she should be surprised that he's still alive as well. She wants to meet him, but there's one problem, the world she lives on is the same one as his new enemy. The smart thing to do would be to ignore the message, but of course, Jon won't do that. Once again, Jon has to come up with a plan to keep his secrets, confound his enemies, help his friends and protect the innocent. But this time, his secrets, his life and the lives of an entire world might be endangered because he just can't walk away.One of the best things about this series, one of many, is Van Name's ability to write high tech capers without overwhelming the reader with technobabble or leaving too many unexplained holes in the plot and this book is no exception. While a bit less tech focused than some of the other books in the series, it's still definitely a caper and as always one that makes the most of Jon and Lobo's unique talents.

  • Cliff
    2019-05-19 19:53

    Latest in the 'Jon and Lobo' series, Jon being a human, the only one enhanced with nanomachines, and Lobo is a (very) intelligent 'Predator Class Assault Vehicle' (Shades on Iain M Banks sentient spacecraft - did he steal the idea?). High class space opera. Jon, who escaped a research facility on his home planet of Pinkelponker (I had to google the word and find it is the common name for a berry found in the USA), has eventually ended up as a kind of Robin Hood of the spaceways. The relationship between Jon and Lobo has been developed through the series to date, only in this book Lobo revealing that he knows the whole of Jon's back story. Behind the individual story of each novel is Jon's ongoing search for his long lost sister, a 'healer'. In some ways, the books are a sort of space 'Mission Impossible' with the pair undertaking difficult tasks with an array of futurustic weaponry etc. There is an element of humour in the books as Jon is able to communicate with the many computerised machines which have computing power, over and above what is needed for their tasks. The bitching that the author ascribes to these machines in an ongoing, well written, thread.The one thing that does worry me is that our current economic structure is posited as existing many centuries into the future, with fights between giant corporations. I wonder if the current status quo will survive the next 50 years, let alone the next 500.Financial transactions are conducted by means of a 'wallet'. Prescient when the series started, as we are now being told that this is what our current mobile (cell) phones will morph into.

  • Michael
    2019-05-06 19:53

    This is the 5th book in the Jon & Lobo series by Mark L. Van Name. In this one one Jon and his super smart assault craft Lobo start out by rescuing 10 children who are being auctioned off by a group of rich and powerful men for unseemly reasons. Jon makes a powerful enemy in the process of the rescue, the leader of the Kang family. He is then contacted by a woman from his passed who has figured out his secret, that he doesn't age. She tries to force him to help her because she is dying of old age but he knows she and her powerful family, the Pimlani, will turn him into a lab experiment in order to find and exploit his secrets. In the meantime he finds out that his sister who he has long thought dead may still be alive and being forced against her will to help another powerful man live longer and even reverse his aging process. Jon and Lobo join a music group on tour in order to infiltrate this man's compound and try to find info on his sister and possibly rescue her. To complicate matters he falls in love with the lead singer assistant Zoe even though he knows that he will have to leave her in the end. This series of books just keep getting better with each one. I recommend them to all fans of Space Opera and fans of Mark L. Van Name.

  • Per Gunnar
    2019-04-28 13:57

    I wasn’t really thrilled with the previous book, Children No More, in the series so I was quite happy that this one brings the series back in shape. Although it’s still a lot about children in the book it’s not really the main focus of the story. Instead we’re back to Jon doing some good old infiltration work. Of course there’s a girlie in it as well which brings the usual complications for Jon.There are still a lot of flashbacks in the book and I’m not really a great fan of loads of flashbacks but it’s a minor complaint. What I do like very much though is that Jon and Lobo finally have that long overdue talk where Jon finally reveals his nano-machines to Lobo (who actually had deduced most of it anyway) and Lobo in turn reveals some quite interesting secrets about himself.All of this bodes well for the next book in the series. Well, that is if the author decides to write one and to make use of this of course but I certainly hope that we finally get to see more of both Jon’s nano-machines as well Lobo’s various capacities put to god use.

  • Eric
    2019-05-01 13:51

    It had been a while since I'd gotten into a John and Lobo story. I was afraid I'd hit my usual book limit (3 or 4) for a series and that would be all I'd get into.This book took the worry away. It was just as fast paced and readable as the rest of the series. The author does not fail to entertain. There were a couple of things that I thought were a bit predictable in terms of the characters actions. John seemed a bit predictable, but Lobo began to step in and pick up some of those things. There were a couple of story twists that I really enjoyed, but that I won't give away. IF you've enjoyed the other books in the series, you'll enjoy this one.The best thing this book does for me is tie a number of things together and aim directly at the next book. The story stands on it's own - this does not commit the cardinal sin of stopping half way (or less) through a story and force one to purchase the next book - but there are aspects of the protagonist's life that will be explored that I'm really looking forward to.

  • Joe Slavinsky
    2019-04-25 16:04

    I've really enjoyed this series, right from the start. Jon & Lobo are a great team, always managing to get into, then out of the most dangerous, and suspenseful situations. The fact that Jon is 157 years old, due to dangerous human experiments, in his childhood, that filled his body with nanomachines, that keep him looking in his late twenties, makes it difficult for him to have long term relationships. He's always worried that someone will find out his secret, capture him, and put him through more of the torture of his childhood, to get that secret. I should also mention Lobo, who is a "Predator Class" assault vehicle, with a sentient AI running it. Lobo also has nanomachines integrated into his whole ship, with which he has virtually unlimited computational power. It's as far-fetched as military science fiction gets, and unbelievably entertaining.

  • James
    2019-05-20 16:09

    Somehow every time I saw this book on the shelf I thought I had read it already, and kept wondering where the next Jon & Lobo was. Finally opened it and started reading, and realized my mistake. Better late than never.Van Name has crafted some great characters in these two, and the stories strike a nice balance between the thrill of the heist while tackling the darkness and fears that drive them. I was very glad to see things step forward, as Jon starts to learn to cope with his demons. Even more I'm happy that he resists the compulsion that some authors have of mixing in military- or softcore-porn. These stories are more than strong enough to stand on their own, without the unnecessary titillation. Thank you for your work Mr. Van Name, I look forward to the next installment, whenever you are able to get it to us.

  • Julie
    2019-05-06 16:49

    the fifth installment in the Jon and Lobo seriesIn this book Jon puts himself and Lobo in far more danger than ever beforeTo save some children in trouble and stop the uber rich from hurting any more innocents, how far will Jon go ?Will Lobo finally confront Jon about the risks he keeps taking ?In this book we not only find out more of Jon's past and the possible fate of his sister Jenny, but a little bit more about Lobo.As always it's action packed and fast paced from start to finish, yet again the author presents us with issues faced by children today. What would you do if you were in Jon and Lobo's place ?

  • Jeffrey Grant
    2019-05-04 20:57

    This book wasn't as strong as the previous ones, but I chalk that up to this being something of a transition novel. The events of the book seem to be setting up a new direction for the main characters but it's all the same song and dance until the very end, though the Lobo interludes are interesting. Of course the author couldn't write an entire book of exposition so he had to have them doing something. It still a good read, I just didn't find it quite as exciting as the other books in the series.

  • Don
    2019-05-16 21:00

    That's what I'm talkin' about!! These books have been getting better and better as the series has progressed. This one finally elevated itself to the "page turner you can't put down" status you always hope for in reading a book. It's exciting and I had a great time reading this. I can't say anything more without spoiling it, but I will say that some important things finally happen with the back story and you get some catharsis on some things that have been hanging out there for a while. Very satisfying read.

  • Dan
    2019-04-26 18:58

    Van Name manages to ratchet up the pull of each Jon & Lobo novel: the more you read, novel to novel, the more you want to read more. I read this one in under two days. The action is fast-paced, as readers have come to expect, but the emotional depth that Van Name reached in Children No More continues in No Going Back. This time, it's not as dark, but just as compelling. This time, Jon falls in love. There's more to the novel--especially for those readers who want to know more about Jon's past, but I'll say no more. All I can say is that I really, really want to read the next book *right*now*.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-10 17:15

    This is the sound of my heart breaking because this ended on a cliffhanger and there are no more books! Augh!Van Name continues to do well with creating a great mix of male and female characters with their own agency and one really good male/male-spaceship friendship. I feel so bad for Lobo every time Jon feels compelled to lie to him and yet I know that Lobo is big enough to take it and understand it (not that he doesn't give Jon shit for things). I hope very much that Van Name will find the time to write more of these books.

  • Laura
    2019-05-02 20:09

    So it turns out that I was reading this for the second time. Which means that, first of all, it wasn't very memorable to me. The other reason I only gave it 3 stars is that maybe I've come to expect too much of Mark Van Name, but this one seemed just a little... self-indulgent. Still excited for the next one though :)

  • Michael Rutkowski
    2019-05-02 19:07

    It seems this is the last book in the series and the ending if satisfactory but still leaves some questions to be resolve if there ever were to be some future books, especially about finding his sister ! This book was definitely better than the last book which was so extremely dark ! This book is a bit more upbeat and hopeful !

  • Nathan
    2019-04-25 21:00

    I really enjoy Mark's writing style, his characters, and his story universe. As the title suggests, there are some significant developments in the book and story arc. While I recommend against it, the series is well done enough in the individual books, that they can easily stand alone... but go for the whole series. Really.

  • David
    2019-05-05 17:56

    3.5 again.The insight into Lobo's personality was welcome.This book moved back towards what makes Jon great but felt like a necessary bridge to get to what is hopefully a book that will move the home planet plotline along.

  • Dan
    2019-05-11 16:15

    4.5 stars! This is the best in the Jon & Lobo series so far and a very pivotal turning point as well. I hope Mark is hard at work on the next book (I'm quite sure he is) and I'll be sure to read it as soon as it comes out.

  • Rich
    2019-05-02 17:04

    This really took the story of Jon and Lobo in a new direction, one that I like. But it's also dangerous because if he stretches out the story too much, then it will hurt the series. I'm curious to see what comes next.

  • Jeff
    2019-05-11 19:52

    Solidly written Sci-Fi, moving the characters, Jon & Lobo forward individually and together in the series. More is revealed to each other & the past is related to the present. Hope for finding Jon's sister Jennie is established as the groundwork for the next few installments is laid.

  • Barry
    2019-04-24 22:00

    A very well done SF novel. The characters both major and minor are very carefully fleshed out. In the book, Jon and Lobo enter a higher partnership and I look forward to the next novel in the series.

  • Chris Kenney
    2019-04-27 21:50

    If you are a fan of SciFi you owe it to yourself to read the Jon and Lobo series.

  • John
    2019-05-01 18:51

    A good follow-up to others in the Jon and Lobo series. Finally the truth comes out between man and machine and we can progress to a different plotline in the next books.

  • Arthur
    2019-05-05 15:57

    This series has really grown on me. The first book or two were alright, but nothing spectacular. However, they got better with time and this one is excellent. Highly recommend this series.