The Maxwell Saga5 books in series
Take the Star Road Publisher's Summary
Nineteen-year-old Steve Maxwell just wants to get his feet on the star road to find a better homeworld. By facing down Lotus Tong thugs, he earns an opportunity to become an apprentice on a merchant spaceship, leaving the corruption and crime of Earth behind. Sure, he needs to prove himself to an older, tight-knit crew, but how bad can it be if he keeps his head down and the decks clean?
He never counted on the interstellar trade routes having their own problems, from local wars to plagues of pirates - and the jade in his luggage is hotter than a neutron star. Steve's left a world of troubles behind, only to find a galaxy of them ahead....