His strategy of flying boldly into the face of adversity was studied and taught, and during the Clone Wars would come to be known as “the Tarkin Rush”.
The book, happening in the Star Wars universe, presents an important episode in the life of Wilhuff Tarkin, the Imperial general. His unique and advanced stealth ship is stolen and used against the Empire by a cunning crew. He is tasked, together with Darth Vader, to catch the thieves by the Emperor himself. The entire story is told by using flashbacks and memories, neatly arranged.
James Lucerno is a veteran of Star Wars novels, specializing in stories of the antagonists. In this book, the reader can gave a glimpse in the life and of personality of the famous Imperial Moff, later Grand Moff, Wilhuff Tarkin.
Tarkin is meant to represent the military power: ruthless, efficient, domineering. But his personal background is rather surprising, and seems unfit with the personage.
The plot is compelling and the characters are well developed, but I would not go so far to say they were memorable. The Star Wars universe is beautifully constructed, giving depth and engaging the reader.
However, I have found the vocabulary used rather poor, despite some good tries of the author. The background of the protagonist does not seem fit with his career and personality. It often feels that his inner motivations are not explored in depth. The plot is engaging, well-thought and unpredictable, but more could be drawn from it.
Overall, a solid piece of work from Lucerno, an enjoying book for the fans of the genre.
She didn’t need ordnance; she needed someone who could work around the problem. And that left her the single undead general in the Kel Arsenal, the madman who slept in the black cradle until the Nirai technicians could discover what had triggered his madness and how to cure him. Shuos Jedao, the Immolation Fox: genius, arch-traitor, and mass murderer.
The book is the first in the “The Machineries of Empire” trilogy, a military sci-fi saga set in a humanoid futuristic world.
The story of the first book revolves around Jedao, a genius strategist with a twisted story. The protagonist is undead, his conscience being kept alive by a black cradle, and he needs a human anchor to move. Jedao is a prisoner of the hexarchate, an all-dominating, tyrannical empire, which we find later our strategist wants to destroy.
Jedao’s anchor is a woman, Kel Cheris, an infantry company commander, with remarkable military skills.
The world-building is profound and brusque, the reader being immediately immersed into the new vocabulary and organisation of the world. The explanations come only later and they are sometimes subtle and sometimes straightforward.
The plot is rather simple, a difficult rebellion needs quelling and the infantry commander chooses as weapon the infamous undead strategist. They go together to fight the rebels. However the story progresses rather nicely, with a entertaining action, careful character construction and motivations, and unexpected turns.The strong point of the saga is the world-building: a humanoid world divided into six classes, with exotic weapons, needing constant balance and removal of heresies.
Yoon Ha Lee’s saga is similar to Warhammer 40,000 stories, but less grim and hopeless; and no new species, but castes.
The story won multiple sci-fi nominations, including to Nebula and Hugo awards. A good read for the fans of the genre.
You are walking along the shores of a lake,’ Sindermann said. ‘A boy is drowning. Do you let him drown because he was foolish enough to fall into the water before he had learned to swim? Or do you fish him out, and teach him how to swim?’ Loken shrugged. ‘The latter.’ ‘What if he fights you off as you attempt to save him, because he is afraid of you? Because he doesn’t want to learn how to swim?’ ‘I save him anyway.
It’s the 31st century and the martial society of humanity, the Imperium of Man, is expanding in the galaxy. The story follows the military feats of the “Luna Wolves” Legion of Space Marines. Their leader is Horus Lupercal, recently appointed Warmaster, general chief of Imperial military forces. Horus is one of the Primarchs, genetically engineered lieutenants of the Emperor. We find about his actions through the eyes of Captain Garviel Loken, leader of the Luna Wolves’ 10th Company.
The book sets the stage for the Chaos’ plot to destroy the mysterious founder and leader of the Imperium, the Emperor of Man. This story is followed in the next 49 books of the famous series.
This is the beginning of the famous Warhammer 40,000 military scifi, a dystopian future galaxy-spanning war. Books, board games, figurines, video games, comics were all developed in this fascinating environment.
The plot itself is absolutely fantastic, building the base for a great military saga. There are obvious inspirations from Starship Troopers of Robert A. Heinlein. The recent Red Rising saga seems to take some inspiration from the Warhammer universe as well.
However, the military heavy element of the book might be hard to digest for many. The book has many plot strands, characters, sub-plots. However, the writing is fluid, the universe makes sense in itself, and the moral and ethical questions that are asked are mind blowing.
Overall, a great book for the fans of the military scifi and a must read for all passionate about the Warhammer universe .
The new officer AIs were the state of the art in quasi-sentient computers, and the designers had decided that giving them a soothing, human-sounding voice and an active personality would reduce stress on officers in the field. I can’t speak to the psychology of the officer corps in general, but the damned thing creeped me out. And it talked too much.
Marines is the first book of the Crimson World series, a military sci-fi saga with assaults on planets, marines, decrepit governments and futuristic technologies. The book follows the astonishing rise through the ranks of Erik Cain, from a gang member and low strata to major in the space marines.
Jay Allen creates a dystopia, 250 years in the future, where Earth superpowers fight in space among themselves for colonies, resources and warp gates access. Society returns generally to feudal politics level, with a tightly controlled population and only token elections. In this environment, the army provides a refuge for those willing to be in a meritocratic system, a brotherhood of arms.
The author promotion of military values is visible throughout the book, rarely any officers or troops being unfit for job. The highest sought-out skill is military experience. Politicians are disdained. Colonists are brave people, willing to preserve democracies and the main reason of the protagonist’s motivation to fight.
The book is well-written, engaging, with good depth of characters. The universe is well described and the author tries to explain why things are as they are are, which adds to the depth of the book.
A drawback is the nearly perfect career of Erik Cain, who skyrockets through ranks without enough explanation why. He tops the academy (how? why was he special?). He displayed brilliance on the field (how? what others would do normally and he did differently and exceptional?). In this respect, I recommend the Man of War series or Star Carrier, also on the blog, who really kept the reader guessing.
The book reads generally as an intro to the series, with a rushed plot and some, but could have been more, description. Maybe next books in the series will have a more twisted plot.
I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife’s grave. Then I joined the army.
Visiting Kathy’s grave was the less dramatic of the two.
In a distant future, humanity developed, colonized different worlds and fights wars. The protagonist joins the Colonial Defense at 75 years old and finds that his conscience is transplanted in a new, young, augmented body. With that, he regains practically a second life, but the war he is about to embark and the Colonial Defense are a lot more sinister and mysterious than he thought.
This book is a classical military sci, with an engaging premise and a good follow up. The ending is a bit open, more scifi than military. Overall, the book tilts towards a mystery scifi rather a military story.
Most of the book follows the transformations, physical and psychological, of the hero, John Perry, after the body transplant. After the training camp, the protagonist fight various aliens, gradually climbing ranks.
It was a good book, but not exceptional. Nonetheless, entertaining enough to finish it, but no continue with the series.
Deplorable practices adopted during the last century were repeatedly declared necessary if regrettable in order to win the war. Oddly enough, we’ve yet to win. You’d think somebody would have asked before this why the regrettable but necessary measures haven’t actually produced the promised results.
The star saga continue with the third book in the series, where Captain Jack Geary continues to lead the Alliance fleet in enemy space, trying to avoid the Syndics and get enough supplies to be able to combat.
Geary is avoiding enemy fleets, even if that means getting away of the Alliance-controlled space. However, that can’t last forever and Geary has to fight some bloody battles. Those battles have real and impacting causalities, which makes the story credible.
The protagonist is not a super-hero, with genious flair and incredible luck, but a leader with doubts, trying to make choices with the best information available.
The relations with Madam Co-President Victoria Rione and Captain Tanya Desjani of his flagship are subject to other people judgement, good or bad. But this does not distract from the main story, which is again full of space battles and military space tactics.
In this part, a new twist is added to the story, which makes it even more interesting, building on cues from the previous books.
This is a good book on its own, a relaxing and engaging read that I recommend for the fans of the genre.
The longstanding thorn in your side Captain Numos is stupid. In fact, Numos is so dense that I’m surprised he doesn’t have his own event horizon.
The second book of the series continued the adventures of Captain Jack “Black Jack” Geary in his quest to save the Alliance fleet from the enemy in Syndic space. This time around, Captain Geary has to deal with unexpected mutiny as well, having to fight internal and external enemies at once.
The protagonist is now better defined, Captain Geary having to work on the politics of his own fleet, as well as dealing with the continuing enemy pursuit. The story universe is given more depth and there is even more action than in the first book. However, the book manages to keep the main story straight and introduces some very unexpected twists, on several levels.
The second book is at least as better as the first one, with a bit more creative narrative and better described space battles. The effort put in imagining scientifically coherent space battles is impressive.
There is little psychological monologue and soul-searching, which makes the book uncomplicated and easy to read. For military scifi fans, it is a quite rewarding read.
His octet was to be limited to the same weapons these humans were given. A very detailed video of the compound’s terrain was furnished. This he shared with his octet, because every Krall had an inborn ability to memorize such details for a mission. Repetition was unnecessary.
Koban is a very imaginative and action-packed military survival sci-fi. The story revolves around Captain Mirikami, who is transporting in a passenger spaceship scientists to a far colony, when he is attacked by an unknown and far more advanced alien species. Captain Mirikami and all on board is then isolated on a dangerous planet, Koban, where he has to prove to alien war race that humanity deserve to be treated as worthy opponents.
The author creates an entire universe with this book, with a new planet and a new alien species. The Krall are very advanced military, highly physical, destroyed or enslaving every other intelligent species they met so far. They use those wars to enhance their military abilities. Humans are considered weak and very low technologically speaking, but they are still put to trial. If they succeed, aliens plan to destroy humans gradually, rather then in a one big stroke, hence the struggle of Captain Mirikami.
Stephen Bennett creates a future where genetic warfare almost killed the entire male population and changed ways of society. The men are subservient to women and the first part of the book is full with sexist situations. After the genetic war. humanity is not fighting internally nor meeting any other intelligent species in 300 years.
The narrative is captivating, some chapters are looking at events through the eyes of predators on Koban, some others through the Krall aliens. It makes the story a lot more interesting.The book has some fantastic ideas, but with others it went overboard. The sexism is interesting, but not adding to the story. The genetic enhancement done in days leave too many logical holes.
Nonetheless, it is a solid scifi survival book, imaginative, well paced, action-packed and entertaining.
I respect you far too much to think that empty pride is the only motivator you could call on. I think what you call pride is something much more than that. Belief in yourselves, perhaps, or perseverance in the face of adversity. Those are things to be proud of. That’s not the same as being proud. (Admiral Geary)
The book is a solid military scifi, telling the adventures of Admiral Geary (nicknamed Black Jack Geary), while he commands his fleet, battling the Syndics, a human empire. In this first book, the fleet is running from a trap and tries to hold together as a fleet.
What is special about Geary is that he was found by mistake, while in cryo-sleep, after about 100 years. The century-long war with Syndics made high losses in the ranks of officers and now almost everyone is getting experience and promotion in the field, making them losing organisational and team spirit skills. Here comes Black Jack Geary, who knows the old ways, and starts teaching the brave, but rash, commanders how it’s done.
This is the first book in a series called the Lost Fleet, which has several other expansions as well. The author, under the pen name Jack Campbell, is a former US Marine.
The book has everything you can expect from a classic military scifi: space ships, Marines, ship to ship engagements, alien words, faster-than-light transportation. This particular book has little politics, just some jockeying for positions, or psychological considerations. It is clear cut, focusing a lot on dialogue, which is quite good, and dynamic space battles.
Jack Campbell is creating convincingly the fast-paced atmosphere of a space war, trying to cover with explanations various logical holes. It could have gone deeper in describing physically the ships, the weapons, how the characters look like, why they are how they are. It is true that it draws from the action, but it creates more bonding with the characters and it adds further immersion.
A book in a similar fashion is the “Man of War” Series by Paul Honsinger. Those books are easy, relaxing, action packed scifis; good reads for the fans.
New contact!” Lieutenant Kasparov announced from the Sensors Station. “Infrared and mass detection, bearing three-five-seven mark zero-six-eight. Designating as Hotel eleven. Classified as definite hostile. No effort at stealth.” Then, under his breath, he added, “Arrogant bastards.”
“Very well.” Lieutenant Commander Max Robichaux, Union Space Navy, Captain of the Khyber class destroyer USS Cumberland, acknowledged the contact report but let the comment pass, not because it was appropriate–which it was not–but because he heartily concurred. Judging by the quiet murmurs of agreement from the dozens of men at their General Quarters stations in the Cumberland’s Combat Information Center, he wasn’t the only one.
The destroyer’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Eduardo DeCosta, leaned toward Max and said in a low voice, “No stealth. Looks like disdain. We’re not a threat to them, so they don’t need to waste effort making themselves hard to detect.”
Max shook his head and answered at the same volume—his voice would not carry beyond the Command Island, the platform in the center of CIC where the Commander’s and Executive Officer’s Stations, as well as an additional console known as the Commodore’s Station, were located. “That’s not it, XO. Krag disdain for us ‘blaspheming monkeys’ is a given. Their goal is intimidation. They want to make sure we know they’re here and how many of them are hunting us. They want us cowed. Too scared to think. Believing we’re already dead so we’ll stop fighting to survive.” [Book 3 – Brothers in Valour]
The series follows the adventures of Max Robichaux, captain of a war spaceship engaged in the war with an alien empire, some 300 years in the future.
There are three books in the series: To Honor You Call Us, For Honor We Stand and Brothers in Valour. Interestingly, the first two were self-published (this means there was no publishing house behind them) and enjoyed an immense success.
The series are classical in the sense of story building. Captain Robichaux gradually earns his success and military victories, while training and giving confidence to his destroyer’s crew. On his side, there is his best friend, Dr Sahin, and a reliable council of advisers. The victories follow one after the other, but not without losses. The focus is on the hero and his crew, less on the ship itself.
There are writers who like to introduce convoluted psychological plots and mind games. However, the author, Paul Honsinger, likes his story clean; the focus is on the fight itself, on the universe around it and on the crew. This makes the story easy to follow and engaging.
There is no hard scifi in those books, but the plot is imaginative, with nice twists. Also, every decision from the universe (such as why no women on board) is given a credible explanation (a genophage virus sent by aliens to kill human females, due to the low reproductive rate of human species in comparison with aliens).
The battles are very creative and well described. The evolution of the hero and the crew is impressive. The captain is just an ordinary guy (not a prince or the son of a general), with a lot more grit, common sense and willingness to win that others. This type of character makes the reader to identify him/herself with the hero and follow his decisions.
I loved the series, it was easy to read. It was not a big, convoluted plot where you have to make notes in order to remember what is happening. One of the most relaxing reads of military scifi.