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“The Line Must Hold”


5 Small Stars
The Line Must Hold

Here’s another great book in the Crimson Worlds series.  You’ve got to read it if you’re any kind of a fan of Jay Allen’s work in this series.  In the last book, there was a hint that the Earth forces were finally going to get their act together and figure out a way to fight and may, just may, defeat the First Imperium.  It was obvious that General Erik Cain had something to settle especially now that his best friend and fellow General Darius Jax was killed.  General Cain believes and rightly so, that it was his fault that General Jax was killed.  Some my not agree but I think it was.  If he had followed Jax’s request for support where Jax wanted it, General Jax might have lived through the battle.

But he didn’t so General Cain is on a mission to not only stop the First Imperium but totally destroy it.  The book is well written with only a few missing words in a few places (let’s say there are much more than two or three places).  I like Mr. Allen’s writing style.  It’s got to be difficult to write a book that includes a General Officer as the main character.  In my experience, General Officers don’t do a whole lot once they have kind of outline what they want to do to their staff.  Oh, yeah, they sit around and get briefings on what may happen and they nod their head but usually the Operation Officer develops the plan in detail, briefs the General in person and makes sure there are no surprises.

And in my humble opinion, General Officers don’t lead from the front, that’s for sure.  This book is pure science fiction in having a few General Officers out roaming around the battle field and even getting to the front line and getting killed.  Of course they’re going to get killed because the enemy is usually tracking their every move so they become a prime target on the battlefield if they’re dumb enough to show themselves.  And anyone standing around a General Officer or a command headquarters that has been located is going to be dead as soon as the enemy can get around to it and that’s very soon.

But, General Cain does his hero thing and comes through with the usual shot in the arm which gets repaired by none other than his consort?  Yeah, it just so happens Sarah Linden is with the General in charge of the Field Hospital.  It sure would have been nice to see the type of medical miracles being performed in this book in the places I’ve been.  They way they can patch guys up and send them back to the fight is, ah, frightening, especially if you’re just a grunt.  Once you’ve been shot, you don’t really, really, really want to get shot again so why would you want to go back to the front?

And I really like some of the technology in this book.  I wonder why we can’t build stuff like that now.  He’s got most of his Marines in some kind of Personal Defense System which sounds like a self-contained tank!  They can see and hear everything all over the battlefield.  Man, it would have been nice to know even where the guy next to you really was in my day!  I hope Mr. Allen writes more about those Obliterator suits.  They have got to be something!

Oh, and this book is not just about the ground fight; no, it covers everything happening in space and even tells about one lone scout ship that goes deep behind enemy lines.  It does get intense with some of the action in space. Mr. Allen builds his characters well and after a while you don’t loose track of who he’s writing about because of that character development.

Ok, read this book and enjoy it.  There’s a lot of action and I mean a lot.  But remember, the war ain’t over; far from it!

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