This is a new author I’ve never read before, but I’m certainly going to be reading more of this series. This book starts out like a lot of stories about today’s or yesterday’s Marines. While you would like to do what you’re supposed to do, things don’t always work out that way. For Ryck and his twin sister, Lysa, (why couldn’t the author just have used “I” in place of the “y”?) the farm is just not going to make it. It’s already killed their Mom and Dad and the way it’s going now, it could kill both of them if they don’t decide to do something else.
His sister has always had good looks and has managed to say fed by having her various boy friends take care of her. The farm isn’t producing enough for one person much less her and her brother. So they decide to sell the whole place and see if that will pay off their corporate debts. Lysa has a special friend that supposed to be a good guy and he wants to marry her. Her brother doesn’t think that’s such a good idea but the guy is a nice guy compared to some of the others. So he gives his blessing and that takes care of his sister. Now what is he going to do?
Working for one of the giant planetary corporations doesn’t really appeal to Ryck. He would rather do some thing more challenging. So he decides to join the Legion! Wait, I thought this was about the Federation Marine Corps. Well, it is, except that Ryck had really intended to join the Legion but while waiting for his interview, he met a friend who had just joined the Marine Corps. They got to talking and before you know it, he’s signing up to be a Marine. That should be challenging enough for any one!
From here the book takes off. We follow Ryck from his initial enlistment to basic training. Since I wasn’t foolish enough to join the Marines, I’ll have to assume that what the author writes about is reasonably close to what Marine basic training is like although these Marines also fight in space! That certainly throws a little twist into things. Ryck manages to survive basic and is sent to join his first unit.
Now remembering that this is some time in the future, fighting takes on a little different shape. You still close with the enemy and kill them but in the process, if you get seriously wounded, you go to the hospital and get repaired. Now seriously wounded means having a leg or two or even and arm or two blown off. You new combat suit has the capability to shut you down until you can be transported to a hospital and then you get to grow new arms and legs or whatever your missing. That sounds sick. What do you do after you’ve gone through all this trauma? You get right back into a new combat suit and re-join your unit for the next battle! No permanent ticket home, no million dollar wound, just a lot of rehabilitation with the knowledge that you might one day soon, get to do it all over again!
And Ryck gets wounded several times during the story. He remarkably recovers and continues to do his job like a Marine should. The story is pretty well written. I didn’t notice a lot of editorial mistakes which drive me crazy and the continuity seemed to be there. The story is exciting but there are periods where you can put the book down and rest while you and Ryck gear up for the next mission.
I do hope the author continues with this story. It’s one of those wide open stories that can go anywhere. Very good reading.