This was a first time author and I’ll have to get used to his writing. While he does write well, his story-line seems to be just too good to be true, like this is one of those stories that never, ever happens to you! We’re going to OCS (Officer Candidate School) which is undoubtedly going to be very hard. Our main character is Lance Warder and he has a side-kick friend in Justin Cooper. Justin is kind of unique in that he’s a midget. They start off in a shuttle taking them to their initial training base. Needless to say, Earth has been in space for awhile and these Officer Cadets will be looking for posting away from Earth on or various starships. They will eventually chose a speciality be it as a pilot, engineer and communications or a Marine. This cadet class isn’t large and it will get smaller.
Of course they get their first “friendly” greeting from their new Drill Sergeant! Yeah, friendly, right! He’s yelling at the top of his voice for the new cadets to get on the yellow foot prints on the tarmac. If you’ve been to any kind of basic training, you’ll be familiar with this routine. You and your other confused and terribly frightened recruits or cadets in this case, scramble to get on the yellow foot prints while at the same time paying attention to this crazy person who’s yelling at everybody. If you make the dumb mistake of gaining their attention, you will regret it! This is you indoctrination period. You are going to change from a civilian into a military person one way or another and you Drill Sergeant is going to make you do that his way. Of course you can D.O.R. (Drop On Request) which means you’re out of the program and you go home.
Lance Warder is just as unsure of himself as are all the other cadets. He believes that he’s ready for what’s coming, but he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. So, he takes the smart way and starts paying attention right from the beginning. Lance has the advantage of coming from a family with a long line of military history, all of it very successful. He want’s to prove that he’s just a tough has those before him and he has a name to live up to as you’ll learn later in the story.
Now I don’t have a lot of problems with how Lance’s officer cadet training happens, but it doesn’t really go as smoothly as this book wants it to sound. There are things that happen to him that just really don’t happen. The first is that he meets a young nurse while in-processing and getting his first shots at medical. Since this is just a story in a book, there are such things as young nurses taking care of young men going through OCS. Most of the time, in real life, these people are definitely highly professional and don’t care to get involved with the young men or women that are really going to be way too busy to have a romance. So this part of the story is really too perfect and not very believable.
Then we have the fact that Lance wants to win the boxing Championship while he’s going through OCS. There shouldn’t be anything like this going on except it is, but supposedly in secret, I think. Something happened towards the end of the story that doesn’t seem to make sense when a Drill Sergeant blows up and terminates the boxing activities. It seems that all the Drill Sergeants clearly knew about these activities and Lance’s Drill Sergeant certainly did. Additionally, Lance seems to be just too ready to be able to do anything and everything. I don’t really think anyone going into OCS is prepared for what they encounter since they’ve never been there before. I think Lance Warder is just too prepared and everyone seems to just want to follow along with him even though there’s no reason to do so.
And, it seems that these cadets get just too much free time on their own. They actually talk about having the weekend off or at least Sunday, and they seem to have a lot of time in the evenings to do practically whatever they want. That’s probably not going to be the way it is although I can’t say for sure since my OCS was through a National Guard Academy and we trained once a month for three intense days or more for 13 months. If you went through ROTC (college) then you would have graduated with a commission and not gone to this OCS.
Ok, then during the story something happens which was totally unexpected, but kind of what you should have expected for a story like this. It puts Lance and his other cadets directly into combat on their own and they some how figure it out. I don’t know what the people that were supposed to be taking care of them were doing, but they weren’t doing their jobs.
Of course Lance makes it through OCS. Some of his buddies don’t and then he’s awaiting his new orders. He knows where he doesn’t want to go, but you’ll just have to read what his first assignment turns out to be. Also, while Earth is not at war, something seems to be coming and it’s totally unexpected. I think I’ll probably read the next book in the series, “First Contact”, which is available on Amazon.