Rating:

Under the Shade of the Sun
835

Well, I gave this new author (new to me) a shot and it didn’t turn out too well. This is a very short book. I didn’t realize how short it was until I figured I read it in a little over two hours, but I did spread that out over two nights, but books usually last longer than that. I don’t like short-stories and this wasn’t like that, there just didn’t seem to be much to it.

It is about some young kids who are now Marines and going off on their first combat mission. Their target is some kind of bugs and a sample collection. They thought these bugs would be rather large and while terrible, the Marines did have armor. It turns out these bugs did grow large, but they started out small and there millions of them on this planet they were conducting this mission. They were crawling every where and on everything. Still, the mission had to get done and after awhile, the specialist in-charge of getting the sample reported that it was done. So, there wasn’t much hesitation in getting the heck back to the shuttle and off this bug infested planet.

Except the shuttle they had came in on was also now infested. The pilot did have a solution for that and it involved incineration of everything inside the passenger compartment where the Marines now sat. It was thought that their Marines armor would protect them. So, everyone was roasted including the bugs. Nothing left but ashes. Now the Sarge in-charge told all this Marines to begin checking their armor since it was thought these bugs, given enough time, could chew through even the stuff it was made of. One Marine wasn’t so lucky. He was dead in his armor and had a hole in the bottom of one foot. So, they sealed him in a bag and put him out of the way until they could get to the starship.

Oh, the story doesn’t end here. No, they are turned around for another mission and this one was supposed to be to quell a terrorist uprising on a colony planet. The AixCorp had requested the military’s assistance in putting down this attack so this squad along with four others were sent into to recon and then take over a communication tower if feasible. Except the Sarge had some other kind of orders. So they land on what is pretty much a sand planet, nothing but sand and sand worms and hot, hot sun. It’s kind of hard to sneak up on the terrorist since the planet is flat every where with only occasional sand dunes, but they are Marines and the adapt and overcome, right.

Well, while this planet wasn’t infested with bugs, not everything on the shuttle died as they thought! And, back at the starship transport, the sample from the bug planet contained just a little too much stuff. So we’re not done with the bugs. We’re also finding out that the mission they thought they were on isn’t the one they are conducting. Doesn’t matter much seeing as how almost everyone of the squad is green, brand new recruits fresh out of basic. Bohatch is the main character and he’s described as young, from a questionable background that involved the police and so his alternative was the military. Nothing much is written about his squad mates although you kind of suspect they all have similar backgrounds. There were two other “veterans” besides the Sarge but they don’t count much. Yeah, this is going to be a nightmare of a story if you don’t like bugs!

I understand most of the characters are supposed to be young kids, but the dialogue used by the writer doesn’t seem to work, at least for me. Some thought it was humorous, but I didn’t and I’m not sure why. There was a lot of wise-cracks, very little cussing, but a lot of just worthless talking at times. Not sure what I was expecting, but I didn’t really care for the characters or the story. Of course I don’t care for bugs, but that didn’t really “bug me” all that much. It appears this is the beginning of a series which I probably won’t be reading further. I also thought the front cover was as uninspiring as the entire short book. Of course this is all my opinion and my review, but there it is.



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