We’ve got a long ways with Staff Sergeant Reverent Pelletier. From his initial shanghaied court appearance on a bogus traffic charge with got him sentenced to the Marines and now he’s an NCO with several years of combat experience behind him. But, the Centaur War is over so now what?
Well, things are changing and will change for SSgt Pelletier or Rev for short. He’s being reassigned to the Home Guard under the Congress of Humanity (CoH). This is an effort by all the nations and planets to provide for a common defense of all humanity. They are supposed to be sending their best and brightest to these units who will no longer be affiliated with their parent branches as before. Oh, Rev will still be a Marine, just not a Perseus Union Marine from Safe Harbor. Now he’s just a member of the Home Guard and his allegiance is to the CoH, not to the Marines nor the Union or Safe Harber. He has to give a sworn oath for that to set in and at first he’s not very comfortable with it. There are very definitely some portions of humanity that don’t really believe in all this togetherness stuff!
Still he does report in and goes about his business. Most of his time is spent training with his new unit. They might be called now to do some police type actions against pirates who have actually had a pretty free hand while the military has been busy with the Centaurs. With the CoH now obligated to protect all of humanity and now that it has it’s own military, it will enforce the laws. Rev actually does go out on a surprise mission and does experience some anti-pirate action first hand. This book is far different than the first book in that the actual fighting the Rev or any of the Marines experience are very limited. Only towards the end of the book is there another mission that involves combat. Still, this combat is against humans unlike fighting Centaurs. Killing humans, even bad ones is not something that comes easily.
Then there’s his love life! Rev isn’t very bright where this is concerned. He’s tied to Malaika or so it seems although she is definitely out of the Marines. Rev doesn’t know if this relationship is going to work, but he doesn’t have much time for it anyway. It still gets on his mind when it shouldn’t. Then there’s his IBHU arm or weapons he calls Patshu. It’s one of the reasons he was chosen for the Home Guard so he and about five other IBHU Marines usually have to put on some kind of firepower demonstration with the VIPs. That’s not hard to do, but his IBHU was made for wide-open spaces for fighting Centaurs not close confines of a starship.
So, there wasn’t much fighting at all in this book. It was more about getting to know more about his situation in life and the feelings he now has while being a Marine. I think it was OK to show how belonging to something larger than you are is a good way to feel. While he’s young he needs to take advantage of this and keep himself sharp. I don’t really think the peace is going to last long, but that will have to wait until book five which is “A Broken Alliance” and won’t be available until 26 September 2021