Continuing a fantastic series with Gunnery Sergeant Reverent Pelletier, Perseus Union Marine Corps, as the main character. I always enjoy these books because they are so well written. They really get down into the squad and small unit level telling how the fighting is going on and how decisions above effect these grunts on the ground. Even with Gunnery Sergeant Pelletier, things can and do go wrong every day. He’s placed in some very interesting situations that I don’t think the “brass” have a clue about, but if they do, they’re just ignoring them. That’s something Pelletier can’t do because it gets his troops killed.
Now part of the First Human Expeditionary Brigade, GySgt Pelletier, will lead his platoon along with his Lieutenant to fight jointly with the Kanters. This is an alien race looked like rats or at least very similar to the humans. These aliens were very strange to say the least and there were a lot of them. They didn’t seem very well equipped or very organized. It was a good thing that Revs company would be fighting as they were formed and not having to take on a bunch of Kanters. Still, the Kanters were in-charge of the battalion that Rev’s company was now assigned.
The Kanters as well as the Uauii (a.k.a. “clickers) were two of the several alien races the humans were now allied with to fight against the Naxli. While the humans have fought the Naxli on their own and had done well, allies were not something to ignore because the number of Naxli seemed to be unlimited. That they were attacking other aliens planets had come as a surprise and even more so, the fact that several alien militaries had also been heavily engaged with the Naxli, was welcomed news. Earth and humans wouldn’t have to fight this war alone.
But, combining forces was turning into a monumental task. These alien militaries didn’t think like humans and some even considered the humans inferior. So now the immediate task was to fight with the Kanters and see if they could be an effective fighting force. Turns out, they weren’t there and in GySgt Pelletier’s opinion wouldn’t ever make a good fighting force. The Kanters were like lemmings. They threw themselves at the enemy in vast numbers without coordinating with the troops around them. Still, Rev and the humans managed to get their mission done and then they were assigned to work with another group of aliens.
This new group were called the Breel. They had long refused to fight along side the humans since they didn’t consider them combat ready. These aliens looked like trees to Rev and the other humans. They stood upright with limbs acting as arms and they were tough. While they didn’t move very fast they were tough and could take a lot of punishment. They also weren’t forthcoming with information even when an operation was going on. Coordinating among companies was complicated by the lack of effective language translators, so the Breel just didn’t tell the humans what was going on most of the time. This resulted in one instance of friendly fire and the deaths of troopers on both sides.
So, this book is about fighting with various alien militaries and provides some realistic glimpses of what that would be like if you can’t coordinate actions like they need to be done. Rev gets very frustrated in a lot of cases, but his words are not always listened to. The Marine mind-set is that the mission comes first and complaints or suggestions for improvement come after the mission is accomplished. Then to make matters worse, they find out the Naxli also have allies! Now this war has just gotten much, much bigger.
It just so happens as I write this review, book 11, “Marines Never Die”, has just been released. I”m putting it on my reading list and may move it up a bunch.