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5 Small Stars
Atlas 1

Isaac Hooke is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I’ve already read and reviewed three of his “A Captain’s Crucible Series” and now I’m heading towards reading everyone of this “Atlas Series”. This one is kind of an introduction to the main character, Rade Galaal, and his journey to become a MOTH. You would be familiar with that term if you had read the “A Captain’s Crucible Series”, since Rade shows up in it and does his usual thing. But, the short answer to, “What is a MOTH?”, is just think SEAL Team member! Yes, we’re going into training to become a SEAL or in this case a MOTH.

From reading the authors bio, it doesn’t appear that he’s actually been through any kind of SEAL training, so he must have done a ton of research on the subject. He makes it seem so very, very real. Rade Galaal is from somewhere south of the US and Canada or what is now called the United Countries. His life is anything but charming. He’s poor and has been poor all his life. His best friend, Alejandro, has raised him, taught him how to live on the street and to survive. Yet, things are getting tougher and Rade decides it’s time to leave. HIs best option is to try and illegally get into the UC. He knows that if he’s caught, it’s a 10 year sentence into the UC military. Yeah, go figure that out. It’s kind of a nice setup in that illegal immigrants are forced into military service to defend the country they wanted to live in. Too me, that’s justice. The term of service is kind of long, but that’s what it is in this book.

So, Rade gets caught and decides he wants to join the Navy. He actually has a choice between the military services and it was only between the Navy and Marines so he chose the Navy because he wanted to become a MOTH. This sounds oh so similar to the road I took into my military service. I had always planned to be a Marine until the Navy Recruiter showed me and three of my buddies a film about SEAL Teams. We signed up immediately. I later found out that you didn’t get into SEAL training wearing glasses! Boy! Am I ever thankful! I wouldn’t have made it, I just know me. Yet, Rade is determined to do whatever it takes to become a MOTH. And he drags Alejandro along with him. It’s brutal training, but it keeps you riveted to the book. I couldn’t put it down and had many long nights (well, only two) of reading until 2 am.

You do get to go beyond just the training portion. On to some very, very dangerous missions. I don’t know how these guys survive. Well, they do have some pretty fancy robotic assistants; almost sentient AIs that can act almost like humans doing scout work and other military duties. They also have Weavers which are highly evolved medical robots. They can repair just about any part of the body using replacement 3D printed parts. Yeah, the author introduces some pretty advanced concepts into the story. It would be great if such things were to exist, but they don’t today and probably won’t in my lifetime. Too bad!

I’m already into the second book, “Atlas 2”, and I have seen that the third book, “Atlas 3” is also out. Those titles really don’t tell much about the books, so I hope it is a continuing story about Rade and his buddies or team. This is excellent military science fiction, really, really good stuff.

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