When i want a break from the usual military science fiction story, I can always count on B. V. Larson and his Undying Mercenaries series to give me just the kind of entertainment I need. His books are really hilarious while at the same time very interesting and suspenseful. I don’t think there’s another series quite like this one.
No soldier ever wants to die, yet here we have the Legionaries of the Varus Legion getting kind of used to the idea! Yeah, that’s disturbing and scary at the same time. See, in this place, they have what’s called a “Revival machine”. It’s alien tech that costs a lot of money and not something every one can afford. Yet, Earth has managed to supply each of its Legions with one and have trained the Technicians in its use. Every soldier of the Legion is wirelessly tied back to a central computer where their memories and essence is recorded and stored almost instantaneously. So, when a soldier dies, it’s just a matter of plopping a mass of biomass into the Revival machine, plugging in the parameters of who the soldier is and turning the machine on. Out the other end is a fully developed new human with the body at the age of whatever was most recently stored. This is a great way to be young again although you do have to realize that you died to get back into this body. Say you haven’t been in serious combat for several years and have aged some. Well, once you do get killed, you’ll be spit out of the Revival machine with a new body at your previous younger age. A lot of senior officers have stored very young bodies this way so when they get killed, they’ll be a much younger person with a lot more experience. And of course, senior officers in the Legion don’t get killed all that often unless they are around Centurion James McGill.
James McGill is a non-conformist. He doesn’t like authority, but he also is smart enough to not rebel against it in a direct fashion. No, he’s much more devious than that. He’s also getting himself into serious trouble almost all of the time. He’s been brought to Command Central to find out what he knows about a huge round object now hurling towards Earth. None of the Earth scientist can figure out where it came from or what’s driving it. So, Legion Command, when confronted with an unknown mystery always assumes that James McGill is behind the mystery. Well, usually he is, but not this time. He’s not even aware of the object coming towards Earth until Praetor Drusus points it out to him.
If there’s one thing in McGill’s favor, it’s that he is full of ideas and doesn’t hesitate to share them with anyone around. After watching Earth unsuccessfully attack this giant sphere, Centurion McGill has an idea to just teleport some troops inside the sphere and see what kind of damage they can cause. Of course, James didn’t mean for his troops to do the deed, far from it. He thought there were many other units that were downright expendable so why not use them. Only the brass at Command didn’t agree with that assumption. They want Centurion McGill to lead his troops in this very possible suicide mission. And that’s just the start of James’ problems. It’s also the start of Earth’s problems.
All though this book, James and his Legionnaires are fighting against a new enemy. They are called the Skay and they are really the enemy of the Mogwa. They seem to be more powerful than the Mogwa so it’s kind of hard for Earth to take sides in the intergalactic feud. Still, they have to do something to show both the Skay and Mogwa how capable a military force they are in order to protect their job as frontier enforces for the Galaxy. Most of what is done, is done by McGill and his fast talking. Oh, he gets killed a number of times in this story, but he’s always back at it to the determent of his fellow Legionnaires.
James McGill’s actions might not always seem the right course to take, but he alwasys seems to manage to come out on the good end of any deal. It’s a good thing that the Galactic aliens are a lot dumber than they should be. Any one of McGills tricks or schemes could easily get the entire Earth population wiped out in an instant. It’s surprising it already hasn’t happened!