Well, this is going to be a fun series! Leo Blake reminds me of James McGill of the “Undying Mercenaries Series” also written by B.V. Larson. They are both irreverent, cocky and don’t follow the rules. McGill gets into more trouble, but Blake has his hands full in this series. There’s just enough comedy thrown in to make the story mildly amusing, but not to the point it gets ridiculous.
Aliens have dropped some kind of rock in the water just off an island in Hawaii. Blake and a friend of his swim out to find out what it is, showing off for their girls who remain on the beach. Blake’s friend disappears under the water and doesn’t come up for way too long. So, Blake dives down and finds Jason stuck in some kind of glowing rock. He doesn’t appear to be breathing. Blake attempts to pull him away from the rock and eventually gets a rocking motion that succeeds in getting his friend free. He drags him to shore and start CPR, but it doesn’t look good. By this time, the girls have called for help and a doctor arrives on the beach to pronounce Jason as dead. Then one of the girls suddenly notices that Jason’s hand is missing. Blake must have broke Jason loose from the ice block holding his hand to the stone by just ripping the limb off. There was blood everywhere on the beach.
That’s starts off this adventure that will take Blake and one of the girls to outer space, far, far from the Earth. Earth hasn’t developed any kind of space exploration capabilities than we have now, yet they have positive proof that aliens do exist and they are visiting Earth. In fact, aliens are now on Earth recruiting humans for their interstellar war. Actually, it’s not a war so much as a rebel uprising against the Imperium, which has been devastating alien planets all along the frontier. It turns out the Imperium is using these planets a training ground for it’s Imperial space forces. They are only sending their inexperienced spacecraft out to fight against the rebels and not worrying much about the outcome. Except, they don’t expect nor like to lose these battles.
So, as you guessed it, Leo Blake and one of the beach girls have been recruited by the aliens to be members of their space force. That recruiting effort was in the form of nanites passed into their blood stream causing them to act differently than they normally would. In fact, the initial reaction to the nanite infection is a dramatic increase in aggression. Those people effected become murderous. Blake finds that out when one of the beach girls tries to kill him in a hotel room.
As Blake is a former Navy pilot, he attempts to contact the Pentagon and inform them of what he’s found out about that mysterious artifact in the ocean near Hawaii. Unknown to Blake, the US government has known about the aliens and their recruitment efforts and have agreed to it. So, Blake quickly finds himself and four other Earth humans on a huge starship headed for who knows where. He also finds out that the aliens intend to prove that he’s worthy of being in their space force by making him and his fellow humans fight each other and then other aliens. They have a point system which is how you gain rank and prestige about this starship. Fortunately, Leo Blake hasn’t been affected by the nanites as they were expecting and these aliens don’t seem to have a clue as to how humans think. That’s when the fun starts.
A good start to what could become a great series along the lines of the “Undying Mercenaries”. I hope so because I liked that series very much and the writing in this book seems very familiar and that’s very good.