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“Tempered Steel”


Tempered Steel

This book was pretty ridiculous. I understand authors wanting to write science fiction that is exciting and interesting, but this stuff was pretty much trash. Naming the father of the main character, “General Havoc” kind of starts out the silliness. Then we come to his young daughter. She’s portrayed as the typical brash, headstrong military brat which gets her in a lot of trouble. Right at the beginning of the book, she’s managed to get herself involved in the prototype development of an advanced mecha. Two civilian scientists are involved in the development of this prototype and both should have known better to involve the General’s daughter in this test. The General’s daughter is name Charlotte although she shortens it to “Char” for some unknown reason. She’s also not in the military, especially the Marines for whom this new mecha is being developed.

Our situation in this universe and time is that Earth has become uninhabitable with a much smaller human population having moved into orbiting space stations. The one that contains most of the former North American population is called, “Heaven”, yeah, not “Haven”. There are two other such space stations orbiting Earth, but they seem to be living peacefully together doing what isn’t ever stated. So we have a total of three orbiting space habitats until a third something shows up from a rift in space. This thing is definitely not human and it seems to be birthing small deadly creatures know by the Marines as “squiddies”. Squiddies were amorphous blobs of tentacles able to propel themselves through space. They also attacked the Marines Mechas and any other military space craft that happened to be in their way. Right now the Marines were attempting to seal the most recent rift in space from which this current batch of squiddies were pouring.

Then they noticed that there were some squiddies that were attempting to pull the rift open even wider. Eventually, some kind to tentacle reached through the rift and then a second tentacle with both now firmly tearing the rift larger. Something definitely alien and very large was coming through this rift, something that hadn’t been seen before. It seems strange that while the Marines and the Fleet were attacking the squiddies and this new alien thing, it doesn’t seem like any of the other orbiting habitats are even aware of what’s going on. That ignorance continues throughout the book even when things get very dire for Earth.

Now, back to Char, the General’s daughter. She gets installed in this prototype mecha and flies out to join one of the elite Marine mecha units, the Steel Demons. They see her coming to join them and only acknowledge that they have a new “rookie” mecha pilot in their group and fly out to fight the squiddies. The only problem with this is that Char doesn’t have a clue on how to operate the prototype mecha. She didn’t take the time to study any of the manuals the scientist gave her and they didn’t find the time to even test her on its operating capabilities. So, she has to learn how to control this powerful mecha on the fly.

This part of the story is so ridiculous that it’s hard to believe it was written and the it gets even sillier. The alien that came through the rift in space is as large as the Heaven space habitat, but it’s just sitting in orbit like the other three human habitats without anyone knowing why. General Havoc and Fleet Admiral Rousseau agree that a squad needs to penetrate the large alien thing and find out its power source and kill it if able. Of course the General’s daughter has to get involved even though by now the General is aware of her exploits and has forbidden her of ever using the prototype mecha again. Doesn’t matter, she’s going to do what she wants.

And so the story goes on. The huge alien thing orbiting Earth is only there waiting for something else to happen. That something could mean the ultimate destruction of Earth. Someone has to become a hero. Guess who it might be?

This is sadly the first book in a series that I don’t understand why it should continue. I certainly won’t be reading any more. This is too childish and ridiculous to spend time reading.

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