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“Action Zone”


Action Zone

This is a military sci-fi book which only seems that way because our two main characters are flying around on space ships from place to place. These guys are members of the Colonial Marine Corps (CMC). Sergeant Rick Forge is a sniper and has been in the Corps for about twelve years. You’ll meet him first on his assignment which is to provide overwatch security to a Marine platoon going into rescue some POWs. These POWs were beings used as slave labor for the Universal Socialist Movement (USM). Rick does his job well and the unit completes the mission with few casualties. Of the four snipers sent in to cover the mission, only Sergeant Forge makes it out alive!

His skill in doing his job comes to the attention of a Captain Buress who invites Sergeant Forge to join his company on a permanent basis. Specifically, he wants him to join the First Platoon for whom the Captain has some specific plans. Sergeant Forge is introduce to Gunnery Sergeant Wesley Slade. The Captain explains that he has a new idea of pairing off two-man teams of Marines to go do some secret and highly classified missions. If Sergeant Forge and Gunnery Sergeant Slade can work together, they will form his first team and will got on their initial mission.

At first glance, you’d think Forge and Slade are exact opposites. Forge is the quiet introvert, smart, but no overly boisterous. He’s dangerous when needed, but prefers to be quiet and in the background, typical sniper stuff. Slade, on the other hand, is a killer! He like to fight with weapons or not and he doesn’t usually care who he’s fighting. He’s loud and can be obnoxious, especially when off mission and he drinks, a lot. So, Forge has his job cut out for him, but they both recognize they kind of balance each other out when it comes to combat. It’s going to be an interesting combination.

The CMC has been getting word that there’s some kind of secret sect outside USM or the CMC that could be trouble for everyone. This sect is believed to be a gathering of a great number of very rich and very powerful people from various planets. These people represent business and government leaders but that appear to be advocating their own agenda. They want total control of the universe. So, Forge and Slade are given their first mission and that is to infiltrate the island of Punta Kinya and gather all the information that can about this secret sect.

So, it seems that both Slade and Forge have now entered the world of black ops. They have had all their records with the CMC wiped from the Corps databases, they are given new identities and supplied with all the latest gear and weapons via Captain Buress who seems to be their contact with the real world. Now, you’ll find out that Slade and Forge do not do things quietly! No, they are used to killing they do so with a vengeance. What they find about this cabal is something that turns their stomachs and encourages them to kill everyone and anyone associated with it. The fighting gets intense and the action is none stop as with most of Toby Neighbors’ books. I like his writing style and this book seems to be a great beginning to another excellent series.

There are several mission in this book that Slade and Forge are required to accomplish. The only difference between what they do on these missions and what they did as part of the CMC, comes during their downtime. They are on black-ops payroll so they can spend whatever they want and they do so when the opportunity arises. There are some things going on in the background that aren’t fully explained, but this only leads to things that do have to be explained in further books. I’m very much alright with that.

It appears that book 2, “Covert Infil” is already available on Amazon. I’m adding it to my reading list now.

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