This was a different, but interesting kind of book. Oh, it is military science fiction, but the military part doesn’t stay around too long, but then it does!
Our main character is Corporal Moss LeFer. Yeah, that’s kind of a unique name. Wonder what his parents were thinking about when they named their kid, “Moss”? Anyway, he is a Corporal in the Western Forces Marine Corps and a very good one. He’s also immediately in a battle agains the Sartans, big, ten-foot tall cyborgs, who are attacking the place he’s at with a vengeance! Moss, as every calls him, is pinned down with the rest of his platoon. They need to attack the Sartans and do something about their command ship which is hovering above the city. See, the Sartans are nothing more than slaves to the Redessarians who never leave their command ships. The Sartans are big, ugly aliens that kill anything and everything they come into contact with. They are savage, but with limited intelligence. Only armor-piercing ammo can take them down and then a lot of that is needed. Corporal LeFer has the ammo, but his platoon is slowing being killed off.
Eventually, the battle even turns for the worse. Moss watches his platoon members get killed one-by-one. There’s nothing more that he can do, except maybe get to a taller building and see what is happening with the Reds command ship. So, as he’s moving through the rubble, he stumbles on a dead human warrior whole also happens to be his commanding officer, Captain Ziggan. The Captain is in bad shape. He is barely conscious and is wounded, but alive. Moss decides it’s his duty to get the Captain back to the closes support which is a command post a few block away. Only he’s going to have to take care of the Redessarian command ship and any Sartans that happen to get in his was. As things work out, he did what he had to do. You’ll read about his very exciting exploit during this battle. Corporal LeFer survives although he’s also seriously wounded.
After recovering from his wounds, Moss has to make a big decision. He decides to leave the Marines and retire which he can now that he’s a bonafide war hero having earned the Medal of Honor in that last battle. So he and his future wife, “Hali”, who was a Navy physician, decide to leave their military career behind and emigrate to one of the colony planets out on the rim. They are very fortunate in that the Captain who’s life Moss had saved also had rich parents that owned their own transportation service. The Captain had given Moss two tickets that would guarantee them transportation to any know human planet, so Moss and Hali decided to settle on Bellona Prime.
So now, they are civilian settlers having chosen a very young colony that had lots of free land and it was almost exactly like Earth, except it had clean air and fresh water. New colonist were welcomed and could just about pick out anywhere on the planet they wanted to make a homestead. There was on particular valley that the planet Land Manager wanted settled and that was the Grand Valley. It was also the home of the large mammet, an animal similar to Earth elephants. They also had tusks which were very valuable to poachers and that was a problem for people settling in that area. The poachers were very vicious to anyone new coming into what the claimed as their territory. Still, the Land Manager told Moss and Hali that if they settled there, they would get twice the usual allotment of land or two-hundred of acres. Moss wasn’t scared of a fight and he figured he’s just handle any poachers if they tried to do something on his land.
Well, they did. It wasn’t much more than 10 days after Moss and Hali had started their homestead that the poachers first visited. Moss and Hali happened to be back in Lexton, the capital of Bellona Prime, but when they returned to their home, it had been ransacked! So, Moss set out to find the people that did this and make sure they didn’t do it again. So here the story goes on about how Moss handles some trouble on his new planet. Again, it’s a pretty exciting part of the book although it seemed to be a little too easy.
Now, five years later and the LeFers have been busy. They managed to convince the poachers to leave them and their valley alone and in the meantime, they had two children. They also found a friend in the valley even though she was lucky to not have been among those Moss had to kill. Bellona Prime was becoming civilized and with that, a government had to be established. Moss was elected by the fellow homesteaders in the Grand Valley to represent them at the newly formed constitutional meeting in Lexton. While there, and just as they were about to swear in a new governor, alarms started going off. Unidentified spaceships had just arrived over the planet and were dropping smaller ships towards the planet. Moss got a look at the videos of the smaller vessels and identified them as Sartan drop-pods! He alerted the city to the fact that they were apparently in for an incursion by the Sartans!
Of course the planet had no real protection which is kind of dumb. They had a militia, but it wasn’t very active and consisted of week-end soldiers that just weren’t that well trained. But, Moss attempted to tell everyone what they faced and how to prepare, except he wasn’t being listened to by very many of the city’s leadership. So, Moss took it upon himself to try and stall or at least blunt this incursion by the Sartans. He knew that if they found it too much trouble to actually invade this planet, the Sartans and their Redessarian master would move on. So, once again, Moss LeFer finds himself going to war. Unfortunately, he’s an army of one. Not sure how that would turn out. Read the book and find out.
This is a very good story with a satisfying ending. Yet, this is supposed to be a series and book 2, “Base of Fire”, is available on Amazon. I’ve added it to my reading list.