As the title shows, this is a three book set, but there is no indication where each book stops or starts in this combined set. I think you can probably tell when one book stops and the next starts, but you’ll find you start at Chapter 1 and finish at Chapter 127! It’s not a particularly long book, but it does have some length.
I like this kind of military science fiction story. We start from the beginning where a group of teenagers have just graduated from high school in a world completely different from what we know today. This Earth is very, very crowded. It also has experienced an alien visitation which was supposed to be a good thing. The aliens, known as Peregrinates, provided the humans with the means to extend their lifespan to around 300 years. They did not help the humans to understand or solve the population overcrowding that soon resulted in this longer life span. So, Earth was a massive overpopulated planet with very much diminishing resources. Those graduating from high school were immediately assigned by the ULU (Unskilled labor Union) to jobs which were often very menial and downright boring. This wasn’t going to work for this particular group of teenagers.
The first of the group to recognize and be completely dissatisfied with the prospect of living as slave labor for the rest of his life was Nick Nichols. He had been the defacto leader of this group of teens most of their lives. The others were Ember, Jules, Kal, and Ty. I don’t know if any of these four had last names or not, but they all ran together during their school years and now were facing separation through various different job assignments by the ULU. Nick realized very quickly that he didn’t care for his job as a bottle cap tester and couldn’t see himself doing this for the next 100 or more years. So, he came up with the idea of joining the Peregrinates Marine Corps or as most people knew it as the Proxy Marine Corps or PMC for short.
As Earth had few remaining resources, it’s primary utility to the Peregrinates was it’s human population. The allowed humans to join the PMC if they didn’t like their life on Earth. Few humans did this because there were strings attached. First, an enlistment was for 5 years, second, you would leave Earth and never be allowed back, and third, if you completed your 5-year enlistment, you could or had to retire on a planet called Elysium! Now, no one had ever heard of Elysium, but some said it was a paradise planet with much, much better conditions than on Earth. But, there wasn’t any former or current Proxy Marines on Earth and never had been so the only information about the Proxy Marines or Elysium came from the Peregrinates themselves.
And humans didn’t trust the Peregrinates. These aliens were very stingy with their advanced technology. They build a space station in the Solar System and it was the trading hub for Earth and the other planets humans were allowed to colonize and mine. Humans were not given interstellar FTL capability and did not leave the Solar System unless they were part of the PMC. The PMC were the fighting force for the Peregrinates, since they were mostly a non-aggressive civilization, but they made up the officer ranks of the PMC. No humans were allowed to be PMC officers.
But, as our group of teenagers were soon to find out, the PMC has some very definite advantages. Once the decided to join, the were transported to the space station trading hub and there under went their initial training. Here they found out that Proxy Marines enjoyed real food and lots of it. They also has more space to themselves than they had ever experienced. They were also issued uniforms that were made of materials far, far more comfortable and durable than any of the clothes they wore on Earth. All their equipment was top-notch and very advanced. So, their first week aboard the space station was where they had their physicals and underwent some physiological testing. All passed with flying colors!
Then they had to decide what department of the PMC they wanted to be placed. Their scores allowed them at least two choices, one of which was the Dragon Teams or Deep Recon Air Ground Orbit Nautical Specialists. Nick was the one that stated he wanted to be a Dragon and the others realized that they would have been just as bored in any other jobs just as they had been on Earth so they also decided to join with Nick and become Dragons. Dragon Team Seven was thus formed, but not anywhere near trained.
So, that’s how the series starts. These five Proxy Marines are eventually joined by Gunnery Sergeant Beth Tveit, who would be the Team Leader and accompany them through their training cycle. You’ll read about their training at the Foundry which is another space station operated by the Peregrinates. You’ll also find out that the Peregrinates don’t care much for their human warriors. They consider them tools and nothing much more often quickly abandoning them if a mission doesn’t look like it will be successful. There is no loyalty shown to the Marines although they expect extreme loyalty from the Proxy Marines. That eventually doesn’t set right with our Dragon Team Seven nor would it set right with any group of warriors.
So, this book, which again is a three-book set, takes us through their enlistment and preparatory training prior to becoming full fledged Dragons. They actually do one real mission at the end. Where it gets kind of ridiculous is how the Dragon team is used while they are training. They barely know what’s going on, but are push into missions in-between their training events. So, by the time they get completed training, they have already survived four actual real missions. That isn’t very realistic, but it is interesting reading.
This book ends with Dragon Team Seven (DT7) finishing their first and last mission. You’ll have to read the book to find out what that means. Where this story goes is unknown. There doesn’t appear to be a book 4 or at least it hasn’t been identified on Amazon. I probably would continue to follow this story, but I’m not sure how this would play out to another end. Still, it was good, interesting military science fiction, something I’ve come to expect from Mr. Toby Neighbors.