This is another very exciting first person individual Marine fighting against tremendous odds story. By now, you should be very familiar with Staff Sergeant Eli Vanhorn. In his former life, the one before the crash on Lenois B, he was scheduled to be a ship’s Armorer since he was classified as a disabled Marine due to his injuries on Luyten C. He’s partially recovered and undergoing physical therapy while aboard the ship. But, he’s definitely not aboard ship and hasn’t been for quite some time.
While it was previously thought that his collection of starship Rhila survivors was going to be rescued, the fleet ran into some unusual problems and reacted to them in an unusual way. First, a second group of aliens arrived on the planet. These were the Alethians who at first were thought to be the rightful owners of Leonis B. They were very advanced, but considered themselves almost god-like in that they evaluated the thoughts and emotions of others to determine if they were “worthy” or not. If you were considered unworthy, they immediately didn’t trust you and on two occasions they summarily shot and killed the two ranking officers from the fleet; one of which happened to be the Fleet Admiral.
The fleet has originally brought most of the survivors from the planet onto fleet ships which were preparing to depart. Except they didn’t get everyone, SSG Vanhorn, was left behind since he was conducting a distraction so the fleet shuttles could leave the planet. Then more Orrkasi ships showed up and the fleet was in trouble. The Admiral had gone back down to the planet to meet with this new group of aliens, the Alethians, when he was found unworthy and killed with some kind of advanced hand-weapon. Come to find out, the Alethians only thought they were killing off avatars and not real people. Even their initial meeting with the humans was done through their avatars of which their leader was killed by SSG Vanhorn. They found SSG Vanhorn worthy. Of all the humans they met, he seemed to be the only worthy one and so they started to work with him, somewhat.
Vanhorn had been successfully engaging the Orcs on the planet giving them all sorts of grief while killing hundreds and maybe thousands of this dumb, but powerful troops. He was a one man army against a whole planet of Orcs. When the fleet found out how many Orrkasi ships were in orbit, they had to leave or be destroyed. Most of the survivors of the Rhila decided they would prefer going back down to the planet than being stuffed into these ships that may or may not make it out of the system. They and a select group of researchers and scientist went back down to the planet with the Admiral. They had brought a large amount of supplies that they were going to need while studying the planet. Even if the fleet left, they promised to return, but it wasn’t know as to when.
So, the fleet left and SSG Vanhorn, the Rhila survivors, and the new researchers and scientist were not trapped on planet Lenois B. More Orcs started showing up and SSG Vanhorn was afraid they were going to find the groups hiding place and if they did, they would all die. They were in a amazing underground city built by a Alethian robot. It was pretty secure being under a mountain and the Alethians were quite happy to remain hidden and not bother the Orcs. SSG Vanhorn didn’t believe that would work. He knew the Orcs were hunting for them and it was only a matter of time before they found their hideout.
Then the Orcs started orbital bombarding all the mountains. They were coming very close to the mountain under which all the survivors and Alethians were located. A decision had to be made on either staying or getting out and finding another place to hide. Either decision was going to be difficult if not deadly. SSG Vanhorn was ready to fight the Orcs until every last one of the were dead, but the Alethians didn’t want him to do that and SSG Vanhorn didn’t know if he could fight them and the Orcs if necessary.
This is a very good book with a lot of exciting fighting and other things going on. I found the actions of the fleet kind of strange and them leaving with people still on the ground was surprising. Now, I will say I didn’t like the ending of this story. I won’t go into details, but it just didn’t seem right to end it the way it was. SSG Vanhorn was an amazing TAC Team Operator, but nobody will possible every know about him and that would be a very bad miscarriage of justice! Finally, I do believe this is the end of the series. Not sure how it would progress any further, but then again, I’m not a writer!