Rating:

5 Small Stars
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I really, really like books like this! It certainly fits into the military science fiction genre and that’s just perfect for me. The story starts with one young man, Cameron Alvarez, who hasn’t had the best of life. He’s certainly a loner having become independent at about the age of 10. The book paints a rather disturbing picture of the far future, where humanity has cluster in megacities. Apparently building up and up with apartment complexes and layers upon layers of humanity. Cameron came from one of the bottom layers also know as the “Underground”.

At about the age of 19, young and stupid as we all were, he got caught stealing some drugs from one of the gangs. Fortunately, it wasn’t one of the gangs that caught him, or he’d be dead, but the Transit Authority Cops certainly frowned on having people killed in their subways. That was kind of an accident in that the guy chasing Cam, didn’t stop for the subway train coming down the tracks. The subway train didn’t stop for him either! So, Cameron Alvarez is brought before a judge with the charge of murder added to many other charges.

Yeah, he didn’t kill the guy, but he was killed during the chase caused by a felony theft. That makes the thief guilty of murder in some degree! So, “Cam” gets ready for his sentencing and he gets a break, well, sort of. He’s offered cryogenic hibernation for 100 years or join the Commonwealth Fleet Marine Corps and complete basic training. Since there was an on and off again war with some nasty aliens called the Tahni, going with the Marines wasn’t necessarily a great choice since it was heard that the Marines weren’t doing so well against this enemy. So, the Marines were willing to take anyone right at the moment.

Of course, Cam took the Marine Corps enlistment offer and started on a fascinating new career! This is where he gets “indoctrinated” into the Marine Corps from the very beginning of basic training. I like that kind of story. It’s real interesting to see how characters react to something they have never in their life come up against. I don’t care where you come from, unless you’ve been there, you’ve never heard anything quite like a Marine Corps Drill Instructor yelling at you form the moment you step off the bus or in Cam’s case, step off the shuttle. A young man or even a young punk, coming from who knows where, quickly goes into to shock at the change in their life. Cam is no different although he does seem to have an aptitude for the military which he didn’t have a clue about before “joining” the Marines.

This book takes us with Cam through basic training and gets him ready to become an Armor Marine. By Armor, I’m talking about fighting inside a 2-ton, 3-meter tall, mechanized fighting machine that can terrorize anything on the battlefield. Cam’s first time inside this machine surprisingly seemed like home to him. Others were not quite comfortable to the enclosed space while some couldn’t take it at all and wound up as straight-leg Marine infantry. Cam was used to enclosed spaces since he’d spent most of his youth scuttling through maintenance tunnels in the Underground back home. Then again, he found out he had something just the opposite of liking enclosed spaces. He was very much agoraphobic! Look it up.

Books 2 (Kinetic Strike), 3 (Danger Close), & 4 (Direct Fire) are already on Amazon, so I’m heading there to get them. This is going to be a great series!

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