Wow! What a good book and apparently, a good military science fiction series I have stumbled on to. I’m not exactly sure how I found this book. I think it was suggested by the Amazon Kindle page, but I’m sure glad I found it so far.
This book starts off with some newbies coming from an Academy not unlike one of the military academies. Yet, this is in the far future, something called the New Era. Peace had came to the Earth and all the citizens were just beginning to reap the benefits of a tranquil and non-violent society all across the world. Then they came. The Bakma, the Ceratopians, and the Ithini. There are three alien civilizations that suddenly and without warning, attacked Earth and killed thousands. Earth had to act quick to defend itself. Fortunately, these alien attacks were few and far between during the early years. During that time earth created the Earth Defense Network (EDEN) to manage these sporadic attacks world-wide. They began recruiting operatives to become the core of EDEN and rush to the scene of any attack and defeat the aliens if at all possible. EDEN forces were behind the aliens in technology; way behind. What they did bring to the fight was numbers and numbers did the job while causing massive casualties among the EDEN side. The aliens didn’t send very many to each attack, but the ones they did send caused terrible death and destruction in their wake.
The acronym EDEN doesn’t actually fit the title, but it seems to work for the author. Also, these guys and gals fighting for EDEN aren’t necessarily called soldiers, but instead are referred to as “Operatives.” It doesn’t say any where in the book why they were not just called soldiers or even Marines, but apparently everything fighting on the side of Earth is in EDEN and all are called Operatives. Our main character, Scott Remington has just graduated from an academy in Philadelphia and has been assigned to a unit in Richmond. The unit he’s now in seems to be brand new except for the senior officers. It’s also odd that his unit isn’t very large; it is described as Platoon sized which would be around 100 people +/-. But, the even stranger thing is that it’s commanded by a full Colonel and the Colonel is really pissed right now. His XO is a Major, newly promoted, with the third officer being a Lieutenant. For a Platoon, that’s really top heavy. There isn’t any mention of an actual enlisted grade structure although there actually is one, just none of the new guys have any rank to speak about. A unit without NCOs is almost impossible to think of.
So, with his new platoon, Scott meets and greets everyone and then try to get into the normal training cycle. Except, on the third day after arrival, they got a call to go into harms way. The Colonel and Major rounded up all the platoon and set off towards Chicago to put down an attack by the Bakma. You’ll read about these green guys getting their introduction to battle and all it brings with it. Some of it isn’t pretty. It is exciting and really a good read. How these guys manage to work together after only being together for three days is beyond me. Yet, they manage to accomplish a great deal.
Then the book turns stupid. Well, it’s pretty stupid because these three or now four have way decent newbies are immediately ordered Novosibirsk, Russia. They are to augment the Russian effort in that part of the world called Siberia. No, they didn’t do anything wrong, and that’s the stupid part of this book. Why in the world would you send green newbies to a terrible base in frozen Siberia when they really haven’t been truly tested? Why would the Russians even thing about asking for American help? Too many questions to be answer that don’t get answered for this to make sense. It just doesn’t happen this way.
Still, these Americans find out that they aren’t the only ones brought in to augment the Russians. And they find out why Novosibirsk is considered about the worst place on earth to have to fight from. And then there’s the Nightmen and General Ignatius van Thoor, the supposedly former leader of the Nightmen. His reputation says that you don’t leave his command alive.
I’ve already bought the next book in the series and if they stay as good as this first one, I’ll be reading them all. The author has taken a lot of stuff and twisted it around so that if you’ve been in the military, a lot of what he writes about doesn’t make sense. But, this is military science fiction so I guess he can do what he wants, right?