These are strange books in that they are about Marines, but not the kind you and I would understand. These Marines are from a generation almost 500 years in the future. They consist of children given to the White Knights, a conquering race of aliens, as an appeasement to prevent the extermination of all humans. These children were raised away from all other humans and bred to fight. They are considered the lowest of the low and amount to cannon fodder for most battles. The group of young Marines we’re reading about have somehow become of aware of their captivity and are doing something about it. They have broken free from their Masters on Tranquility, have captured a starship that was transporting them to another battle, and are now going back to Tranquility to rescue and free all the other Marines and humans that live on the planet.
Unfortunately, there also lives an alien species called the Hardits. These are even stranger than our Marines in that they resemble Earth monkeys with long tails, pointed snouts and sharp teeth. They can walk up-right, but for speed they go to all fours. They carry weapons either in their hands or by the tail when on all fours. Individually, they are not very bright, but they can be led by force which is the usual way to make them do something they don’t want to do. Fighting is something the Hardits do not like to do, but they will fight if given enough incentive. That incentive usually comes from their own artillery or machine guns at their back mowing down any who run! This works only because there are so many Hardits on the planet that losing a few hundred or thousand is not a big problem.
So Arun McEwan, no a Marine Major as decided by his Jotun Allied Reserve Officer, must re-take Tranquility and rid it of all Hardits. Considering he has less than one hundred Marines under his command, it’s going to be tough. And that is an understatement. What’s so interesting about this story is the way McEwan and his comrades go off to fight what is an unwinable battle. They know they will be vastly outnumbered, but they believe the rescue of the local human resistance leader is a must in order to get all the other resistance fighters on Earth to fight with McEwan’s Marines.
So, you’re going to have to read the book to find out how this battle turns out. There is a lot of fighting, a lot of tactics that are employed and a lot of things that don’t work. McEwan is so new at doing this that he hasn’t realized that not every battle will go his way. He also learns the hard way that some of his decisions costs lives and no will know if it was the right decision. Sometimes, even the right decision gets people killed.
The writing is good, but sometimes with so many different alien races and the humans interacting, it’s hard to tell just who’s doing what. I like the storyline and glad to see it continue. We should have a long way to go.