First off I have got to comment on the book cover artwork, it’s terrible! I can’t believe that Solomon Cready looks as bad as that guy on the cover. It’s just seems off. Even Jezzie Wen isn’t that great a drawing. And, to complete my complaint, how in the world can Malady fit into anything the other Outcast Marines are doing. He must train all by himself every day and then recharge while not training. If the hits one of the Outcast Marines, it would be all over for them! And lastly, how come just these three characters are shown on every book cover, I mean, change it up a little and not by just moving two of the characters from one side or the other. Ok, that’s all my complaining about the artwork.
Again, I have to say that this book seems short. Having already read book three now (review coming later), I noticed they are all short books. I’m not a speed reader, but I can start reading at 11:30 pm and I’ll finish one of these books by 2:15 am. Yeah, I know that’s a strange time to read, but it’s what I do. I finished the third book in the one night of reading.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I like these books. The characters are very interesting and what they’re going through is interesting also. They have to deal with Warden Coates in every book and he’s not a fan of Solomon Cready. Yet, Solomon is holding his own and getting to become a pretty good Specialist Commander.
Even though Solomon is dead tired from each days training, he finds that his recover period is getting shorter. He doesn’t know what’s going on, but from previously overheard conversations he knows that the Outcast Marines get drugged every night in their food. It helps them sleep and recuperate. Yet, he wants to know more. So, having managed to palm Dr. Palinov’s ID card, he secretly slinks down to her lab late at night. There he finds the vials of something called “DNA Complex-strand variant 21”. He also notices that most of the marine recruits are getting something along the lines of 2.3% of the solution with each injection. That is, everyone except him. He was astounded to see that his dosage was 48%! Just what was this stuff doing to him?
In the meantime, his Gold Squadmate, Jezzie Wen got a reminder of her past life or what she thought was her past life. One of the staffers spoke to her in a private setting telling her that she had a job to do for her old Yakuza boss, Mr. Mihashi. Wen had thought that she was safe from the Yakuza, but that thought was shattered with this message. They had somehow gotten an operative into the staff of the Marine base and he was acting as her “handler”, a very deadly handler. Of course, the job she was assigned was none other than killing Solomon Cready!
Well, just like in the last book, a new mission comes in the Outcast Marines. This time they are going to have to go find the deep-field station-ship Kepler. It has gone missing and needs to be found. This time the Outcast Marines are all loaded about a transport and sent deep into space. They are dropped off near an asteroid field which is as good a place as any to find a missing ship. Each Outcast Marine squad is assigned to a Scout ship and sent off to find what they can. It’s soon apparent to Solomon Cready that there are other things out here than just a lost ship and Outcast Marines. Raiders have a habit of showing up at the wrong times. So now, he and his squad are going to have to fight them off as well as try and find the Kepler. Oh, and they need to avoid getting smashed to bits by some of these large and dangerous asteroids.
Good story, lots of unexpected action and great writing. Now I’m on to book three, “The Titan Gambit”.