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It is into this wasteland that a unit of the Humani Elite Guard set out on a recon mission to investigate a planet they suspect contains an illegal Terillian base. The mission quickly falls apart and Lieutenant Emily Martin is thrust into command when her base ship, Draxius, is destroyed and her commander is severely injured.
Stranded on an inhospitable planet with enemies all around them, Martin and her men find themselves outmatched and outgunned in a desperate gamble for survival. Lieutenant Emily Martin didn't become the only female officer ever in the Elite Guard because she thought it would be easy, but this mission could easily prove to be her last.
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By Aquatic Kumquat on 12-05-17
Kelley does a good job considering that this is her first foray into this genre. She compliments the protagonist's voice well, and does a good job with the supporting cast.
The book starts out with internal military politics and then it's pretty much action action action until the end, with a few stops for people to argue about the chain of command.
I felt like I was playing catch up the entire novel. This doesn't appear to be part of a series, so it was surprising not to have been given information as to who these people are, what they are doing on this planet, who they are fighting, and why. Yes we get names for all these things, but no sense of back story for anyone but the protagonist relative to her rank. Somewhere along the way I found myself asking "What's the point of these guys killing each other the whole book?" It reads as though the author has the answers, but they aren't passed on to the reader.
I think I'd have enjoyed the story more if the setting and stakes were spelled out from the beginning.
Other questions that came to mind: Why is this military so tolerant of the protagonist's insubordination? Why are they using swords so much? They're flying around in space ships, don't they have any better weapons than big knives?
If you know the world (I'm guessing maybe there are some other books in this world), this works well as a quick side adventure (6 hours is a bit short for sci-fi). There's a lot of action, and people who already know the characters and set up will enjoy it. If you don't know the world (presumably from other novels), you might be a bit confused.
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