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This seems to be Ian Douglas' new philosophical approach to storytelling in "Earth Strike", which starts a new series in a new fictional universe.
Seriously... The battle starts with the book's opening pages and takes up literally the first half of the book. After that, a short lull as the factions regroup (and we get our only short period of character-building), and then the second battle starts, running all the way till the end.
Does this work? Well, it depends on what you're going for. If you like reading military sci fi simply for the action (or watch movies simply for the mayhem and the explosions) then you will probably dig it. He writes action pretty well. There aren't many new technological ideas involved, rather an amalgamation of different tech and themes common to sci fi. Probably the most stand-out theme is that Douglas has figured out a way to make star fighters important again, giving him the excuse to write a highly "fighter pilot-focused" book. In fact, this book probably has the most starfighter action since the "X-Wing" series, albeit with much more powerful fighters fighting at near-relativistic speeds.
On the other hand, the lack of character development means you don't really engage with any of them that much, and this of course lessens the impact of the fighting itself. If you're hoping for a really deep story, look elsewhere. Furthermore, this imbalance in the time devoted to action vs worldbuilding makes me hesitate to recommend it to military sci fi fans. There are books out there that have the total "package" wrapped much more completely, including, I daresay, the X-Wing series itself.
Overall, this is a light, action-packed story that probably will appeal most to those who are already Ian Douglas fans.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful
Yes, my very lackluster headline reflects my experience with this book. The story is very heavy on the tech elements, and light on character, plot, and story. Douglas and Sullivan do a great job of explaining some very heady physics and military science concepts. These academic concepts seem to take priority over the narrative. It's unlikely I'll give the rest of the series space on my iPod.
14 of 18 people found this review helpful