You should never speak truth to power…
The Galactic Empire is dying and chaos and anarchy are breaking out everywhere. After a disastrous mission against terrorists on Earth itself, Captain Edward Stalker of the Terran Marine Corps makes the mistake of speaking truth to power, telling one of the most powerful men in the Empire a few home truths. As a result, Captain Stalker and his men are unceremoniously exiled to Avalon, a world right on the Rim of the Empire. It should have been an easy posting....
Well, apart from the bandits infesting the countryside, an insurgency that threatens to topple the Empire's loose control over Avalon, and a corrupt civil government more interested in what it can extort from the population than fighting a war. The Marines rapidly find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of political and economic chaos, fighting to preserve Avalon before the competing factions tear the world apart. They're Marines; if anyone can do it, they can.
The battle to save the Empire starts here.
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- Jean "I am an avid eclectic reader."
Like fast food for your brain
I remember once reading a review of the tv show Star Trek Enterprise and a viewer said it was a "Meat and 'tators sci-fi 'bout tough 'Merican's in space". I thought that was an apt description of the show and also fits this book. If you are looking for sci-fi with interesting technology, it isn't here. Other than some traditional mech suits and Predator like camouflage, there really isn't a description of anything else, and even these stereotypical devices were not well used. If you were looking for sci-fi that uses the future as a way to comment on current events in a deep and meaningful way, that isn't here either. This was a very simplistic, overly dramatic, idealized vision of war, and soldiers. I got this book originally hoping for something in the vein of The Forever War, and was disappointed. I think anyone who has ever known soldiers, read war stories, or has simply watched the news is going to find the characters a little unrealistic. Every marine is perfect, everyone else in the universe is corrupt, a rapist, or simply a coward not worth the air they use up breathing. If all Marines were like this there would never be any war crimes, there would be no PTSD, and the good guys would never die. I have to admit I only made it half way through before giving up but I guess if you are someone who likes to drink the Koolaid, you will be into this. The author also had a strange obsession with the welfare state and I couldn't tell if this was a weird Teaparty message, or if even he wasn't sure what point he was trying to make. I also have to say I was a little disturbed by his portrayals of women. As some of the other reviewers point out, there are a LOT of rape scenes but all of them seem to fall into two categories, the somewhat sexless, chaste, marine, or the skank that kinda had it coming. I remember one exchange which starts with a father worrying about keeping his innocent teenage daughter away from the marines, proceeds to one of the female marines internal dialogue where she guesses the daughter is a slut who has nailed every guy she has ever met and will seduce and pervert the male marines. To switching back to the perspective of the father, who also suddenly changes his mind and thinks his daughter is a slut. WTF?
- Matthew C Connolly