“StarFire (Vince Lombard)” by Mike Lee

01/02/13

Just finished this very well written ebook. I don’t believe that I have ever read a book quite like this one in a long, long time. It is a story about a Board of Inquiry that should never have taken place. I very much enjoyed the attitude of Captain Vince Lombard who faced this very personal ordeal. He seemed to be the consumate professional throughout this entire story. He represented his unit and the G-Marines very well. His time in solitude would have been very hard since he was a G-Marine accustomed to being around other G-Marines. That solitude would have been the hardest part of the Board of Inquire procedures.

I really enjoyed the narration of the actions aboard the transport/lander and then aboard the Starfire. There is a good description of the young Captain’s interaction with his Platoon Sergeant. Some would think it was too informal, too much of the Captain letting the Sergeant make all the decisions but they would be wrong. Captain Lombard was doing what he had learned through years of experience, he was getting advice from an experienced NCO and weighting it with his own to come to the best decision for his unit. No officer can ever think of everything especially during heavy action. And any officer that doesn’t listen to his NCOs won’t be a very effective officer for very long. For the most part, this story told it like it happens. You plan for one thing only to have something else come up. I don’t think the author wrote enough about how truly scary this entire episode on-board the StarFire would have been. You can still be brave but you can and should be sacred when facing the odds this unit faced aboard the Starfire.

I didn’t like the outcome of the book. But, just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have truly happened that way. Senior Commanders do not like to be embarrassed. They certainly don’t like big decisions they have made shown to be wrong. Their decision to get rid of Captain Lombard had nothing to do with the good of the service. This is done more often than you think. If senior commander in the military decides he doesn’t like someone, for whatever reason, that officers career is over. I don’t care whether the officer is directly under the senior’s command or not. I’ve seen it done on many occasions and have questioned it too many times only to find my own career terminated before I was ready. Luckly, Captain Lombard got to go out with a lot more fan fair than most officers. It was great to read that part.

This is a very good book. There are some editorial mistakes, i.e., missing words or mis-used/spelled words, but they didn’t hinder the reading. If you like military science-fiction, this is your type of book.

 

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