I have stated on several occasions that I do not like science fiction fantasy. That’s a fact for me as a reader. I seldom pick up a book or bother reading any book that talks about Kings and Knights, swords and shields, ghost, goblins, orcs, or orgers, wizards, witches and such.That’s just not my kind of book. Yet, I did say “seldom” which, by definition, means that I have read books containing those very things. And, this book is full of everyone of those things!
I’m reading it mainly because the authors have done some real good books in the Galaxy’s Edge series of which this book doesn’t fit at all. After reading the first book, “Forgotten Ruin” , I should well have known what I was getting into. That first book was more about the way Army Rangers fought and died that about what they were fighting. Oh, yeah, it did very clearly indicate that this entire Ranger company had been thrown ten-thousand years into the future and now was fighting the same characters you’d see in a Dungeons and Dragons Game or Lord of the Rings movie. I’ve never played the former and have only watched some of the latter.
Still, we do return to Earth, like I said ten-thousand years into the future and everything has gone to heck in a big way. Where the now past had no indications that magic existed, it does so in this future in a big, big way. Almost everything in this book has to do with magic, both good and bad! Our story is still being told by PFC Walker or “Talker” as he’s known to everyone else. He’s the master linguist of the company and his services have come in mighty handy. He’s not officially a Ranger, but he’s gone to the Ranger course or at least a condensed version of it and as the Rangers indicate every day, you have to live like a Ranger to be an honest to goodness Ranger. And that’s what Talker is trying to do, live that is.
The company has consolidated their forces around the Forward Operating Base (FOB) or Fortress Hawthorn. This is where they took back their Forge which they desperately need to keep in order to have any hopes of surviving this world. If you remember, the Forge is a 3-D capable printing that can create just about anything they desire. And they desire a lot of ammo and explosives right now. There is someone or something out there that wants these Rangers dead and in a big way. They are being relentlessly attacked by what appear to be the dead or now as they are called, the Undead. It is a mass of skeletons dug up from various battlefield cemeteries that these Undead are coming from armed with spears, swords and just about anything else that can render a Ranger dead. Yet, they don’t have modern weapons as do the Rangers. Nor do they have explosives as do the Rangers in volume right now.
The book tells of an initial fight to find out who is leading this Undead army and kill it or whatever it is. If they are successful in that, then they want to find out who is responsible for all the rest of the unrest on this world or at least in this part of it, the part the Rangers occupy anyway. The fighting in both of these mission is going to be surreal to put it mildly. I firmly believe that modern day weapons would certainly do a number on Undead skeletons even if they had to be shot in the skull to terminate them! Rangers are, by and large, very good shots with their weapons or rather any weapon. We find out just how good they are in this seemly very long story.
While I don’t like who they are fighting, the story does make sense in that things that are hit with high velocity projectiles do die and die often. The same goes with explosives. It doesn’t matter if you are already dead, when a grenade goes off, you get dead very quickly! But this fight they are going to have to finish won’t stop from killing a lot of Rangers. It’s just hoped that those who do die, don’t come back as the Undead.
This is a very good book. Very exciting reading even if it is a fantasy. Looks like there’s a third book, “Violence of Action” coming out on 1 June 2021. I’ll be reading it even if I don’t like science fiction fantasy.