Rating:

5 Small Stars
Esther's Story: Recon Marine

Esther Lysander, as you know, is the twin daughter of the great, Rick Lysander, retired General, former Commandant of the United Federation Marine Corps, and for a short time, Chairman of the Federation. He is supposedly deceased, but that doesn’t help his twins who have a lot of baggage to carry around just trying to prove they’re not riding on their Father’s legacy. Esther is the fighter of the two although Noah also enlisted in the Marine Corps at the same time as Esther. But, as the title says, this is Esther’s story.

She has finally accepted her slot to become a Marine Officer. That goes just about according to plan, which for her means honor graduate, first in her class or whatever it takes to stand out. Still, she comes out of NOTC as a 2nd Lieutenant and that’s about a low as you can get starting out. Fortunately, she was a former enlisted which doesn’t make her as green as some 2nd Lts. She’s sent on her first mission without having much of a chance to meet and get to know her platoon, but she does alright and winds up with the Navy Cross, just like her Father. Still, she’s a really, really drive woman and wants more. And that’s where the Recon Marine business comes in.

It’s not a normal tour for most female Marines. In fact, there is only one female Marine right now and she has already told Esther that she needs to take the challenge and become a Recon Marine. Esther does so and certainly manages to complete the course. It wasn’t easy, but nothing much in the Marine Corps is. Then she finds out that being a Recon Marine really means you sit around a lot watching and listening to the bad guys. You report what you see and hear, but as a small covert unit, you don’t take direct action unless it’s impossible not to do so. She also finds out what kind of responsibilities she has inherited as an officer. Her failure to act costed the life of her platoon Sergeant. How that happened and the circumstances in which it happen is part to the book. It’s a hard way to learn a lesson, but sometimes that’s the way lessons come.

Eventually, Esther moves on to something much more exciting. Maybe a little too exciting. The battle she winds up in could have been and was fought in about every major and even minor war that has ever been. You command a location that the bad guy wants badly. You are low on supplies and ammo, but your orders are to stand and fight. You might know how this is going to end. It’s a good battle description from a now Captain’s perspective. There’s somethings you can do and somethings you cannot. When you don’t have the resources you really need, you make do with what you have and march on. I like Col. Brazee’s writing or I wouldn’t be reading his books. He seems to understand what’s going on in a very confusing environment and knows that you are always second guessing your decisions no matter how good they are. Esther does the same thing. But, she’s growing and will learn much from this if she survives.

This story was kind of expected. Esther needed to do something that got her career moving. She wasn’t going to do it by staying enlisted for ever. I like that the Federation Marine Corps pulls from it’s enlisted to make officers. That’s giving those young enlisted and now officers, a good, sound background to build from. Still, Esther is very ambitious. I just hope that drive doesn’t get her into some kind of situation that stops her advancement. I don’t know how she will react to that kind of situation. Maybe that’s not going to happen.

Now, that we know what Esther is doing, it’s reasonable that the next book looks at Noah’s career and what’s happening to him. His life is certainly changing as you’ll get a glimpse from this book. I’m looking forward to reading about Noah whenever that book gets published.