This was a strange book! I guess I should have expected it to be considering it’s title, “Strange Company”. The title could have meant some kind of strange business and it a way it does. The business of the Strange Company is killing because they are a company of mercenaries! Very, very deadly mercenaries. Their story is being told by a Sergeant Orion who is in charge of the Reaper platoon and the company log keeper. He keeps the stories all the men tell him during their tenure with Strange Company so it kind of makes for a history book of who was there and when. It also keeps some kind of record of the guys that died while part of Strange Company and if someone wanted to, they could read the logs and remember someone long dead. The guys in Strange Company usually told Sergeant Orion their stories, like about how they got to joining the company and why, and about anything else they wanted him to know, before they died! It wasn’t a requirement, that’s for sure, but you needed to tell Sgt. Orion your story before you died so he could write it all down. You would become part of Strange Company history then. And it was a very strange company, indeed!
You’ll read about several key parts of the mission on this world out on the frontier of space. They were hired to help the government of the planet free itself from under the thumb of the Monarch. Explaining who and what the Monarch are is going to take quite a bit of the story, especially since you’re going to have a Monarch riding right along with Strange Company. That never happens. The Monarchs don’t mix freely with other humans. It’s not natural. They are way more superior to normal humans that it’s impossible one would come down to their level and be right there with them. But, she did, this female Monarch who was about the most beautiful woman Sgt. Orion had ever seen. Still, his job was to kill those his Captain told him to kill because they were getting paid to do so. This first day, they were setting up to ambush a bunch of people, militia types, who had thought they had won their independence. Little did they know that they were just about ready to die, all of them, at least all of them on that parade ground mall. As the book says, it was a massacre.
The thing about being a mercenary is that whomever is paying you, that’s who you work for. You ain’t on their side, nor are you on the side of whomever they want dead. It’s just that you have a job to do and want to get paid. It just so happens in this books that the guys who were supposed to pay, got taken out real bad by the Monarchs so for a while there it looked like Strange Company wasn’t going to get paid at all. It also wasn’t sure it was going to be able to get off this planet was now being visited by the Ultra Marines who were paid by the Monarch. These guys were the ultimate in fighting. They were highly trained and had all the latest gear to go with all that training. When the Ultra Marines came, everybody else died. Everybody!
But, by some strange happenstance, this Monarch female hired Strange Company to do something for her during this world-wide end of everything! So, they had a new contract and were going to get paid after all, provided they lived and got off this planet to do so. And that’s what most of this story is about. Oh, there is this ape-army, and the Enterprise spaceship involved. Some of it talks about the future and then you’ll also get to hear a lot of stories told by various members of Strange Company when they are talking to Sgt. Orion, the company log keeper. It will be interesting for you to find out who survives this book, if any one does. After all, it’s a Strange Company story.
Nick Cole has written a number of book along with Jason Anspach and Doc Spears. I don’t know how they divide up the writing, but everyone of their stories have been great. This one is no exception so I’ll be looking forward to other books just by Nick Cole. He’s a very good writer on his own.