Rating:

4 Small Stars
Mech 2

Another one of those Rade Galaal books that has come out of know where. We’re long past Chief Galaal’s escapades as a MOTH, but for some reason the author decided to take us back to his better times when he had an enemy to focus on. The only thing bad about this book is that he teams up with Shaw Chopra again! If there’s one thing that’s bad for Rade, it’s Shaw!

So the Chief and his team are finishing up a mission where they have to get a Sino-Korean scientist out of Sino-Korea. In ordered to do so, they have to leave their Jupiter mechs behind. Now that’s usually not a problem except Rade has fallen in love with his Mech. Of all the stupid and illegal things for him to do. Most military mechs do not come with human emotions in their programming. It’s just turned off and not allowed to interfere with their function, except for this one tiny defect in Taya, Rade’s Jupiter mech. So she falls in love with Rade and he does the same with them meeting up in a virtual reality setting and almost getting it on. Rade stops just in time, but the damage is done and he’s eventually reported. In the meantime, his mech is left behind in Sino-Korea and torn apart by the Sino-Korean mechs that attached the former MOTH mechs while they were acting as decoys.

Rade vowed never to leave another mech behind. He began considering them just as vital and important as any of his MOTH team members. Now that right there is a little strange. I think Rade Galaal has been working with mechs for far too long. Anyway, another mission into Sino-Korea to destroy an old enemy called the Anarchist, puts him and his Alpha Team right back to almost where they were. They accomplish the first part of the mission just fine, but fighting their way back to the extraction point proves difficult. A huge rocket attack sends the Team flying in different directions with Rade, in particular, going the exact opposite of the extraction point. By the time he recovers, he finds that he’s way to far away for the extraction team to pick him up and his only means of communicating with them has been broken in the blast.

So now he’s some three hundred miles inside enemy territory with a giant Jupiter mech crashing through a dense jungle. He’s leaving a trail a Boy Scout could follow and he feels it’s just a matter of time before the Sino-Koreans catch up with him.

High above him, he sees and heres a thunderous explosion with pieces of what can only be a starship crashing down to Earth. It appears that the war in space is becoming deadly and the multiple escape pods he sees coming down proves it. One crashes nearby only to find the occupant dead from exposure. It was damaged right after launch so the occupant died in space. He then hears another pod requesting assistance and recognizes the voice as that of Shaw. He extracts her from her pod and now both are stranded behind enemy lines. The addition of Shaw makes this story really stupid. Rade can’t keep his mind off her and he’s bound and determined to keep her safe. At least that’s his plan until his Mech decides it would be better if he led the Sino-Koreans away from Rade and Shaw thereby sacrificing himself for them. Rade won’t have none of that so the rest of the book is about him and Shaw attempting to rescue his mech. Interesting, but kind of a dumb thing to do.

About two-thirds of the way in this book, it turns into a messy love story. Shaw has committed to marry another guy and Rade is so heart broken! What a crock. If he’d take advantage of his natural appeal with other women, he’d soon forget Shaw, but he doesn’t. Rade and Shaw do stay together all through his MOTH career and then she practically ruins his entire life by not being a capable warrior no matter what everyone says. You’ve probably read the countless times that Shaw loses control of their ship in future stories. I personally wish Shaw had never been introduced to the story.

Ok, so the book was interesting and was a usual good MOTH story. Nothing spectacular about this book and I’m still surprised it and the first one in this series was written. Seems like the author stopped writing about Rade’s MOTH team exploits a little too early.