War is one gigantic mess and a dreadful waste of humanity. I think that was clearly written about in this book by one of my favorite authors. His books in this series, parallel the events of WWII, not exactly, but pretty much so. In this one we read about the Hegemony now attacking The People. Think WWII Germany and Russia in their great struggles during that war. Fighting in the cold is the worst kind of fighting anyone can have. I don’t care if you’re sweating you backside off in the jungle, you can make do far long than when you’re shivering uncontrollably in absolute cold/freezing conditions. Soldiers and Marines never seem to have the right cold weather gear and even if they do, it’s still not enough. I hate to be cold, so I can’t image what it was like to fight on a planet that just a giant ice ball!
While you’ll read about the thousands of wasteful deaths by both sides, we dig down deep into the story about Private Iriana Sharov of The People’s Army. She’s a very young girl as are all soldiers and she’s barely trained, but she’s going to war. The People’s Army has nothing save for the thousands and thousands of troops they can put on a battle field. Oh, they do have their advanced weapons, clunky and antiquated, when compared to the Hegemony advanced weapons, but The People’s Army doesn’t rely on their weapon systems, they rely on their massive army to win the day. To say the fighting and dying is done on a massive scale is a great understatement.
Will follow young Iriana as she learns that she’s something of a deadly sharpshooter. She quickly becomes a sniper for The People’s Army doing a job because she was told to and it’s something that she can do well. She if a firm believer in The People’s fight against these oppressors, the Hegemony. She believes everything she’s been told by her government…until she realizes that things are not as they should be. The story shows how she is exposed to conflicting propaganda from her own side and the absolutely brutal way in which they treat her fellow soldiers. I like how her character was built. She is somewhat naive in the beginning and will remain that way all through the book, but she is learning that neither side in this war are winning anything!
Mr. Kern does a great job of getting you into these battles and sorting out all the things that are going around simultaneously. The battlefield is confusing enough, but for a sniper it’s the isolation that they can take comfort in, but only while they aren’t the target of an opposing sniper. We get some of that kind of story too. And then the author swings you around to what the General of the Hegemony is going through as she commits more and more of here people to these battles. She doesn’t think this is the best way to fight this war, but even Generals have their boss and her’s is definitely one she does not want to disappoint.
I really liked this book. It was a great story and a very, very good read. One thing I noticed is that the author has knack for writing conversations in broken English which is what you’d tend to here from someone that speaks English as only a second language. You have to remind yourself that it’s not bad editing, but the way it would sound if you didn’t always speak English fluently, so don’t knock the author if you seem to be missing words here or there during the conversations. Just read and enjoy the book like I did. You won’t be disappointed.
Now, I’m looking for book 5, “A Night of Infamy”. I hear that the this new book has a very interesting characters name!