Rating:

5 Small Stars

I don’t usually read books back-to-back, but for this series I just might continue doing that. I really, really like the way it’s written and the whole story. While it’s far in the future, it could very well be just about any young kid getting ready for a career in the military. At one time, we did have a judicial system that offered trouble makers the opportunity to join the military or go to jail. I would think that most of those that opted for the military were thanking their lucky stars they got the choice. While the military isn’t a piece of cake, it’s got to be a lot better than going to jail or prison.

That’s the choice, well, almost the choice our main character, Cameron Alvarez, got to make. Except his other choice was to go into cryo-hibernation for 100 years or something like that. He chose wisely to go into the Marines and now he’s getting ready for something he would never have believed or asked for. And that something is Officer Candidate School (OCS). Something I’m quite familiar with if I may say so.

Cam is now a Sergeant with the respect of everyone around him in his company. He’s even got the attention of his company commander, a crusty old veteran, who nominated Cam for OCS. It’s just that Cam doesn’t know if he wants to be an officer. He’s not sure he’s cut out to be one and thinks he’s hardly ready to be a squad leader. Yet, he’s ready to get his OCS a try and see what happens. Hopefully he doesn’t run into the wrong kind of trainers, but you never know what’s going to happen in an environment like this.

This is kind of a two part book in that we get to see Sergeant Alvarez successuflly pass OCS and become a brand new 2 Lieutenant (2Lt). He goes right back to his old company (which is kind of strange), and is assigned as Platoon Leader with the same Platoon Sergeant that he worked with before. Still, Lt Alvarez and Gunnery Sgt. Scott Hays made a great team and were able to get their platoon in shape in quick time in order to go on their first mission. This book takes us through about three different missions with Lt. Alvarez learning something new in each one. He’s now got the responsibility for a lot of troops some of which aren’t going to be coming back.

At the same time, his girl friend, Vicky, has also been chosen to go to OCS. So she’s off to do her thing and Cam has to do the missions while she’s gone just like she had to do. He had his doubts that he’ll survive all of this and doesn’t know if the two of them have a future or not. It’s a real love story in a military sci-fi book, but it’s written very well and seems plausible, I guess.

The last mission in this book is a bad one. Not everyone is going to come back, as I said before, and one of those not coming back is a significant player in the story. Don’t know how this will impact 2Lt Alvarez since he’s already dealing with a number of his troops being killed already. It’ll be interesting to see him develop further.

The next book, “Indirect Fire” should be another winner!