Well, I did it again! I, some how, didn’t pay attention to which book I was reading and got this book 5 read after I had read only book 1 in the series! Dang, I hate when I do that. It seems like I’ve already missed a bunch of stuff, but now that I know how things turn out beyond book 1, I’m hesitant about going back and reading all the books in-between. But, I will do that because these books are excellent!
I’ve come to realize that I really like military sci-fi books that involve small unit tactics and individual soldiers. I like when a story starts with a young person, either before they joint the service or when they just start their service and then follows them along that journey. I’ve read a lot of military sci-fi about star fighters and their pilots, but I think I’m a ground-pounder at heart ( and I was a Field Artillery Officer). This story continues with Dark Operator Captain (frocked) Kel Turner. He’s part of elite organization and unit although the unit he’s with now has changed. Apparently in the previous books, he was an Enlisted NCO and was on Team Three. Now that he’s commissioned, he’s moved to Team Twelve and learning about his new battle buddies.
This book is almost like three books in one. There are three distinct missions about, each one showing off the capabilities of the Dark Operators. In the first mission, he’s with the Republic Army and they are attempting to put down a Nemanjic rebellion on planet Haemus where the Nemajic’s were attempting to wipe-out the Bassinus. What’s strange about this is that these two species lived on the same planet for hundreds of years and had gotten along very well until recently. Whatever reason the Nemanjic had for wanting the demise of all the Bassinus wasn’t Kel’s problem nor his mission. He had been directed to get his teams out into the field to gather some intel on what the Nemanjics were doing in the Rila Valley. It was expected that the valley hid at least of battalion size unit of Nemanjics, but they were very well hidden. In addition, the Nemanjics had the technological edge over the Republic which was very unusual. Not all of this was known until Kel and his men got into the middle of things and found out that this mission was going to be very, very difficult. He might have to win this battle all on his own!
Surviving that battle, he and his men did only to be rewarded with another critical mission. This time his unit was tasked with finding the a very high profile Nemanjic some where out in the field and bing him back alive so he could stand trial out the House of Reason’s very public tribunal. This mission wasn’t as easy as it sounds since the HVT (High Value Target) was going to be very well protected wherever he went. Still, Captain Turner knows his business and he’s got a lot of veteran Dark Operator with him who know how to kill. He’s also smart enough to know to use all the assets available to his unit so it was good to see him talking about his Fire Support and the Artillery assigned to provide that immediate thunderous support if needed.
Then onto the third mission with very little rest for these battle-hardened warriors. As it turns out, the capture of a HVT Nemanjic didn’t have the effect on the rest of the Nemanjic as was thought it would be. Therefore, Kel and his unit was transferred to the Norther region of the planet to seek out additional Nemanjic hidden units. One in particular was a suspected bioweapon laboratory operating possibly deep underground. His guys had to locate as many underground hidden bunkers as possible and then determine which one might have the hidden labratory. Once in that lab, they were to destroy everything there and any one associated with it. Hopefully this all was done prior to the Nemanjic releasing any of their nasty bioweapons!
This last mission proved to be very, very dangerous. It also was going to be the most costly for Captain Kel Turner. It would eventually result in his deep soul-searching of what he was doing with his life and what did he want for his future. After all, this guy is only twenty-nine years old! Has he seen enough?
I do like the way these books are written. You can also feel and see the things that happen. The interplay between characters is very familiar. That sense of belonging to something that is much more than just yourself if very toxic. It can make men and women do things they thought impossible only because you were counted on by someone next to you. There’s no rah, rah BS in any of these stories, just down and dirty stuff that make lasting scars on very good men and women. I definitely know that I will be going back and reading the books in this series. I certainly missed a lot, but it’s really thrilling to know that I have that much more enjoyable reading to do.
Lastly, this entire series of books, Galaxy’s Edge, is very confusing if you haven’t visited the web site, https://galaxysedge.us. This page kind of lays out the entire story line, but I did notice that there are a lot of books in the Galaxy’s Edge series not listed on this page. There are several more Dark Operator books and the “Order of the Centurion” series isn’t even mentioned. Then there’s the “Forgotten Ruin” series which seems to have just been released with two books in it already. So, if you’ve just got started reading Galaxy’s Edge, then you’ve go a long road ahead of you, but it should be a very enjoyable journey. Great writing and even greater stories!