After having gone through a number of seemingly short books, I’ve now latched on to one that is just the total opposite. This book is very long, but it is exciting all the way through. I really like that kind of book and it’s the start of a new series, a military science fiction story just the way I like them.
Assault Captain Derek Straker is a mechsuit warrior, in fact, he’s the best mechsuit warrior in the entire Hundred Worlds Alliance. And he’s also part of the best mechsuit unit , the First Mechsuit Regiment, in the Hundred Worlds Alliance. He and his warriors are about to drop on the capital city of the planet Corinth. He’s almost sure they are going to be annihilated!
So, not a great start to a long book. While preparing for the drop from Flight Lieutenant Carla Engels’ drop-ship, he contemplates how he got to this position. The story goes back to when he was a young boy. He was genetically engineered to someday be a mechsuit warrior. The war with the Hok had been going on for so long and the Hundred Worlds was desperate for some kind of edge to their fighting capabilities. The mechsuit became that edge, but only a few could actually control one in combat. So, Derek and a number of other kids were altered and groomed to be mechsuit pilots from the very beginning. There were other youth who were also genetically altered, but they were developed as brainiacs, super smart kids who would grow up to be super smart soldiers going into intelligence and command positions.
Planet Oceanus was fairly well tucked in towards the middle of the Hundred Worlds and didn’t feel much threatened by the war out on the boundaries. That is until one day a Hok starship some how managed to get into orbit over the planet. This happened to be the planet that Derek Straker was growing up on and his world changed that day. The Hok began pin-point orbital bombardment on Seaburn City. Not only the city, but Derek watched as his home was obliterated in the blink of an eye while he was herded on a military transport bus. He and his best friend Johnny Paloco (nicknamed Loco), got off the bus to see what was left of Derek’s home and they found nothing. Both his parents along with his younger sister were in that house just moments before and now everything was gone. About the time, they turned to head back to the bus, another strike wiped it out and sent debris all over. After recovering from that, Derek and Johnny ran to where Johnny’s house. Again, nothing but a huge hole in the ground.
After the orbital strikes came the drop-ships carrying Hok troops. These troops didn’t take prisoners. So Derek and his pal, Loco, made the decision to hide until the Hundred Worlds forces, including mechsuited troops came to their rescue. They both felt this was a surprise attack on this planet by the Hok, and it eventually dawned on them that the strikes were surgical in nature targeting every mechsuiter or brainiacs house. They just realized, they were now high value targets and would be for the rest of their lives.
Eventually, Derek and Loco are rescued by the Hundred Worlds troops and place on a starship heading for the Academy Station to begin their training as mechsuit warriors. They learn that the training isn’t easy, especially now that they are so much younger than the normal Academy students. They start at the bottom as Cadet sub-Fourth Class. Things don’t go well for Derek even though he does get to meet Cadet Second Class Carla Engels for the first time. All this part about the Academy is thirteen years in the past.
Derek and his buddy, Loco, don’t realize that the Hundred Worlds hasn’t told them everything about the enemy. They believe they are soulless lizard-like aliens that take no prisoners nor give any mercy. They exist on a vast empire of a thousand worlds or more and are trying to take over the entire galaxy. But, as Derek knew when his regiment was ordered to drop on Corinth, he was most likely going to die in his mechsuit on this planet. He didn’t envision being captured since the Hok didn’t seem to do that. And yet, he was captured, both he and Loco!
What I’ve just told you is but a tiny part of the story. You’ve just begun your journey with Derek Straker and it will take you so far that you’ll be hard pressed to remember when it started. Fortunately, Loco and even Carla Engels are also along and they will all need each other. They find that the Hok are not the only bad guys in the galaxy and who they were fighting for just might not be in the right! Someone has to stand up and fix things right. I wonder if Derek Staker is that someone?
This series has apparently been out for awhile. The second book, “Battleship Indomitable” is already out and I’ve got it. I hope to read it very soon.