When the colony worlds Adirondack and Silvern fell to the Troft forces almost without a struggle. Outnumbered and on the defensive, Earth made a desperate decision. It would attack the aliens not from space, but on the ground with forces the Trofts did not even suspect. Thus were created the Cobras, a guerilla force whose weapons were surgically implanted, invisible to the unsuspecting eye, yet undeniably deadly. And the Moreau family were the most famous of the Cobra warriors. Long after victory over the Troft was achieved, the Cobras made common cause against their former adversaries against a new enemy. Their reward was three planets that would be a home for the Cobras, who deadly powers made them too dangerous to feel at home on Earth.
Now, years had passed and not everyone on the Cobra worlds thought that the Cobras were worth the cost of maintaining their existing built-in weaponry, let alone supporting research to improve the Cobra weapons, and possibly even put an end to the negative effects of that built-in weaponry, which caused Cobras to die much too young. Many who had never known interplanetary war were convinced that the Cobras were not needed at all.
That was a grave miscalculation, because a Troft faction has decided to invade the Cobra planets in force, using a new strategy that even the formidable Cobra warriors may not be able to defeat…
©2011 Timothy Zahn (P)2010 Audible, Inc
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
It is pretty much the same caliber as book one in the series... with perhaps a bit more jumping between characters as there are 3 different groups involved here. We spend a chapter with one group, then the point of view switches to another group... this sometimes feels a bit abrupt, but it's a good way to see the same "battle" from different perspectives.
Otherwise, it is a military sci-fi book where the military action is all "on-planet" (no space ship battling). There is probably a bit less personal drama (i.e. less about Mom's health, or about the family being apart) and a bit more interaction with alien species/planetary life. Though, to be honest, the aliens aren't really very alien... they are occasionally described in a manner that makes them seem alien, but for the most part, their vehicles, weapons, doors, stairs, ships, etc, are all human-familiar or human-usable.
I did like the story as much as the first one, even with the jumps between the different main characters, but I disliked the ending a bit more - it felt like it was just stopped. There wasn't a cliff-hanger, but the ending still felt sudden... I even checked the download file to make sure it hadn't been accidentally truncated.
The narration is good. There is some non-graphic violence, no swearing and no sex. I bought the next book in the series as I enjoy this type of action-packed, non-moralizing, military sci-fi romp.
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