As members of the Alliance of Light, humans have committed to the battle against the Ilion Federation, and they’re doing their part. But the Alliance’s army is fragmented, and to unify their forces, the army’s leaders must do the unthinkable: They form the First Combined Regiment, made up of soldiers from every alien race in the Alliance. The Spec Ops Squad is supposed to be the best of the best, an elite group within the First Combined Regiment to take care of the dirtiest jobs.
Sergeant Bart "Dragon" Drak isn’t too surprised to learn that these warriors don’t have a whole lot in common, and it’s obvious that it will take a lot of work to turn a bunch of commandos into a team. He didn’t sign up for this, but he’s got to see it through.
In the midst of training, the Spec Ops Squad is called off to planet Dintsen to fight off an invasion from the Ilion Federation. With such an elite fighting force, beating them back should be a piece of cake...except Ilion’s got the same kind of team on their side, and theirs are better trained. Drak will have to face down tremendous odds and new challenges to bring his team home.
©2001 Rick Shelley (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
The narrator is not really enjoyable. I heard many, many wrong emphases. His reading of dialog is actually fine with some change of voices for the different people and species. It's the prose that is awful with slow, dragged out, monotone phrases and emphasizing the wrong words all over the place. I increased the speed to 1.25 and it was less annoying.
The story is pretty good. It is hard to come up with something new nowadays, so be prepared for more of the same. These Alliance inter-species Rangers must learn to overcome their racial prejudices and fears and learn to work together in order to defeat the Federation. There are some good battles, and some sad losses, but I am not yet in love with Buck Sargent Drak, so I hope there is some deeper characterization in the next book. The other species are a little weird, but a good contemplation of what might happen if evolution went through reptiles instead of apes. These guys are more like humanized colobus monkeys, lizards, and Neanderthals than some of the aliens in other books. But that is just the way evolution went in this world. Not unlike the old Star Trek.
If you have finished everything by Campbell and Nuttall, you can give this a shot and see how you think it stacks up.
I finished the book, but was left with an empty experience..
The idea of combining different races, to work together as one unit.
The story was read with little impact. I just couldn't get the feeling of the moments.. From boring moments to battle... Everything was read with the same level. It was like I was listening to someone reading an inventory list.
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