"Gold will not always get you good soldiers, but good soldiers can get you gold." (Niccolò Machiavelli)
Recent Academy graduate Lieutenant Hal Slater is traveling first class to a cushy first assignment when he is suddenly preempted into a new detachment headed for a wild frontier world. Captain John Christian Falkenberg is forming a new unit from conscripts, guard house scrapings, and the remnants of decimated units, and has the authority to scoop up junior officers wherever he can find them. Hal is caught in that scoop. Falkenberg and three companies of CoDominium Line Marines are being sent to a frontier planet that had requested - and needed - a regiment. There will be no more reinforcements, and the whole structure of civilization is threatened.
Even the planetary commandant believes this assignment will be beyond the Marines' capabilities, but the Line Marine tradition does not allow them to give up without trying. Falkenberg does the best he can against a force of bandits, pirates, and desperate refugees, and Hal Slater is thrust into command in his first battle. As the campaign continues, Slater finds personal reasons to become deeply involved in a fight that will test the honor of the CoDominium Marines.
©1976, 1978 Jerry Pournelle (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
The narration is stiff and often mechanical sounding, with frequent mispronunciations. Inappropriate word emphasis and inappropriate pauses are continuous throughout the performance. Audible should be ashamed of this low quality narration and should record the book again.
This is a great story that paints a vivid picture of world it is set in. Highly recommended.
Different reader. This one reads very ponderously, as if to a slow child.
Absolutely. I already have several print copies and a few audio books.
Never. See above.
Allowing for the way actual history made the notion of the Codominium obsolete, it's a great story and very realistic from a military tactics point of view. The narrator, however, almost ruined it. He started out very monotonic, not treating dialogue appropriately, as if he were reading an academic dissertation, with little emotion. Fortunately, by the end of the second chapter he had begun to add some "feeling" to the narration. And by the end of the book he was doing much better. Perhaps he was new at this game.
All in all, a good listen.
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