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, whose 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 high cost of providing their training and 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 new menace was approaching, one that even the formidable Cobra warriors might not be able to defeat.
©2009 Timothy Zahn; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"Zahn emphasizes the stern values of duty, honor, planetary group, and suggests that peace comes only through oft-displayed strength. The rough-and-tumble combat crackles like fingertip laser implants...." (Publishers Weekly)
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)
This book was over before I realized it! Not very often that I get so caught up in a story that I don't realize it's about to end until it does, or that I don't get distracted and put it aside for a couple days while I read something else.
It is a military science fiction book - but not so military-based that you're getting descriptions of bullet types and thickness of armor, and not so science fiction-y that people can walk through walls or be beamed to outer space on command. Some of the aliens are human (and some of the humans are alien) and all of the social issues are ones you'll recognize. And the solutions to the problems in the story require that people overcome their biases and work together - so it's not really that "far-out-there".
I like how the characters are so smoothly written that they feel like real people, with real issues, and real lives. And the aliens and alien (to us) technology is added in as if it is a perfectly normal progression of where we are today... without a lot of lecturing or boring techy-jargon. The author doesn't attempt to explain how certain technological advances were developed, just asserted that they exist, and went with it. And, while there is some social justice/equality message in here, it is not preachy at all.
I don't have the next book in the series, but plan to get it now - this one ended without a complete resolution and I want to find out how the Cobras overcome their enemy.
The narration is excellent and the story is non-gory, with no swearing and no sex.
Some fiction books work really well as audiobooks. This series by Timothy Zahn is very good as an audiobook for several reasons. First, the plot is engaging without being overly complicated. That means you don't get lost in dozens of characters or multiple intertwining subplots. I do like that kind of book when I'm reading -- I read in a quiet room with few distractions. But I tend to listen to audiobooks when I'm also doing other things, like driving or jogging, so I want it to be exciting, unpredictable, and fun, with a few characters I get to know very, very well. This series fits that bill just fine.
The performance was good, too. I found the multiple accents to be a bit distracting, but they seem to fit the story. And he does a good job of making the action scenes excting.
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