I stumbled across this book awhile back and it has been waiting in my library. I wasn't expecting much (a few good battles, a spot of suspense) but I..Show More » was immensely surprised. The action speeds along and the characters aren't completely 2 dimensional. I found myself rewinding at times to catch bits I had missed.
I didn't find the soldier-convicts referencing each other (including the team leader) by first names as odd, given that they are essentially a group of convicts ripped from prisons to serve on a suicide squad. They have no military training and are outfitted with subpar equipment and uniforms (the book opens with newbie Nick being presented with boots taken off a corpse, one Size 12 and one Size 11.5.) Using first names seemed a logical reaction to the dehumanizing way the "true" military referenced them with numeric designations. I did find it unlikely that the "real" military officers would also accept this breach (as did occur in the book), but I was enjoying it too much at that point to be bothered.
The narrator, Bevine, does a fair job of moving the action along, but he doesn't really differentiate the various characters all that well. E.g, there is a character from the South who sounds little different from the other characters. Although this lack of character signatures didn't bother me greatly, more uniqueness to the various voices might have served to avoid a bit of the confusion when the action sped up.
This isn't brain candy and doesn't delve into the world dystopia (we get only glimpses), but if you looking for some "light" military action, I highly recommend this volume.
It is a straight forward military action novel. The setting is at some future point where there is a world war going on, but the setting, people, and ..Show More »weaponry are all modern day stuff (well, even if the "tank" descriptions are of fictitious tanks, I don't think the average (non-tank-aficionado) reader would know...)
The main character is just a bit smarter, faster, stronger and luckier than your average Joe, but... then again, that is the point in this kind of novel - an otherwise normal guy saves the day by dint of his superior... everything...
There is forward momentum, people get killed (other than the main character we can't really distinguish any of them though), and the day gets saved. There is not so much a plot as there is a goal/destination. But, whatever, it is a fast easy read and pretty much exactly what you should expect from a military action novel.
It is not, however, science fiction and should not be classified as such; if you bought this expecting any science fiction (other than, perhaps, it being set in a future year), you will be disappointed. The entire story is about a group of soldiers (yes, some are convicts, but they behave exactly like the non-convicts) who enter enemy territory to destroy a target. They shoot things, they get shot at. That is it.
The narration is very good; the violence is not overly graphic and there is no sex. Some occasional swearing. I will read more by this author, but, then again, I like military action fiction...