I stumbled across this book because I used to work in Recon - not in post-apocalypse Utah, but back when I was in the military. I'm also an inveterate sci-fi junkie...
First things first:
This is a really good yarn! It's well paced, doesn't drag, and has very good plot development. One thing I really liked was how adept the author is at illustrating the background world with a few lines. There aren't reams and reams of text explaining a complex thing like,"how do these people eat?" but questions like that get answered. I feel like I've gotten a glimpse into a fascinating, complex world - one with some shadowy undercurrents....
I'll definitely read more in the series.
My only bitch is regarding how the training is depicted. Presumably, other stuff happens, but in this story the cadets spend a little time on the range, and a lot of time doing hand-to-hand stuff. There is SO MUCH MORE to being a scout than that. Land Navigation, tracking, orienteering, survival skills, use/maintenance of equipment, small unit tactics, etc. - none of that gets mentioned.
But that's a small bitch, as things go.
Hell - I even liked the burgeoning love story - and it takes a lot for a crusty old Marine to admit that in writing.