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Publisher's Summary

I retired from the USMC, and now I write about space marines.

I never thought I’d actually become one.

As a sci-fi author with a hit TV show, I have a few ideas about what alien invaders are supposed to look like. In my stories, they’re technologically advanced monsters, with tentacles, and no faces.

Turns out I was right about the technology. And about how angry they’d be. But the way they look...that’s more terrifying than even I could have imagined. 

They look exactly like us.

Because they are us.

©2020 Rick Partlow (P)2020 Pramantha Publishing

What listeners say about 1st to Fight: Earth at War

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Highly Recommended Mil Sci-Fi

Very nicely crafted work by veteran (x26 author Rick Partlow. Characters come to life in this first book in a new series by the author pf the Drop Trooper series; this book starts a different set of worlds than many of his previous work.
Fast paced, believable action sequences and a dry sense of humor make it difficult to stop listening.
Highly recommended and let’s urge more in this series.

13 people found this helpful

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Exceptional start!!

1st to Fight is a really clever, well thought out Mil Sci-Fi story that is fast paced, action packed, with a wicked sense of humour, and is so realistic, so real, you can quite literally smell the plasma burning as the shots pass by. But more than that, it is a great tale of an ex-Marine, who has turned to writing Sci-Fi, suddenly finding that that his former life, and his writing career have melded into a very weird future, one that involves aliens that look a lot, nope make that exactly, like Humans….
The story follows Andy Clanton, a mediocre Sci-Fi writer, who has done alright for himself in that, he not only has a decent selling book series, he actually has his own TV-Series. He is a former Marine, who having suffered PTSD, and having self-medicated with alcohol, was discharged from the Military after an unfortunate incident. His choice of self-medicating also led to the end of his marriage, and his ex-wife, having little understanding for the trauma and suffering he was going through (with the PTSD, not the drinking), and just being worried about herself and her son, left and took his Son with him.
It is his writing career that has keep him above water, and he has cleaned himself up, along with some help from friends, and at the start of this book, he is actually in space, aboard a special project with a Rich Entrepreneur, Daniel Gatlin.
However, whilst this is taking place, an object appears by our Moon, an Unknown ‘Alien’ Object, and transmits a message, the first to get to ‘their location’, will get access to their technology.
After a very short (and bloody) race, a US contingent makes it, mainly due to Andy’s group already being in space, but this doesn’t stop a Russian and Chinese contingent trying, which has led to a lot of unrest on Earth.
What happens next will not only change Andy’s life forever, but all of those on Earth.
Without giving too much away, what unfolds is that Andy, and an old friend, a Delta Force Soldier with the nickname ‘Jambo’, end up as part of a team on a mission in space. Andy is roped into it because of his former training, and then during a battle with an enemy space ship, he actually comes up with tactics that no one else thinks of because he is the Sci-Fi writer, and has thought of ship to ship space combat, something that no one else has.
Andy and Jambo become wrapped up in an intergalactic fight to help save not just Humanity, but another species to, and suddenly Andy’s Sci-Fi writing is a lot more ‘Science-Fact’ than ‘Science-Fiction’.
Whilst this might all seem highly unlikely, and unrealistic, Partlow has actually kept it real, there are good, clean explanations for things that occur every step of the way, and this includes the Tech as well, which is not only explained well, but is just SO COOL!! The Technology of the Aliens (called the Helta), without giving away spoilers, is just beautifully done. It is creative, clever, and well described, but at the same time, does not get carried away or glorify aspects of it, there is a healthy respect for the weapons, and there is also a healthy respect for the more technological aspects such as the hyperdrive and other toys the Helta and Tevynians have.
This exceptional work continues into Partlow’s character writing. His main character Andy Clanton is a soldier that has fought in a previous conflict, and has killed in combat. Clanton, is both quite intelligent, and a thinker, two traits that are rather unfortunate when faced with the situation he was in. Clanton suffers from chronic PTSD, and Partlow’s in-depth, and gritty discussion of Clanton’s story is intensely raw and powerful at times, very emotive. Partlow is a Soldier himself, from a Military Family, and has done extensive research into the subject, and you can tell with his writing, as it shows.
This is not just with the PTSD aspect, but also with the brutally raw nature of the combat scenes as well, which at times leave you feeling like you are standing in the middle of it, from the smell of burnt flesh, to blood on the floor and the overwhelming cacophony of noise – gunshots, orders, screaming, yelling, radio transmission, and the thundering noise of battle, all whilst you try and focus on your target, try not to slip, retch at the smell, get shot, or shoot at something someone else is targeting so you don’t waste a shot – Partlow describes all this in such intricate, gritty, (at times, with raw emotions), detail, at all times it is utterly captivating, as you are glued to the page, having to know what is going to happen next.
As you get through page, after page, you realise you are holding your breathe (And as an ex-Cop of 11yrs, this is why they teach Cops to shout ‘Don’t Move’ – because when you shout – you breathe – it stops the Probationary Cops (well in Australia), from passing out – it is also why I understand the entire concept of PTSD, and how Partlow has written it so well!!)
It is not just Clanton though who is brilliant, Master Sgt Jim ‘Jambo’ Bowie, Delta Force operative, is perhaps one of the best characters in the book (although there are a lot of them!!), as the war torn Delta guy, who sort of has a rank, of only Master Sgt, but everyone, even Colonels and the like, are scared of him. He has that casual calm in any situation of a Man that has seen too much action, and just knows how things play out, that things go bad, and there is no point getting upset about it, you just have to deal with it. His character is not gung-ho, but remarkably down-to-earth, and rational, gentle even at times, but with that smirk that terrifies even the scariest of monsters.
There are so many other wonderful characters, and so many other fun things that I would love to talk about, but it would ruin the book. One of the funniest things about this book has to be Andy’s mouth, he has a sarcastic tongue like a 16yr old girl, but with the comments of a 100yr old Sailor. He fires comments off so quick and so fast, at times, some of the characters are not sure what has happened, at other times, they are just in his head, but pretty much every one of them is so bad, that they could make a marine cry, but they make you laugh, OMG, I seriously laughed so hard I think I broke a rib a few times. Partlow obviously had a lot of fun writing this.
1st to Fight sees Humanity making difficult decisions, having to fight with little to no training in new tech (and the tech is just awesome and again, described so well – both the Human and Alien tech (well the Human is sort of alien anyway, so!!), but the detailed, and comprehensive descriptive work is just exquisite, it adds so much detail to the story.
And this is a story about Humans, fighting, well, other Humans, the Synopsis is right, you have to read it to understand, but you will. And it is rather fascinating how. With ship to ship combat, person to person, even hand to hand, there is a LOT of action.
As an added bonus, there is an extra short story at the end of the book that talks about Andy’s time in Venezuela, and how he met Jambo. It is a really interesting story, in that it covers two different stories, the one in Venezuela (which was apparently one of his worst days in the war, or so he tells his son), and the other part of the story, is set after ‘1st to Fight’, and covers Andy and the Team going on an important rescue mission, that will again, affect the course of Humanity, but this time around, if they fail, it will not only mean the death of Humans, but it could also mean the death of a lot of others as well.
Again, it is a really well written, fast paced action story, that just does not stop. The great thing about the short story (Called Rescue Mission funnily enough), is that it gives some fantastic insight into not just Andy, but some of the other characters as well.
Most of the time, a book like this (commonly a 0.5), would be a separate edition, and you would have to buy it, sign up for it, or sell your first born for it, but Partlow has not only included it for free, but it is actually included for free in the Audiobook as well.
1st to Fight is a brilliant start to what is going to be an Epic Series. If you like series like the Expeditionary Series – you will love this!.

7 people found this helpful

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very enjoyable

This is the first time I listened to anything from this author, I received a free code so decided to see if it was worth the time, it was! And if there is a sequel I wouldn't mind using a credit to purchase it. Actually, I'm looking for something else to try from this author. I loved that our hero is a sci-fi author who becomes party of his own story. The story was fast moving, interesting and humorous. The characters were believable and developed enough to support the story. Scott Aiello it's one of my favorite narrators and he didn't disappoint. Sooooo, next? Plz

4 people found this helpful

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another great series from Rick!

This author has never let me down... except that one time he served chili with mushrooms. Seriously though, love his work.

3 people found this helpful

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Not a lot of space

Well it was and ok novel but it feels way to much of a self insert to be fully enjoyable. the author doesn't not which direction to go sometimes.
it is written from first person perspective, but changes to third person perspective a lot.

The mc is a retired soldier but there are way to many times when he is acting like a normal civilian that it just simply breaks that character.

The mc is old and blushes which is a big minus for me personally.

There isn't a lot of space battles perhaps a full 1 hour but the rest are well.. inner dialogue, about 60% is him thinking useless thoughts in battles or outside and it completely takes away the vibe from the novel.

the last 4hours can be skipped pretty much since it is filled with flashbacks.

overall a semi solid novel that needs some editing or rewriting.

2 people found this helpful

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Pretty Darn Good

I liked it. Well told. Interesting story.
Decent character development. Can’t wait for the next in the series.

2 people found this helpful

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Galaxy quest

Take it with a grain of salt since I only got to the first engagement, but this is a cheesy as Galaxy quest and that type of story style just isn't for me.

1 person found this helpful

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Found a new favorite Author 👍

With a writing style Reminiscent of butcher Anspach and Cole, Partlow is now one of my fav’s. And He was smart enough to pick the Great Scott Aeilo to bring his reality to life

1 person found this helpful

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Fun new take on "How we got technology overnight"

This was a good listen and true to the genre. I enjoyed the characters and the Bobaverse-ish humor. The novella included was a nice continuation and could have been part of this book in my opinion.

1 person found this helpful

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Ok start on the new series

It´s always a little strange to read a book from a author who thinks the world revolves around the US. And that the US is the only country in the world that´s civil even if the US is behind a lot of countries when it comes to democracy, equality, health care, and so on. That is what makes this fun. So if a alien race came to earth they would not go to the country that is the most aggressive and where everything is about making as much money as possible. I guess they would land in Iceland instead. :) But otherwise this is a pretty fun story even if it's a pretty predictable storyline.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dub4274
  • 04-01-21

good fun

enjoyed the book, likeable main character with good progression , a little annoyed when I thought I had e hours left , only to find out it was a bonus story.

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  • Boots9458
  • 12-14-20

Great story

Loved this book. Great story fast paced action.
Highly recommended
Looking forward to see what happens next

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-06-21

Throughly Enjoyed

A well written story with a great narrator. loved the English snd the action scenes