Six agents have died hideously trying to penetrate the crime families behind a vast empire of pleasure and debauchery. Now it’s up to the Marines to break the circle.
The crime bosses’ control of Havanagas and its people is brutally effective. Now three Marines from Co. L’s 3rd Platoon–masquerading as discharged military buddies on holiday–are going in to break the kingpins’ bloody stranglehold. From bordellos and rebellious enclaves to the very pit of the Coliseum filled with deadly beasts, Corporal Pasquin and Lance Corporals Claypoole and Dean face certain death with only their wits and skills as weapons. But they’re Marines, built to survive. . . .
This is not a bad book. Definitely a lot better than the previous one in the series. In general it is enjoyable reading. Unlike the previous books which have all involved an actual deployment of a group of marines the main story of this one is about three “lone” marines which are deployed as undercover agents without any equipment whatsoever. I have to say I was not too thrilled about this but the story is well written and as the story progresses they do get their hands on some suitable equipment for the favorite pastime (officially they are on holiday) of said marines. That is blowing things up.
Also, somewhat unlike the previous books there is not one single story thread in this book but several. The main story is the undercover operation of the three marines but then there is also the story of the commander going to earth to try and find out who is screwing with his command and another story with our mysterious aliens making a reappearance on one of the humans colony worlds. The two latter stories are actually, in a sense, somewhat related and both are really setting the stage for the next book in the Starfist series.
The book is well written and even the duller parts of the book make for an enjoyable read. The authors have a bad habit of inventing names in languages they do not properly understand (or they understand them but have a very weird sense of humor) to the extent of it being annoying but luckily there’s not too much of that nonsense in this book. The way the book builds up towards some alien butt-kicking in the next installment makes me look forwards to reading that one.