Books Marines Military Science Fiction

A Soldiers Duty – Not the usual kind of marine grunt story. Quite interresting.

A Soldier's DutyA Soldiers Duty (Theirs Not to Reason Why, #1) by Jean Johnson
My rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Ia is a precog, tormented by visions of the future where her home galaxy has been devastated. To prevent this vision from coming true, Ia enlists in the Terran United Planets military with a plan to become a soldier who will inspire generations for the next three hundred years-a soldier history will call Bloody Mary.

This is the first book in a new series that I have started to read. Well, it is not new in the sense that the first edition was published in 2011 but it is new for me in that I just started to read it.

This is not the usual marine grunt story. Sure there is the marine training followed by plenty of violent action as one would expect when one brings in the marines. But behind all of this runs the story of Ia which is what makes this book interesting.

As the book blurb tells us Ia is a precog, an unusually powerful one, who knows that if the flow of future events is not guided to be the right one then the Galaxy will be devastated. During the course of the story it is revealed that Ia is also more than a “just” a precog. She has a few more abilities and somewhat of a special story behind her. The marine part and the action in the book is quite okay. Nothing fantastic but okay. If it was not for Ia, her abilities and her quest, then the book would be a rather average one.

The book does not really start off with very much background and much is simply thrown in the face of the reader as the story progresses. Sometimes this is a bit annoying. I would have liked a bit better world building and background story in general. Given that the author goes to great lengths in some places to describe things, like the ten different types of ammunition that the standard marine projectile rifle can fire, the book feels a bit unbalanced in that sense.

As I wrote before, it is Ia and her quest that makes the book so interesting. Not only does she have to succeed in her military training and her later marine objectives but she also have to manoeuver through the possible future events and ensure that the right ones are chosen at key points in the future. There is plenty of action along the line and she does definitely earn herself her nickname of Bloody Mary.

Sometimes Ia’s abilities to know what the future have in store as well as her other abilities causes suspicion on the part of her superiors and then frequently we get long-winded and perfectly laid out speeches about how she does things not for herself but for her fellow man etc. etc. bla. bla. After the first couple of times these perfect speeches became a bit tiresome.

The flaws that I have mentioned is relatively minor though and on the whole I enjoyed following Ia on her quest. I will definitely continue reading since I really want to know where everything leads. After all, the book really gives no clue as to what exactly is expected to happen in the future to cause this devastation that we are told will happen.

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