Jackers (Warstrider #3) by Ian Douglas (alias for William H. Keith Jr.)
My ratings: 7 out of 10 stars
Once he was the gaijin champion of a cruel and oppressive Empire. Now Dev Cameron is a military commander for the rebellious, newborn Confederation — and at tentative peace with the galaxy’s all-powerful rulers. — But treachery has shattered the uneasy truce, as the Imperial lords prepare to rain destruction down, upon the outpost of New America — delivering the final death blow to the still young revolution. And now only one incomprehensible act can save Dev Cameron and his cause: a miraculous link with an alien self that could change the course of the future…by transforming a man into a god.
I said already when reviewing the first book in this series that mechwarriors is not my favorite subgenre of science fiction but that I have liked several other book series from this author so I wanted to give this series of his a try when it was re-published as ebooks. Well, that still goes. I also found this book a bit of a mixed blessing. Still, in the end, my opinion is that it is a good read and for those who do fancy mechwarriors it is probably a very good read.
The book continues more or less right away after the second book in the series. The Japanese are rather quickly turned even more into the bad guys in this book, some more than others of course, than in the previous ones and the campaign to eradicate the new Confederation starts to move quite quickly and brutally when the huge Hegemony war machine is put in gear.
That is not to say that the Confederation is not entirely without success but they are of course seriously outmatched in terms of naval power and thus, not surprisingly given the name of the series, a lot of the action is on the ground with or without Warstriders.
The aliens are pretty much out of this book until near the end when the xenos plays a crucial role. The Dalriss are really not present at all. The ending of the book was expected but still I liked it very much. At least up until Dev goes all mushy and starts to blab about…well I cannot really tell you because it would be a huge spoiler but if you read or have read the book you know what I mean. Whether you agree or not is a matter of personal taste I guess. One thing that I do quite like is how the author depicts these aliens with a totally different view of the universe and way of thinking. The monologues of the xeno entity is very well done in my opinion.
There is also a part in the middle of the book where the “genies” are introduced. I was not too thrilled about that. First the entire concept of them was rather revolting to me and I doubt that, even as bad as the Japanese are depicted in these books, that it would be a concept that would be accepted by a human population. Well, that I could live with. It is fiction after all. However the silly debate between the genies in the middle of a war zone and later the authors attempt to introduce some discrimination and racism stuff in the book just felt unnecessary and not very enjoyable to read.
Bottom line though is that it is a good book as far as I am concerned.
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