Books Marines Military Science Fiction Space Opera

Soldiers – Absolutely great book in the Empires at War series.

Soldiers (Exodus: Empires at War #8) by Doug Dandridge
My rating: 10 out of 10 stars

SoldiersThe Cacas have been kicked out of the Empire and Republic, but New Moscow is still at risk.

Less than a billion of the original fifty billion population are left, and they are being turned into rations for the Conquerors.

Sean and the Alliance Fleet have ejected the Ca’cadasans from the territory of the New Terran Empire and the New Terran Republic. But the deadly aliens remain in the space of the Kingdom of New Moscow. Centuries before the people of the Czar emigrated from Republic space, setting themselves up hundreds of light years from the borders of the two larger polities. They have paid for that mistake, the Cacas rolling over them and almost obliterating their population. Now the large aliens are processing the survivors of New Moscow to feed their own forces, a genocide such as this sector of the Galaxy has never before seen.

Sean has ordered that the people of New Moscow will not go into the night. A plan has been formulated to take the planets where the prisoners are housed away from the Cacas and rescue the civilians. Plans are great, but only the Soldiers, Marines and Spacers of the Alliance can make the plan a reality. Soldiers like Samuel Baggett and Cornelius Walborski, Spacers like Bryce Suttler and Len Lenkowski. Men and women willing to put their lives on the line to save the innocent. Will their courage be enough to stop the genocide of the people of New Moscow.

The books in the Empires at War series is really my cup of tea to begin with so it is perhaps not so surprising that I liked this book. However, just because a story itself aligns itself well with my favorite type of stories does not mean that it is a good story. In this case, as have been the case with the other books in this series, it is indeed a good story. Actually, as far as I am concerned it is a great story.

When I saw the name of this book I was a bit hesitant. I thought it would be somewhat of a side story focusing on some limited (limited compared to the big picture at least) conflict confined to the surface of some planet. The book can be considered as a bit of a side story but apart from that, wow was I wrong. Actually, having read it I am not sure whether there is more dirt side action or more space action. Since I have a preference for the latter I kind of notice that more than the other. It is definitely a good mix and whether your preference is for one or the other you will not be disappointed.

The nasty Cacas are getting quite a bit of a pounding in this book. I remember a few books back when I started to get a bit weary of the humans getting clobbered all the time. Well the last couple of books have rather made up for that little gripe. It is not exactly like the Empire is effortlessly wiping the floor with the Cacas (that would be rather unrealistic would it not?) but they are certainly getting a fair share of surprises and a good clobbering.

At this point of this post I would say that it would be somewhat superfluous to write that the book is well written but I will write it anyway. The book is really well written! The characters are as enjoyable to follow as ever. The action (combat) is really well done and quite realistic (within the realms of science fiction of course).

Are there any snakes in this paradise then? Well there is. There is a particularly nasty, self centred, egoistic bastard politician. Luckily said politicians is kept on a short leash (for now) but there are a few hints that this <censored> will cause future problems and, as anyone who has read more of my reviews knows, I just hate politician garbage. Having vented that piece of frustration I have to say that, luckily, these parts of the story are fairly brief (for now) and do not distract too much from the overall picture.

The book ends in a generally satisfactory way although Mr Dandridge does throw in a bit of a vague cliffhanger at the end. I hate it when a story ends in mid leap and happily this is not the case here. Said cliffhanger is more of a teaser bone for the next instalment. I am afraid that he succeeded. Now I am dying to know what these “people” fighting the Cacas on the other end of the Caca empire actually are.

Many book series that “drag on” for half a dozen or more episode have a tendency to get stale after a while. Let me, with emphasize, state that this is not the case with this one. Right now I am hoping that this series will never end. That is of course quite unrealistic since, at some point in time, the series will have outstayed its welcome if it does not advance towards some conclusion but today this is how I feel.

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