The economies of Earth’s nations were tanking, make that had tanked. It was a world full of desperate people, the homeless and dispossessed were everywhere. It was a world ripe for those whose survival depended on building a legion of human fighters.
A 29 year old escaped prisoner, who had been a college professor till he annoyed the government, was one such man. The 16 year old runaway Argentina de la Fuentes was another such perfect recruit.
Two strangers from backgrounds worlds apart would be thrust together and left to fight side by side or die together. Yet the separatist humans who recruited them had their own dark secret, a secret that would threaten them all and could lead to the destruction of worlds including Earth.
I had high hopes for this book since I quite liked the story idea as outlined in the book blurb. The book was indeed quite good…some of the time. Unfortunately, on the whole, the implementation is somewhat lacking making the book a bit uneven and dragging it down from being a good book to an enjoyable but mediocre one.
The book starts off by introducing the two main characters as they live on Earth before being dragged into the mysterious world of the human legion. It starts quite well with good, interesting and fairly well constructed characters.
The entire first part of the book which gradually moves towards the revealing of what the “separatist humans” actually are (and then some) is actually very good. After that it goes a bit downhill, at least as far as I am concerned. Once the truth is revealed, well some of it at least, the author kind of looses grip on the story and it becomes less and less believable and more and more filled with annoying bits and parts.
For instance the fact that a group of people that are scientifically advanced way ahead of the rest of the humans cannot figure out by themselves that they should put cameras and sensors on their ships and send logs back to intelligence when encountering hostile elements. Or being trained to use new weapons and technologies in a few short sessions lasting a day or two maximum and then flying out to utterly make mincemeat of the enemy. Or what about a tank with a 120mm Gatling gun. What the f…? Did the author bother to think about how large a 120mm slug is? A M1A2 tank holds 42 shells of 120mm ammunition. Even if we assume that the ammunition in the future did not need a large gunpowder cartridge you would still only be able to carry ammunition for less than a second worth of fire with a Gatling type gun unless said Gatling was incredibly slow or you towed half a warehouse full of ammunition behind you. There are plenty of examples like that.
The book also felt somewhat jumpy and inconsistent. Sometimes the next chapter would jump to another part of the story without a smooth or natural passover leaving a feeling that the previous part of the story was not really concluded. The authors insistence on sometimes using the name Smith and sometimes the name Denver for the same character was also quite annoying.
Luckily the main characters are quite well done as well as likable. I definitely liked fast mouthed Argentina de la Fuentes. Not surprisingly there is a bit of romance going on between them as well although their interactions are a bit reluctant at first. As I wrote the story idea is a good one. It could have been made into a far better book though. Having said that I still enjoyed it and might just pick up the second book if the author writes one.