Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on June 1, 2021
Sentenced to War by J.N. Chaney and Jonathan P. Brazee is a page-turning coming of age story that I made the mistake of starting at 10pm. When I got to the last page at 3am, I immediately checked to see if the next book was available. The next TWO are available, glory be. (It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, it’s just that good.)

I love military scifi and coming of age stories, and found Sentenced to War a good mix of the two. Our main character, hopped up on hormones, gets himself sentenced to a stint in the military as a conscript. Humanity is at war with technologically advanced aliens. It isn’t going well, and we need more cannon fodder, which is why even a traffic ticket gets you drafted for a term of service.

Aspects of this story reminded me favorably of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, and Orphanage by Robert Buettner. While it does follow a “formula” in which our character goes through boot camp, training, battles, etc, it never becomes formulaic. I had no idea what was going to happen next, and there was never a TSTL moment.

I like Rev Pelletier, our main character, who is a believable product of his culture and upbringing. He’s got good bones, as they say, if only he can grow up before he gets blown up.

I’m not former military, and I don’t care about tables of organization, rank, proper military speak, and so on. I’m also happy to assume that in the far future, when humanity has spread out to multiple new planets with hundreds of billions of us floating around in multiple military organizations, that rank and structure will have changed. So I ignored the reviewers who railed against those things.

The technology was explained well enough I got the idea without ever descending to complete geek-speak and trumping character. At its heart, Sentenced to War is about a good guy learning how to make tough decisions and finding the place he belongs.
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