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In this Lost Soldiers adventure, we’re introduced to a former military officer, Victor Allan Thomas – Vat – to his small circle of friends – a man with an ignominious past. Nobody really knows the events behind his discharge from the army. Whatever the reason, Vat went on to become something of an international arms dealer. A vocation no doubt assisted by his uncanny knack for understanding different cultures and the languages & sub-dialects they employ to stay one step ahead of the authorities. Sadly, Vat himself wasn’t able to stay ahead of the authorities. That’s how he found himself aboard a helicopter that went down over Somalia, only to be snatched away from everything he knew by the mysterious Ktor. Fortunately for him, he wakes some 130 years later, to find his skills are very much in demand. How so? Major Murphy knows how vital it is to form a sound relationship with the people of R’Bak if he’s to stand any chance of fighting off enemy satraps before the next Searing arrives. The trouble is, those satraps have weapons and vehicle caches at a number of unknown locations. If they’re left in play, they will destroy any chance he has of showing the local population the Lost Soldiers can be trusted, or have the ability to establish a working base from which they can expand their operation. As such, Murphy has no choice but to rely on Vat to build a bridge between the Sarmatchani populace and its elders, while at the same time searching for opportunities to get his hands on some of those vehicle caches. Despite his expertise, however, Vat finds it difficult to form relationships. Skeletons from his past that led to his discharge from the army continue to plague him. He’s suspicious of everyone and their motives. Yet he’s going to have to overcome that tendency if he’s going to make Murphy’s plan work. I thoroughly enjoyed this outing with the Lost Soldiers. It contained a touch of realism in its style and ‘attitude’ that added a down-to-earth grittiness to the overall flavor of the story arc. A good reminder too, that you can’t always choose your comrades in war. But if you accept them for who they are and build on what they can do well? Ah, then you’ll have an effective, efficient fighting force, capable of getting the job done. Kudos to Mark Wandrey for handling a sensitive & timely subject with skillful aplomb. A great story!
Mark Wandrey has continued the same lofty standards in Pearl that the previous installments of Murphy’ Lawless series have set. Each story arc has been by a different writer and to me the fact each segment has been so good is amazing. Chuck Gannon’s editing may have had some influence on the quality of the fiction. At first, Vat may not come across as all that likable but as the story moved along his skill set shows he is the person for this particular job. The story flowed nicely and should be apparent from the comments I have already written was very enjoyable to read.
While the entire storyline of Murphy's Lawless is about individuals given a second chance following a less than savory or particularly productive stint in Earth's military, Pearl is somewhat unique in that the main protagonist, Victor Allen Thomas, and his own particular group of misfits choose to marginalize themselves rather than step up to the new situation and actively join Murphy's efforts. Each has secrets and history which lead to this marginalization and, rather than change, they remain content to continue on in their indifference and isolation. Unwilling, and perhaps even a little desperate, Murphy places them into a situation where they can sink or swim. While the overt goal, discovery of supply caches hidden by the R-Bak natives succeeds, the reader is left with the question of just what this may mean in the lives of VAT and his cronies. Will things change or is this just another situation where they refuse to be drawn in? Highly recommended and make sure to read the other installments as well.
Hard to find an uptime story that makes sense. This one does and adds a twist in that the principal character is not someone who you would expect to lead the charge. The author very cleverly draws the reader in to the point that you may actually like the principal more than he likes himself. I will be reading more.
Good old-fashioned science fiction. Believable characters and plot. Glad to have learned about this series, glad to have found Chuck Gannon, Chris Kennedy, and their pantheon of writers. The only down side: I'm never going to catch up on my reading backlog. Actually, now that I think about it, that's a really good problem...
First thing, Pearl is book five of the adventures of Murphy's Lawless. It does stand on its own quite well, but you should read the rest. In Pearl, Mark Wandrey tells the tale of Victor Allen Thomas or as he prefers, "Vat". In Mogadishu, Vat is a lot of things. Contractor, Veteran and Gun-runner. When it all starts to fall apart, he flees, but doesn't quite make it out. When he wakes up, he is in a future he never expected, and forced back into a life he no longer wants. He doesn't fit in with the majority of the Lawless, but Murphy only has so many tools available, and a tool that isn't a perfect fit can still be used. This is a great story, and reveals vital information if the Lawless are going to survive the upcoming Searing. A great read and I am looking forward to the next.
Promises continues the story arc of the Murphy's Lawless aka the Lost Soldiers - human military personnel kidnapped from Earth and then rescued by humans and their allies in the future. These soldiers are awakened and tasked with striking the enemy using only the technology they are familiar with, not ray-guns and force shields! This time we are introduced to Victor Allen Thomas AKA "Vat". Vat is a former officer discharged from the Army and subsequently runs both legit and black market arms sales in Mogadishu. Vat is used to staying off the radar and skating by. However, waking up around an alien sun with an almost impossible mission of the Lost Soldier's Vat is given a choice - become a team player and contribute or suck vacuum. Pearl follows Vat and his tram of misfits and loners rising to the challenge and realizing that everyone can find redemption and that sometimes a round peg can git a square hole. this is another great addition to the Murphy's Lawless universe and the Lost Soldier's story arc. While this story stands on it's own, you'll be doing yourself a favor by reading the other stories in this arc.