Top positive review
This is one of those Mil Sci-Fi/Space Opera’s that you don’t want to miss!!
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2020
The second book in the Earth at War series was just as exciting, action packed, and at times, brutal in the intensity of the combat scenes, but also exceptionally intelligent and perceptive with the dialogue and emotional state of each of the characters, especially the Main Character Andy Clanton who suffers from PTSD after his first tour as a Marine in Venezuela.
This is an amazing series, as we have an ex-Marine, Sci-Fi writer, who was in space on board a small space vehicle with a billionaire inventor, Daniel Gatlin, as well as their pilot Julie Nieves, and a Scientist Dr Patel, for an experiment, when Aliens suddenly appear just off the Moon, telling Humanity, that the first to reach them, gets their tech.
Why? They are a bunch of pacifists, (who look remarkably like Koala’s, but are actually descended from Sun Bears, having been taken from Earth, and genetically manipulated thousands of years ago by a Master Race – along with several other species, and then transplanted to different suitable terraformed planets in the Galaxy). The Pacifists (the Helta), however, have been kicking their butts kicked by another of these races, the Tevynians – who look exactly like Humans, (drum roll….), because they are. Tevynians were taken from Earth during the time of Alexander the Great, they are an early Warrior Culture of Humanity, and have gone from having basic weapons (spears, basic swords), to starships and laser blasters. They are highly tactical, but have no engineering capability. And thus the Helta, are being smashed by them.
The Helta, in desperation, have come to humanity as a last hope, breaking several sacred laws.
And so, Andy Clanton, along with his long time friend and Delta Force Master Sgt, James ‘Jambo’ Bowie, start to lead a special ‘Space Force’ of a small team of Delta Team Operatives, along with a larger team of Rangers (Yes, there are lots of jokes about Space Rangers), in missions to help the Helta.
I don’t want to give away spoilers, as this book is just too much fun, and too good a story to wreck with spoilers, you have to read it yourself!!
I will say that the world/galaxy building is just extraordinary, Partlow has put in an incredible amount of depth and detail into the story to make sure that as a reader, you get fully immersed into the story, and really feel like you are on the page with Andy and Jambo, performing each of the operations. It gives it such a realistic feel as you read.
As with the first book, the crew are again trying to help the Helta, but there are several major and minor plotlines running through this story. The obvious one is the conflict between the Helta and Tevynians, and our intrepid Space Force trying to intervene. To do this, they need resources, not just ‘People’, but also weapons, ships, and the special Svalinn Battle Armour. All these things take time, money, and resources to either make or in the case of the ships, to steal.
This book, being book 2 in the series, covers aspects of these operations, but it also covers some of the more personal aspects as well, in that we get to learn more about our main character (characters).
Book 2 takes the time to delve into Andy’s life more, and as a result, we get to see more of his wife, Allie, as well as his son, Zack. This is a really interesting dynamic, as it not only allows us to meet these characters (and some others – I don’t want to give away spoilers), but it also allows the Author to go into Andy’s past a bit, and let us know about his history with his PTSD, and we get to learn more about his character this way, which is a really interesting part of the story. The Author has been incredibly clever in what he has written, and also very sensitive to those who have had any history with PTSD.
The technology in this book is just brilliant, there has been a lot of thought and time put into the design of all aspects of the weapons (from all races, Human, Tevynians and Helta), including the M900 KE Rifle the Humans use, the battle armour that the Humans are using, the Svalinn armour, which is just glorious, and is named for the Norse mythical Svalinn Shield. And of course, there are the ships that the Helta use, that everybody is either borrowing, or have stolen.
The Author has put a lot of effort into each of these items, so that there is a level of realism and believability, even given the Sci-Fi nature of each of them, making the story that much more interesting.
This level of thought and time has also gone into the world (or galaxy) building, providing this rich, detailed, and in-depth environment for our Main Characters to tell their stories in, and although most of these stories are told in ‘Alien’ environments, on other planets, aboard shuttles, ships etc, the detail is such that you can really see and feel it, and know what you are looking at, and you really feel like you are there. Again, as with the tech, it lets you believe you are part of it, and just gives you an extra edge in the story.
Overall, this is an exceptionally well told, fast-paced, adventure, with outstanding Characters, brilliant tech, and beautiful world building, all culminating in an extraordinary story, that is not only thrilling, and captivating, but a lot of fun to. This is one of those Mil Sci-Fi/Space Opera’s that you don’t want to miss!!