Reviewed by David Brzeski
It didn’t start great for me. Chapter one is nothing more than a potted history of the interplanetary war with the insectoidal Jalic, which forms the background for the book. It’s set out in short paragraphs, one for each significant date. It’s not a device which has ever appealed to me as a reader, so I was glad when I got to the end of it and the story finally got going.
Thankfully, once it did get going, it picked up pace quickly and never let up until the end. The story is very reminiscent of a classic World War Two movie plot, in which an elite platoon find themselves stranded behind enemy lines with no choice but to fight their way out. Once their position becomes truly untenable, they decide to embark on a suicide mission, which, if successful, could make a huge difference to the war effort, and at least allow them all to die doing something worthwhile. The overall concept is a bit like ‘Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos’ crossed with ‘Starship Troopers’, but with a wild card thrown into the mix. This wild card is the mysterious Ghost, a maverick vigilante super-soldier type with a crescent shaped starship, who may, or may not be on the side of the Terrans.
It’s fast-paced and bloody, and the reader has no way of predicting who will survive. Scott expends as much effort in detailing the characters who get killed off on the next page as he does those who go on to play a major part in the story.
The origins of Adam ‘The Ghost’ Caine are touched on briefly, and I was intrigued enough to immediately purchase a Kindle copy of the author’s previous book, ‘The Legend of Adam Caine’, which is a huge (736 pg.) collection of, as the author puts it, “not-so-short stories about, you guessed it, Adam Caine, a former Royal Marine and SB Operator.” A follow-up, ‘Ghosts of Earth’, was also recently published.