on December 16, 2013
As far as plot goes, this is a rousing battle story, but beyond that it is severely lacking. The author continually head hops and changes point of view. We are told characters are arrogant when they have done nothing arrogant. Military discipline is a joke with one and all free to question orders.
And let's not even mention editing since there apparently was none. For example: "They had witnessed enough of the unexpected to be caught with their pants down." It's left to the reader to insert the word "not" in there mentally. Since this happens in just about every paragraph, you are constantly pulled out of the story.
I made it about halfway through the book and gave up.
on August 24, 2011
***************WARNING!!! POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN REVIEW!!!***********************
Because I really enjoy alien invasion sci-fi, I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, numerous grammar and spelling errors, along with some "WTF?" moments made this a disappointing read.
An example of "WTF?" moments:
1. In the book the alien ship lands "in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean". Later there are references to how far military units have to travel via ship and plane to reach the alien ship. Yet a paragraph in the book BEFORE the military sends those troops to attack reads "The vast island had expanded to almost fifteen thousand kilometers in diameter".
The widest point in the Atlantic Ocean, between Spain and Mexico, is less than 10,000 kilometers*. If it had expanded to "almost 15,000 kilometers", it would have to be touching land somewhere. Lots of it. In fact, even if it did land in the middle of the widest point in the Atlantic, by the time it expanded to 15,000 kilometers, it would have covered up everything in the Caribbean.
2. When the Marines board the alien ship, Taylor asks if the engineers had "set the charges". But there was not another mention of them in the book. Were they triggered or not? What was their goal in planting the charges? Apparently we'll never know.
3. Then we have the "strapping on" of the alien engines to the small shuttle being used to resupply the people on the moon. Engines that were supposedly studied and functionally understood, detached from the alien ships and then attached to the shuttle? In a matter of days? Seriously? While the planet is under attack?
As I said, disappointing.
* Source: [....]
on December 19, 2012
I hate giving bad ratings, especially to authors that are trying to get discovered. This is, in fact, only my second bad rating. Regarding the story, it was very difficult to suspend disbelief. The characters were one dimensional, shallow and unrealistic. Conversations were juvenile and the plot was simply not believable. The aliens' actions were not tactically sound, however, the books hero, a major in the U.S. Marines, states what he would do if he were in charge of the alien forces and that is what they do, regardless of the fact that dividing forces in the face of a numerically superior enemy is not tactically sound. At one point, the author even stated that the aliens sent a ship to conquer the moon colony 'because it was on the way.' Additionally, the author had difficulty keeping track of time, the eight hours it would take to go from Eart to the Moon followed by the six hours it took to go from the Moon to Earth. Discussing the fact that the major was fired up and ready to go when he returned to Earth from the moon (discounting the fact that they had just gone from the Earth to the Moon and been there for about an hour hour. Fifteen hours having passed, a battle fought and lost and the main character is acting like he just woke up and is just starting his day). The book is full of odd statements, poorly conceived ideas and unedited errors. It was so bad that half way through the book I decided to see if it got better by checking what others were saying about it. Unfortunately, what I read led me to believe that I was in for more the same: Bad editing, unbelievable plot and poor dialog. I was really disappointed. I wouldn't recommend this book to others and will shy away from other novels by this author.
on February 19, 2013
The Battle Earth series is based on the premise of aliens attacking Earth to take it for their own. The books take place during the wars/events that ensue after the aliens arrive. The story is a good read and the plot reasonably robust. Characters are developed well and the technology is even believable.
However, it does not seem as if the books were ever put through a traditional editing process. They are rife with misused words, overuse/misuse/poor use of adjectives, and awkward sentence and paragraph construction. This is a pattern I have seem several times in inexperienced authors. The entire series could benefit greatly from a single editing pass by a professional editor.
on September 29, 2011
Get an editor!
Most people except good friends and family would pan this. As a teacher and SF fan I would like to give a new writer a break, so I've struggled through this novelette. One reviewer has tried to excuse the grammatical and usage errors as being "British English." That is "BS." As a linguist and English teacher with 40 years of experience at the university level, I don't see how sentences without a verb or using "impede" in place of "impale" constitute British as opposed to American English. All this is trivial, however, and could be remedied by a good editor though not a word processor's spelling or grammar application.
The idea of the story is trite and oft-used, but that's not bad, per se. Development is the problem. Let's take just two or three examples to be brief. Ruby has the beginnings of a facinating female character when the aliens attack the Aries colony, but the narration doesn't develop her or the situation but deteriorates into a truncated description of the initial alien assault confounded by scientifically improbable events such as a shuttle being able to launch from the Martian surface without provisioning and reach the Lunar colony. Suspension of disbelief lets us accept the alien's camouflage technology, but the author has already set us up to perceive the human protagonists as having tech only a bit ahead of the present day and logical extensions of that that already exists. Properly developed the initial scene of contact at the Martian colony would have been three or four times its present length and far more interesting.
The command relationships and conversations between the protagonist and his superiors such as General White do not reflect common experience. In other words, the author either lacks real life experience or has failed to provide verisimilitude.
To make a lengthy review brief, let me offer two pieces of advice from the masters, if you choose multiple view-point characters, as this author attempts, look at at a master such as Harry Turtledove for character construction and differentiation. To bring your ideas to life follow the advice of Poul Anderson. "On every page be sure to include all five senses." Use not only visual and audible imagery but also touch, smell and taste. The author came close to doing this in a love scene after the protagonist returned from the Lunar incursion. Imagine if he had done this during the initial battle scenes on Mars or the Lunar colony.
I'm an optimist and I thought this was an interesting effort as a story. I've read thousands of better stories, but I have hope that with good editors and experience this person can do better.
on November 21, 2011
As a life-long Sci-Fi reader, I'm always willing to take a chance on a new book/author. After reading the description of this book, and judging by the number of 4 & 5 star reviews, I took a chance and grabbed the free sample. I could tell right away that the editing, grammar, spelling, and punctuation were going to be an issue, but the plot itself was intriguing. I've read some very poorly edited Kindle Sci-Fi that still contained worthy plots.
This book however doesn't do any of that. Sometimes poor grammar and spelling can be overlooked, but in this case, it only helps to magnify this author's immaturity. Not immature in the sense of juvenile or crass/crude humor, but immaturity as a writer. In this book, everyone seems to shout, with too many conversations ending with "!", which is the first sign of a writer who hasn't fully grasped the concept of dialogue.
Another problem is the way the plot sort of jumps and sometimes jumbles around. I felt a lot of the times that the story wasn't fluid. The plot itself is a proper, standard Sci-Fi 'earth gets invaded' one, but the execution is simply not there, with jarring and abrupt edges to breaks in the action that seem to be missing some important information (or actions or dialogue).
I wanted to enjoy the story, but I've only made it about 80% through this book, and can't seem to ever find a willingness to see the rest of it through. The author really should think about enrolling in a local community college or university and taking a couple of creative writing courses, both for fiction and non-fiction (as practicing both makes for a better writer overall).
More importantly, with today's word processing software, there's simply no reason why there should be so many grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors or mishaps. I understand that self-published authors don't have access to top editors, but surely one can find a few friends or family members to lend a hand, as well as checking the little squiggly red lines under words that signify incorrect spelling.
I would definitely give this author another shot down the road, and hopefully he knows his shortcomings and attempts to mature in his writing style. Again, the plot itself isn't bad, but the overall execution is rather dismal in all areas, and I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless it was free (and even then I would hesitate).
on January 27, 2012
Fortunately, I did not have particularly high expectations for this book. The synopsis I had read indicated that the plot would follow similar paths to many other books of this nature ie aliens who refuse to communicate, but just set out to kill humanity - I suppose it saves the author from having to construct an enemy that has its own motivations and can be understood, at least from its own perspective. However, despite this, we can all enjoy these books if they are well done. This wasn't well done. Even with my lack of expectations, I was disappointed.
Another reviewer has commented on the number of times people "shout" in the book. It was most distracting and distressing. People shouted at each other in the most unusual circumstances. Even senior officers shouted at each other in staff meetings.
The science of the book left me wondering. Someone who lived on the moon became tired walking up stairs - in the moon's gravity! Everyone was able to fire weapons, including a type of grenade launcher on the moon with no effects from recoil. It seems that humanity salvaged a couple of engines from one of the alien's downed spacecraft, which took place off page. As I read it, they were then able to attach these to a couple of our spaceships overnight so as to increase the speed enormously. Unbelievable!
So much was unbelievable. The main character, a Major, is both having a sexual relationship and believes he is in love with a Sergeant in his direct chain of command. I suppose it might happen, but it jarred and did not seem real. As a plot device, I saw little point to it. It did allow the Major to go to Europe to fight with an English Captain with whom he got along. Of course, to do so, the Major had to disobey orders whilst in the fact of the enemy, which one might have thought would bring him a brief Court Martial and possibly a firing squad. I could think of several scenarios that could have achieved the same object without it having to be to save his loved one. It was a contrived situation that just did not ring true.
The Major's approach to his superiors was distressing for anyone who believes in a chain of command. At times, he obeyed orders, even though he did not like them or want to follow them. At other times, he shows utter contempt and disrespect for his superiors and disobeys when it suits him. A degree of consistency was needed. It wasn't as if he thought he could do better. He spent the whole book just wanting to be back with his men. He did not show any capacity or ambition for higher command responsibilities.
A lot of the dialogue was contrived (even discounting the people who shouted at each other) and clumsy. Generally, it was not a good read. I doubt I will try the next book in the series.
on October 18, 2012
I read this as part of the original trilogy sometime ago and had reservations about the editing. The story was great and that was what kept me reading. The good news is this version both fixes the old problems but also pads out the story. I spotted a number of new scenes and many added detail to somne of the people and events that will appear later on.
on February 6, 2013
Reads like it was written by a high schooler who had a particularly limited knowledge of almost everything. The worst written book I have ever read on almost every conceivable level. Literally drivel, and there are 7 more books in the series? At .99 cents it would be overpriced. Avoid at all costs.
on October 8, 2012
<Spoiler Alert> Plot elements may be discussed. I have read the first three books in paperback form, so I will consider them as a series for this review. I am a big fan of "alien invasion-takeover the world" stories, so I jumped at this series. The writing style is simple and dedicated to moving the action along. The characters are correspondingly shallow as they are largely there as fodder for the aliens' superior weaponry. The action takes place mostly on Earth, with a parallel story regarding a small human group resisting the alien takeover of the moon base. Human civilization has apparently advanced to the point where big, heavy world war type weaponry is no longer needed as any military action is seemingly of the skirmish type where the emphasis is on squad-based tactics and light, fast maneuvers. This makes the humans completely unready for the dominating firepower of the alien invasion force. There are numerous typographical and syntax errors in the printed version, but one can likely overlook those. The real weak points lie in the sometimes inexplicable military tactics employed on both sides, as well as the lack of familiarity with military protocols. There are several instances of not following orders, and the main character's fraternization with a subordinate female. The human generals seem totally unable to issue campaign orders or advance weapon upgrades without first consulting the relatively low-ranking main character. The author does a nice job creating a feeling of utter defeat as the enemy rolls along mostly unchallenged. There are frequent points where I found myself frustrated that the characters wouldn't do something that seemed to me to be a logical thing to do, especially concerning the weapons. In fact, it seemed like forever before the humans were able to eventually get some weapon upgrades that at least gave them a chance. And then, the improbably miraculous mating of alien technology to a human spacecraft was done in just a page or two, and seemingly with duct tape and wire to lash the alien engines to the airframe, to give it speed that the aliens couldn't match - even though they had the same engines. I sound like I am being very critical, and I am. But if you can overlook these faults, there is a fairly interesting story here that even has the cliched fistfight between the hero and the alien commander at the end.