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Scout Force (Kelly Blake Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

60 customer reviews

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Length: 307 pages

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Product Details

  • File Size: 570 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: August 15, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HJ3560
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,685 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Rodney L. Smith was born in Texas, was raised in Texas, and now after a 30 year absence is back home in Texas. He is recently retired from 33 years serving in and working for US Army Military Intelligence. He currently resides in the Texas Hill country with his wife, two cats, deer herd, barn swallow colony, hummingbird flock, an occasional roadrunner or two, and geckos, lots of geckos. When not reconnecting with his Texas roots, he dabbles in motorcycling, RVing, and other outdoor pastimes. Rodney writes science fiction and historical fiction. He published his first work, Scout Force, in August 2011. His second book, First Command, was published in December 2011. His third book, Where The Stars Are Few And Far Between was published in May 2012. His fourth book, All Enemies Foreign and Domestic was published in May 2013. Rodney is the 2012/2013 chairman of the Canyon Lake Area Writers (CLAW).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Antony Chow on September 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent fighter pilot has a public disagreement with a Napoleonic-like General over tactics that proved to be wrong. The pilot, Ensign Kelly Blake, gets shipped to a bad assignment doing on base maintenance work, but is rescued due to a chance encounter with a ship Captain. Blake is given the opportunity to become an Executive Officer of a new class of spaceship, takes it and never looks back.

Scout Force is about a young man's journey on Vigilant, and his daily trials and tribulations, while protecting humanity from the catlike K'Rang Empire. The action is fast paced, with lots of ship to ship action. The book also delivers a good plot, as human treachery is revealed, and Blake does his part in protecting the human frontier.

My only concern with Scout Force is a lack of development of the K'Rang Empire. The humans have spies in the empire, but not much information is provided to the reader regarding their hierarchy, culture, etc.

Nonetheless, Scout Force is an enjoyable read, and a solid debut.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By That Guy on October 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Plot's solid, editing could be a little better but it's not a major issue, the premise is interesting. But I can't bring myself to actually enjoy the book. I'm about 60% through, and it's felt like a slog the whole time. If there's any major problem with Scout Force, I'd say that the writing seems forced. Lines tend to be repeated and sentence structures are too similar for my taste.

I'm not saying that people shouldn't buy the book, it's just that I don't particularly enjoy it. So if you're interested, I recommend previewing it first to make sure it's your style.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J.Z. Watkins on March 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I found it started out slowly, once I realized this was a 'slice of life' kind of story, where the character was the center not a particular plot, I found I could relax and let the author get me acqainted with Kelly Blake. I found as the story unfolded he was someone I wanted to follow his adventures, who he met, even the improbable result of three girlfriends who liked each other. It made sense for the kind of flow this story had. When it came about to action and fighting, I felt the writing didn't get bogged down with too many details. Not every bullet was described from which kind of gun. However, the tech was not glossed over either, and I rather liked how new technology was also introdcued. This isn't a static setting, it grows with many possibilities that carried me to book three and I found I am looking forward to a hoped for book three.

Going back to the action, it was heroic, feel good kind that wasn't quite the old cowboys don't run out of bullets feel, and yet had that (showing my age) John Wayne kind of feel when the hero comes in to kick tail because it needed kicking, and not necessarily out of a personal grudge. This was also a team effort with Kelly leading the way with his ship and crew. The action walked the fine line of one-man show with a team effort well. It let Kelly star, without his contribution being so overwhelming one felt the rest of the crew were just spear carries.

I did not find this a page turner, I found it good to fill in times I wanted to kick back and escape to someone else's life. Not one filled with angst, or gritty anti-heroism that seems the rage of books these days. Kelly isn't this subble jawed rogue or maverick who doesn't fit in.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ted s on August 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It has been quite a few years since I last read a work of science fiction, not because I dislike the genre, but I just sort of wandered away from it for no particular reason. So when Rodney Smith, ably supported editorially by his wife, Regan, produced Scout Force, I decided to give it a spin. I'm glad I did. It was a fun, fast paced read.

The author, with a successful career as an Army civilian behind him, proved to be very much at ease and conversant with military culture, terminology, and manners of expression. That was a big help. The novel depends heavily on the military dimension, and a weak background here would be hard to conceal. Regan, with a similar professional background, provided capable and expert editorial support, I am sure.

This is a first novel, and I would not hesitate to tell the author that he should be encouraged by these initial results. I look forward to his second effort.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. on October 14, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Rodney's first book. I don't normally read fiction as I prefer history especially military history. Thus I found this to be a fun diversion from my regular non-fiction fare. It reminded me of a Tom Clancy novel set in space with a touch of the food channel thrown in. Rodney spends a good deal of time developing the universe that his characters live in. He especially likes to describe the food.
His depiction of the military ethos is quite egalitarian and idealistic. There were a couple bad apples (Bugarov and Casimirski Sp?) but otherwise everyone is dedicated, capable and horny.

I didn't think too hard about the science in the book and how it relates to real physics, but just went with it. So I won't comment on whether they should be warping in and out or taking two years to traverse space. The battle scenes are quite clever and well thought out. If anything they are a little too clean and one sided. I would have preferred a bit more chaos and friendly casualties, at least to heighten the tension.

The humans clash with a fanatic feline alien race called the K'Rang. They appeared a bit too one dimensional and it might be interesting to see these characters developed further and deeper.

The protagonist's love life is a teenage male fantasy and seems a bit farfetched, especially in regard to how women react to him, and how his multiple lovers react to each other. I'd tone that down in future books. The coed nature of the crews and their attitude toward sex among the crew reminded me of the new TV Show Battlestar Gallatica, but not quite the extreme depicted in Haldeman's Forever War.

All in all a fun romp in space.
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