Gehenna Dawn: Portal Wars I Kindle Edition
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- Length: 284 pages
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In the last analysis it is a thoughtful piece despite the frequent and extremely well written battle scenes. The "fog of war" is usually no more evident in the writing about combat as it is in the execution. Allan gives you a taste of that, enough that one might imagine how soldiers can bond so closely. The setup for Taylor's enlightenment is a bit brief and cataclysmic to be ingested easily but it is foreshadowed enough to be a relief, of sorts, when it comes.
The reactions of others to Taylor are authentic and believable.
My only criticism is the internal-external dialogues seem disruptive. Taylor's diary excerpts are critical to understanding him but still a bit clashing to the narrative. Minor point that, however. This prompted me to buy and read the next two books and read them within the week.
They make Jake into a cyborg super soldier. Jake finally rebels against earth's corrupt leadership. (Finally the story begins to get some interest)
Jake finds out the whole reason for the war was based on a lie and faked video just to keep the ruling people in power.
Unlike War and Peace, this was readable, enjoyable, and also does a good job of hooking you on the new series.
My main issue is it could use a better copy editing job. There are frequent typos/wrong spellcheck corrections/subject-verb issues, especially in the second half. These are usually evidence of a machine edit, but the book would have benefited from another set of human eyes.
The action is fierce but not always clear as to who Jake Taylor is really fighting. You would think that he would know who his enemy was inside and out after almost 10 years of constant fighting. They certainly have killed enough of these Machines they talk about as the enemy but apparently they haven't captured any alive, ever! That's kind of puzzling? Still, if you like an intense military sci-fi story, this is for you. I liked it because it has enough differences from most stories because of the actions at the end.
But, before I go, I have a serious concern about a soldier that has constantly been at war for fourteen years - that's 14 years, not days, or months, but 14 years! I'm not sure he or anyone else could be a fully stable and functional human after so long. How could you?
But I had to put it down and walk away for a week when the countdown to a battle launch went "One! Two! One!"
That said, this is a tale which, while a bit depressing at the outset, does pick up steam and end on a rousing note.
This book does a good job of describing the battles and the reactions (although a bit sterilized) of the combatants along with us following the protagonist and his band of brothers (and sister) as they unravel certain mysteries. As we roll along, we see the growth of the main character from innocent plebe to leader of men, get a bit of an introduction to some potentially fascinating aliens and get to cheer the good guys on as they take on the evil at the core of Earth World Government.
I'm intrigued enough and want the good guys to win enough that I am along for the multi-volume ride. If military s.f. and skepticism of a world government are your biases, you too will no doubt enjoy this book. Recommended.
I recommend that you give Gehanna Dawn a chance, at least by checking out the sample, but believe that the sequel will make or break the series.
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