- File Size: 5276 KB
- Print Length: 389 pages
- Publisher: Impulse Books UK (September 1, 2012)
- Publication Date: September 1, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008WNRVRM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#456,230 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #1759 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Alien Invasion
- #1918 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Exploration
- #2072 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Galactic Empire
|Print List Price:||$12.49|
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Hard Duty: Merkiaari Wars Book 1 Kindle Edition
|Length: 389 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Since this is a long series, I'm sure the stories will converge later on, but a book needs to be able to stand on its own. This is a big problem throughout the book, as even individually, the stories don't really pay off and we are left with cliffhangers everywhere. This is hugely important, and when it came to deciding whether or not to buy the rest of the series, this was the deal breaker. I can't justify supporting an author that will publish unfinished works, because this is what this felt like, a two stories without their climax.
Reading this was definitely a hard duty, but I pulled through. Despite these massive flaws, the book does have its positives. There are plenty of likeable characters, which show decent development. The themes of space exploration and first contact are handled well, and there's a lot to enjoy with this book; but sadly, the pros aren't enough to outweigh the cons. Overall, I wouldn't recommend it, as reading this was an exercise in frustration.
Still, the author does have potential, and it might be worthwhile keeping tabs on what he does in the future.
I didn't love it that much but there were parts I enjoyed. The Shan are an interesting race of aliens, more interesting than the humans in the story in fact. And there's a bit of a cat and mouse game before first contact that was fun. The humans, unfortunately, are not as well developed and tend to do stupid things.
This book covers first contact between humans and Shan with war with another race -- the Big Baddies -- looming in the background. If you enjoy series and military fiction, you'll probably enjoy it.
Cooper has even given us a historical back drop, detailing what happened to the humans with another species, the Merkiaari, and a devastating war over 200yrs ago. The war nearly decimated the Human race but they managed to hold their own, and eventually turned the tide. Part of this is owed to a special Elite unit called the Vipers, specially developed Cyborgs. The best soldiers with a unique set of personality traits were chosen to be ‘modified’.
It is 200yrs later that Humanity is only just starting to come back out into space fully, having spent that time repairing all of their colonies (those that could be fixed), fortifying their planets and space, and re-arming just in case.
Now, 200yrs on, they have come across another alien race, only the 2nd species they have encountered, and this time, they are worried about the consequences. Will it lead to another war like last time? Do they just come out fighting to avoid this? Or do they offer the hand of friendship first like last time and hope for a better result? (The first time was death for the emissaries that were sent to greet the Merkiarri).
So, without giving away spoilers for the story, this book gives us an insight into the Vipers through the eyes of Erik Penleigh, a veteran Viper on a mission to quell a rebellion. Cooper uses this opportunity to also give us a bit of background on the rest of the Human Universe, the state of affairs, the last 200yrs etc, bring us up to speed. It is a very clever bit of writing. He then jumps to Captain Jeff Colgin, who is currently Captaining a survey vessel that has discovered the Shan. Again, without giving it all away, this is where the story really captured me, and I knew that I was hooked, as Colgin and his crew studied this evolved, highly intelligent Feline species, the Shan. The Author gives us several main characters amongst both the Human and the Shan to get attached to and involved with, and they are exceptionally well written, in-depth, believable, some you want to meet, some you dislike, some you know you would just love. The Shan are an incredible species – Cooper does a remarkable job of defining them – again, I don’t want to spoil it.
On the other side of this are the Merki – the Boogie Man, the thing that goes bump in the night, mainly because it's reaching over and ripping your arm off so it can eat it before killing you. These Aliens are a force of nature, killing everything in their path, laying waste to worlds and threatening the extermination of all. Again, Cooper does a wonderful job of eliciting fear in everybody (except the Vipers, who are too busy causing fear to feel it) from past history.
This is a brilliant story, and is going to be an absolutely outstanding series. The only problem I see is that there is an end to each book, and you have to wait for the next one!