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Indomitable: The Chronicles of Promise Paen, Book 2 Hardcover – July 26, 2016
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Praise for The Chronicles of Promise Paen
“Bauers’ debut is an impressive achievement, set in an enormous, complex universe that combines large-scale action with the emotional journey of one truly unique heroine.” ―RT Book Reviews
“This is a solid, well-crafted military SF.” ―Booklist
“Military science fiction with a kick-butt female lead …” ―Kirkus Reviews
“The action scenes are plentiful; however, while Bauer sketches in the outline of the politics shaping Montana's history, a strong picture of why the various forces are fighting for control of the planet is never really conveyed.”
“On the whole, though, a very, um, promising debut novel.” ―Booklist
“Bauer’s debut needs to grow into its powered boots.” ―Publishers Weekly
"Action-packed, character-rich and mil spec'd to the max. Empires may rise but this backwater rules!" ―Dani Kollin, co-author of The Unincorporated Man
"It's almost a cliche to compare military SF novels to Starship Troopers, but this is the real deal. Bauers has created a gritty, complex story Heinlein would have been proud of. " ―James Cambias, author of A Darkling Sea
“Bauer puts together characters who take up residence in your heart, the cold-blooded politics of the "Great Game," the power of devotion and loyalty, and the human cost carnage extracts from even the most courageous. I highly recommend it.”
―David Weber, New York Times bestselling author of the Honor Harrington series
“Lieutenant Promise Paen really doesn’t need the voice of her dead mother nagging her as she stands at the threshold of interstellar war. Or, does she? Unbreakable is a little bit Starship Troopers and a little bit Esmay Suiza, with a dash of Firefly for flavor. W.C. Bauers gives us everything we want in our military science fiction, but never allows the hardware and action to overshadow Paen and everyone else caught in the crossfire.”
―Dayton Ward, New York Times bestselling author of The Last World War
About the Author
W. C. BAUERS has worked on the sales side of publishing for more than thirteen years. Unbreakable is his first novel. His interests include Taekwondo, reading and writing military science fiction, toting gear for his Alpha Unit, and French press brewing. He lives in the Rocky Mountains with his wife and three boys.
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Yes, the action is full of explosions, cool tech toys of destruction and tense moments of danger; yet, it is the character development that will grab you and keep you thinking about Promise when you put the book down to go to sleep. The balance of action and the inner demon struggle are about equal. One of the elements that didn't work for me was her dead mother's dialogue, to be honest I skimmed most of it. In the long run, some of the "mother- daughter dialogue" worked to create a by play regarding Promise's inner demons, but it seemed over the top for me.
There is a built in story element about human trafficking of women and torture, so if that is a touchy thing for you be warned.
Another issue I had was the loadouts some of these marines were hauling. Two carbines, a triple barreled cannon, at least two pistols meant for use in a mechsuit, in addition to the various other munitions already on the suit? That's gotta be bulky as hell, and a downright pain to get moving quickly. Did I mention this is on the marine who is supposed to take a beam to protect the lieutenant? It'd be a miracle if the beam didn't touch off one or more explosions and still kill Promise in the process. Kind of defeats the point of having a guardian if your guardian is packing enough ordnance to level the surrounding area.
The lieutenant herself doesn't seem to grow much. She's still exhibiting insubordination in the extreme and doesn't seem to figure out when to keep her mouth shut. That is, unless someone is trying to compliment her, in which case she's tongue tied through the whole exchange. On another character, it might have worked. Or if the rebellious nature was an after effect of Montana. But whereas on Montana she was a competent commander and a gifted tactician, in this book it shows up once (in my opinion, hands down, one of the best arcs of the book. If the book were to be judged on that arc alone, this would be a sensational hit.)
On the tech side, so much is mentioned and yet, so little explanation given. How did the Grey's get their attack to go off so well? How does regen actually work? Why is there such a stigma seemingly attached to it?
By the time I reached the end, I was seriously underwhelmed and lacking any surprise at the way things turned out.
The author did a great job, though, in driving home just how unfair war is and how the random nature can rob even the best marine of life far too fast. The action, when it comes, is amazingly detailed. The sequence of events, the gritty nature of the wounds suffered by the various members of Victor Company, the horrific aftermath, all described in a very believable way. The emotional fallout of the survivors is deeply felt and is of quite a different flavor compared to Sephora's suffering.
In addition, seeing the capital world of Hold and how Republican society functioned, at least in part, was a welcome addition to the lore of this universe. It had a very Firefly flavor to it, as though this is the 'verse that might have been had the Browncoats won their war of independence. (In fact, having said that, this series makes a whole lot more sense as a Firefly spinoff! But I digress.)
I honestly hope this was just a mere stumble while the series finds its footing and still look forward to seeing where Lieutenant Paen and her marines end up next.