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The Mortalis: Beyond the Stars Kindle Edition
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So, why do I bring this up? Well, LTC Stefanova is in command of a Black Knights Battalion which is heading for the stars. She and her battalion will provide security for the new colonist once they reach their new world. They get there after a very long trip and she sets about doing what she has to do to get the new colony secured. Then she’s invited to a meeting between the colony President, the Mayor, the local Chief of Police, her Executive Officer (a Major), and the colony Preacher. They have decided that some of the things she was doing, should have been discussed by the colony leadership before they were done. So, they have decided, behind her back, that they like the Major better and have arranged with the Headquarters back home to have her relieved. Additionally, the Major is promoted to LTC and they make him the Battalion Commander. Now, I don’t know what kind of military this is, but this kind of stuff isn’t done unless you have really, really, really just cause to do so. They didn’t and don’t, but HQ bought in to what they told them and now she has new orders. She’s to remain where she is, but is now demoted to Captain, with the new LTC (her former Executive Officer) now her boss!
And what does she do? She just acts like its not a big deal and that she has other more important things to do! How stupid! It wouldn’t happen this way, never, ever in a million years. Here you are on a new planet in a different star system, you’re just about the most senior ranking military present, the base commander, the battalion commander and you let a bunch of pompous civilians get you demoted while your smirking Executive Office gets promoted in your place. Realistically, you would have told them to stuff their demotion and talked directly to HQ to find out what’s going on, hopefully with someone who had your back in the HQ. Secondly, you would have told them to get you transferred out of there as fas as possible to another command, another unit or back to HQ staff until you decide to retire. And your third option, would have been to just shoot everyone in the meeting, tell the colony to elect a new President, and Mayor and to get over this little difference of opinion. You’d also have to find a worthwhile new Executive Officer since you shot him too! I think the latter solution is probably the best under these circumstances.
The rest of the book is about what Marion, as she’s now called, does after she’s been demoted and told to go do whatever. She just accepts the new order of things and goes off and does her duty, which is pretty boring if you ask me. A love story evolves between her and a President of another colony found on one of the moons of the new planet. Her colony gets attacked by some other aliens, but they manage to run them off. The whole book is written kind of strange in that Marion does this, and then Marion does that. None of the other characters are described or give much background. They keep talking about her “commission” being taken away, which is another reason I don’t think the author has ever been in the military. A commissioned officer doesn’t loose their commission just because they were demoted. These kind of things in the book really irritated me. If you’re going to write a military science fiction book, either do it with some resemblance to our existing military structure or take the time to explain how and why your new “alien” military structure exists and operates.
Oh, and the thing about “The Mortalis”. It’s barely explained in the book and doesn’t have a real significance to anything. Marion is just over 300 years old, but there are a couple of Privates in the battalion (and probably others) who are over 100 years old and nothing really is made of it. They all appear to be in their 20’s or 30’s. It’s mentioned that they get this longevity by eating some kind of plant, but nothing much more is ever explained. And a long life doesn’t seem very germane to this story, either so I’m not sure why it even comes up.
There appears to be another book in this series already on Amazon, but I for one will not read it immediately. I just find this main character a little too spineless for my taste.
The words "squad" or "patrol" would better serve rather than military "entourage". There are inconsistencies in the story line as well as timeline.
There's very little protocol established both on the ship and in landing parties and they just seem to "wing it". Even Star Trek has the Prime Directive. I would love to see the author rework this idea.
Not only do we have "The Mortalis" who, with the aid of some healing and life extending plant, may live forever. They can be killed by serious wounds if the individual doesn't receive the healing plant's extracts quickly enough. There are also unique "beings" called "The Ascended" who we suspect have crossed over to the next stage. They seem to select the locations (other Star System Planets) and prepare them for colonization that includes "Tera Forming", habitat and administrative buildings as well as Militarily installations.
While this book has all the elements you need to deserve a five star rating, it lacks intensity. There is the obligatory Alien Attack but no one seems terribly concerned. Usually after the typical battle with Aliens that is incredibly violent I'm shocked that the defenders didn't suffer much greater losses. In this book, I was surprised that what seemed to be such a mild skirmish resulted in so many casualties and losses. There is some unfair (politically motivated) treatment and a military demotion but, it's taken too much in-stride with no compassion and outrage. I feel with a little more "Blood and Guts", yelling and screaming, and emotional outbursts this could easily be a five star book.
Review by THE HOLEY ONE
Most recent customer reviews
The Mortalis sounded interesting based on the description of the plot. Unfortunately, it failed to deliver.Read more
I agree fully with the other reviewers who feel this book lacks credibility as either military or...Read more
The author is clearly intelligent and well educated, however hard sciences are obviously not his field.Read more