- File Size: 733 KB
- Print Length: 358 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: July 7, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07FBZLH2T
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,897 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Pride of the Damned (Cochrane's Company Book 3) Kindle Edition
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The action and suspense keep building in multiple star systems, as Cochrane and his growing band of loyal mercenaries face conflicts in the New Orkney Cluster, Constanta, and other locations. The Albanian Brotherhood has increased their level of covert action, assassination, and piracy to obsessive levels: Cochrane must be destroyed before he finds and destroys their secret base. The galaxy's three great criminal enterprises, upset and alarmed by the Albanians, make their own plans in association with Cochrane. Meanwhile, several planetary customers and the United Worlds organization are beginning to assemble an uncomfortable dossier on his company, which is becoming better armed, equipped, and trained than the fleets of all but a handful of first class worlds. An intelligence breakthrough by his espionage net provides a sudden insight for how Cochrane and his followers may escape from a closing net of suspicion. As conflict with the Brotherhood reaches its climax, Cochrane also finds a way to salvage his finances, additional ships - and the souls of his company, along with the lives of some worthy opponents.
The book benefits from being written in the same timeframe as the previous two books in the series. The action picks up directly from "An Airless Storm," with some new characters and situations introduced. Previous threads get woven together well, and come to a very satisfying conclusion and new start. Character development gets deeper, and the intrigue and espionage elements read like a combination of Ludlum, Clancy, and Van Vogt. The third volume is worth reading as a stand-alone, for the techno-thriller and spy aspects.
I was very happy with the action and the denouement; the ending was telegraphed a bit for me, but I also read a great deal of history, and was not greatly surprised by the reveals in the book. I was racing through the final chapters, wondering how the ending could be carried off, and if Rear Admiral Cochrane would retain his soul in the process. This was time and money well spent, for hours of enjoyable reading.
That being said: this book does a good job of that. And sets the stage for possible future books, or cameos in future books in the other series (the Maxwell and Laredo sequences) set in this universe. But the major drivers in the first arc are resolved here. With giving away details, the ongoing mob war has been brought to a conclusion. Personal relationships are clarified. Cochrane and his people have the independence they've been striving for, though probably in different form than they had envisioned it. And though all the major threads have been brought together, there are an enormous number of ways to move things forward.
I've enjoyed and recommended Peter Grant's writing since I picked up his first "Maxwell" book. He was good enough, then, that in tone and plotline it reminded me strongly of a Heinlein juvenile. The Cochrane's Company series shows what he can do with a few more years of practice and a more mature intended audience. Highly recommended.
The universe Grant has built is not only interesting, but is exactly the one that would enable the rise of such an organization as Cochrane's Company: weak governments, powerful corporations, widespread criminal enterprises that operate across state boundaries. The level of detail of this political/economic situation enhances the story. The technology is well thought out and self-consistent. The warships are depicted in a modern sense: eggshells armed with hammers. There is no magic armor or shields to stop nuclear weapons and no "ravening beams of annihilation leap from the refractory throats of the madly straining primary projectors of the hurtling super-dreadnoughts of the void." (anybody recall where that came from?) The battle goes to the fastest, most decisive, and best-coordinated side.
There might be some accusations of "Mary Sue" in the uniformly excellent performance of Cochrane's Company, but that is easily countered by the repeated allusions to the very extensive recruiting process that deliberately selects for competence over volume. They are actually hampered by the lack of sufficient capable personnel. In addition, the opposition does not lack for capable, dedicated, and valiant members, so the conflict is not a foregone conclusion. No, this may be a story about extremely competent people, but what would you expect to encounter in Space, illiterate drones?
Successful mercenaries grow into warlords and then into governments, so I wonder where this series will end up.
I expect to enjoy the ride.
Peter into writing more about Cochrane. Peter Grant's books are always well written and worth more than the money
paid. A very gifted author indeed!
This is Military Scifi by a man with a military background and the detail in his books reveal that. By the way, if you
have not read his two westerns you're missing a treat. First one was Brings the Lightning. Have fun.