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School of Fire

4.0 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
Book 2 of 14 in the Starfist Series

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Product Details

  • Unbound
  • Publisher: Delrey (September 2000)
  • ISBN-10: 0345436466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345436467
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas M. Rux on March 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"School of Fire" (ISBN 0-345-40623-0) by David Sherman and Dan Cragg is the second book in the series chronicling the history of the 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST) L Company Third Platoon of the Confederation Marine Corps. The authors, in my view, have again brought the reader into the realm of the infantryman. Returning to Thorsfinni World the 34th FIST has begun replacing the men and equipment lost on Elneal. Staff Sergeant Charlie Bass' exploits during the mission has added to his legendary status in the Marine Corps, Ensign Vanden Hoyt, Third Platoon's new officer, Private First Classes Joe Dean and Rackman Claypoole have proven themselves in combat and learned how to overcome the fears of the battlefield. A new mission deploys the 34th FIST, before the unit has replaced all the Marines lost on Elneal, to the Confederation world of Wanderjahr. Wanderjahr's nine-member government has attempted to stop a rebellion that threatens the political and economic stability of the world by forming a paramilitary police force, called the Feldpolizei, to deal with the rebels. The Feldpolizei fail to stop the rebels because the force is not properly trained in modern military tactics. The 34th FIST's assignment is to train the Feldpolizei to counter the rebel threat. Private First Classes Joe Dean and Rackman Claypoole of L Company Third platoon are assigned to Headquarters' F-2 Intelligence section as analysts, while Staff Sergeant Bass and the rest of platoon train the Field Police of Wanderjahr. However the Marines soon find that there is hidden power struggle going on behind the scenes that makes their job harder. Another good story by the team of David Sherman and Dan Cragg.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is some of the best military science-fiction I have ever read, from guys who know their stuff, because they have been there. If you compare their stuff with Heinlein (one of my favorite authors), you will notice a better quality of realism as far as military matters are concerned, especially from the point of view of the ground-pounder. This is because Heinlein never served in combat (through no fault of his own).

Some speakers of German might not like the use of German words in this book. I had a problem with it, as I do speak and read German. I couldn't help laughing at some of the names, and they can detract from the enjoyment to a certain extent, for a German speaker. The country of Arschland, for example, translates somewhat vulgarly since "Arsch" is, not to put too fine a point on it, the part of the anatomy that one sits on. I ended up busting up in laughter at Ambassador Misthaufen (manure pile). Other names, such as for vegetation, "grospalm" (big palm) and "hochbaum" (tall tree) are not genuine words in German, but on a planet with really big palm trees and very tall trees maybe the words might get invented: German is, after all, an agglutinative language. Here is a legitimate German word:

"Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitaen". Means "Danube Steamship Company Captain."

Dave Sherman told me that they were deliberately playing with German words when they made up some of the character and place names, it was no mistake. I would have preferred it if they had confined their cleverness to the plot and action, but I didn't REALLY mind all that much.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. The plot was rather interesting. The only real problem I had with this book was a tiny bit of editing that seemed wrong where some words weren't capitalized when they should have been and a few missing spaces between words. I won't bore you with a plot summary as I know other reviewers are fond of doing that. I will say I'm glad that this book has chapter demarcations as the first one did not. There was one scene I found distasteful with some animals fighting. Also, the ending was really unfair in my opinion unless it is resolved later in the series. I hope it is because it just seems supremely unfair what happens to a couple of the characters. If you liked the first book in this series, I say give this one a shot. Have at it! I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In my opinion this book is not really an all out space marine story but rather a cross between a space marine and a criminal investigation story with some planetary politics mixed into it. It manages to balance the three quite well though and, as you see from my rating, I quite liked it.

I never really found the book dull even though it alternates between training the rather useless excuse for planetary forces, detective work and some real marine action. In general it’s a well written book.

Having said that, some of the German names used in the book are indeed a bit silly. I do not know if it’s intentional or not but Arschmann and Arschland wouldn’t have been the first names that came into my mind. Sounds a bit like Mr. A..hole living in Buttland or something.

However, this minor complaint is certainly not enough to detract from the enjoyment of reading this book.
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