by Michael Z. Williamson
Cover Artist: Kurt Miller
Review by Steve Sawicki
Baen Mass Market ISBN/ITEM#: 9781416521181
Date: 27 March 2007 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
This is the story of Kenneth Chinran, from his rebellious adolescence to his entry to the military to his selection as a special forces candidate to his final selection to be a deep undercover operative. Finally it revolves around the time he must come up from cover and put all of his training to good use. The fact that Kenneth is an off worlder and the planet he is going deep cover on is Earth only adds to the turmoil inherent in the book.
Like many of the protagonists in Baen military books, Kenneth Chinran is a superior being who has no problem thinking he's superior and thinking that everyone else is inferior, regardless of who or what they are. Of course, since this is a written work this thinking is proven out and we get to follow these supermen as they wreak havoc on whatever environment they are placed in. In this case it's the Earth that is targeted and the protagonist and his undercover friends have no problem essentially bringing the planet to its knees. Perhaps this is fable as cautionary tale, perhaps it is just the writer pointing out that their way is better than the current way or maybe it's just a bunch of old grudges being worked out. Hard to say and not all that relevant since the primary question should be, is this entertaining?
The book is enjoyable although there are a few sections of exposition that slow it down. Certainly those who love Baen military fiction will love this book. If you are looking for a story with more action than plotting then this is a great read. It's full of action, murder and mayhem and a trail of dead bodies from the beginning to the end. For a large book it's fairly fast paced and pretty well written.