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Cobra Alliance: Cobra War: Book One by Timothy Zahn
Cover Artist: David Mattingly
Review by Steve Sawicki
Baen Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781439133064
Date: 01 December 2009 List Price $24.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Wikipedia Entry / Show Official Info /

It has been many years since the Cobras brought victory to Earth in its war with the Troft. The Cobras, a guerilla force with surgically implanted weapons,have lived in harmony since that time. But attitudes are changing and so are economies and the prevailing feeling is that the Cobras are now too expensive to maintain. Jasmine Broom, descendant of the famous Cobra family is concerned that this attitude may mean the end of the Cobras all together.

Then, suddenly, a Troft messenger appears, with a message to Jin (Jasmine) that it is urgent that she return to the planet Qasama. The problem is that when Jin was on the planet Qasama things did not turn out so well and the Cobras have been banned from returning there. But, to Jin, the message is too dire to ignore. So, she, and her son, book passage on a Troft ship and head off to Qasama. The question is, though, is she heading off to rescue mankind once more or just walking into a trap. It will take all of her wits and skills, enhanced or not, to get out of this one.

If you like the Cobra series then this book is just what you are looking for. It is book one in the Cobra War so there's plenty to come after this one. As with past books it is a mix of combat, military philosophy, and family values where sometimes the lines between get pretty blurred. There's plenty of intrigue, plenty of adventure, and enough killing for all.

This book is a fairly fast read as Zahn keeps things moving right along. It's one conflict to the next, either interpersonal or combat. The story itself is a bit thin but if you can get past the driving premise (that somehow the Cobras would intentionally put themselves in a bad situation without doing any due diligence) then you will be fine.

There's plenty of action, plenty of angst, and plenty of room for expansion, which is what fans of Cobra will love. As I stated above, if you are a fan then this book is for you. If you have not yet gotten into the Cobra universe then you might want to consider the Cobra Trilogy (also by Baen) as a better place to start. Either way you'll be in for an entertaining few hours.

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