One Good Soldier
by Travis S. Taylor
Cover Artist: Kurt Miller
Review by Steve Sawicki
Baen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781439133163
Date: 01 December 2009 List Price $23.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The events that transpired in The Tau Ceti Agenda lie six years in the past. Now, another colony is seeking succession and marine major Alexander Moore, now President, needs to take swift action if he hopes to prevent a second civil war. As Ross 128 secedes from the union, Alexander sends the flagship of the U.S. naval fleet to the seceding colony. But the separatists have their own flagship waiting along with their navy and it's anyone's guess how the battle will play out. One thing is certain however, it will be the work of one good soldier after another that produces victory. And, as the battle rages across the universe the final confrontation will come down to the place where it all began--the oval office.
The events in One Good Soldier take place in a single day. And, true to the title, Taylor identifies a number of individuals who play the roles of one good soldier. Writing a novel that takes place over a 24 hour time period is much more difficult that you would imagine as there has to be enough action to keep things moving but not so much that it seems implausible. Additionally, your characters have to be in the right places for the events to unfold around them and this also has to appear to occur in a natural fashion. And, finally, the events themselves all have to be turning points in the action, either for or against the movement of the plot. Like I said, not easy to do. But Taylor pulls it off with great style.
Give Travis Taylor one thing--he knows how to tell an interesting and fast paced story. And he's not quite too far around the bend where all his characters know best against overwhelming authority. There are a few things you have to go into with some suspension of belief but that's okay since they are not major issues and the story is very dependent on them.
Overall a very fun and entertaining read. Definitely in keeping with the previous books in the series. I'd definitely highly recommend it for anyone looking for a good dose of military SF.