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Hard Duty by Mark E. Cooper
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I freely chose to review this ARC and I was quickly drawn into the lives of the people, from Eric a cyber soldier fighting the terrible Merkiaai, an alien race determined to kill every other race to a captain on an exploratory ship thrust in a war with the Merk race while making first contact with the Shan a furry peaceful people, to a female Shan scientist who's eye sight needs a device like glasses or Gorgi's visor in Star Trek who is forced into protecting a rag tag bunch of Shan that have no skills to protect themselves! With the flip flop action of four battles, readers will be on the edge of their seats craving more! Of course this is only the first book and I can't imagine how Mr. Cooper will TOP it! ( )
  Linda.Bass | Apr 25, 2017 |
Hard Duty
Merkiaari Wars I
Author: Mark E Cooper
Publisher: Impulse Books UK
Date: 2004
Pgs: 383

16.2 billion humans died the last time Earth had a first contact with an alien species. Decades of war and sacrifice. 200 years later, Humanity is just reaching out of its cradle again...carefully exploring the greater dark beyond their few bright worlds. They find a contact among the stars. Is it the Merkiaari again? Do they await their chance to fall upon the humans again? Or is it someone else? Someone new? Someone equally as belligerent.

End of the World
Science fiction
Space opera

Why this book:
Space invaders. Fleet actions. Battles. Militaria. I’m in.

Favorite Character:
Shima. She is every woman. She is doing her duty. She is much, much more than she seems or even realizes that she is.

The Feel:
This was big space opera, starship battles, and the hunt, rebel actions against an invasion of hearth and home.

Favorite Scene:
The vipers jacked up and pushed to their fastest speeds leaping through the ruins of San Luis chasing the Merk troops.

When the Shan scientist catches the Earth remote by pouncing on it as it tried to escape.

Very well paced.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
The unnecessary return to the Invincible in the last page denouement.

The whole Thurston filler.

Hmm Moments:
I really liked the rise of Tei’Shima even though she hasn’t been officially given that title at book’s end.

Last Page Sound:
The book went from 5 star awesome to that’s alright in the end. A 383 page investment on the part of the reader deserves an ending. Even if it is left open for a sequel, the reader deserves an ending. Either that or you should write a 600 page novel and then leave it open to a sequel...but give us an ending. We deserve it.

Author Assessment:
I really liked the story, excepting the problems mentioned under Editorial below.

Editorial Assessment:
This should have been edited, plotwise, better. The cliffhanger on Thurston doesn’t have jack to do with the rest of the story. It was filler. It was good filler. But it was filler for another book. Invincible dropping back into regular space at the end...meh. Invincible was off the reservation for a lot of the best parts of this story. I wanted the vipers dropping into Shan space and taking on the Merkiaari. Giving us those two offsides bit instead of a better ending may keep me from reading book two, despite my really liking the Canada and Shima stories.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
glad I read it

Disposition of Book:

Would recommend to:
genre fans
__________________________________________________​ ( )
  texascheeseman | Jul 25, 2015 |
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