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Starstrike by W. Michael Gear
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Starstrike (original 1990; edition 1990)

by W. Michael Gear

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This book is an interesting read. The premise of aliens contacting world leaders first to black mail them is quite believable. The book then depicts the usual deplorable human behavior that we have come to expect and loathe, but we know it is pretty much true. The aliens want a multi-national force of commandos, spys, and tankers to do their dirty work. The aliens are too "civilized" to get their hands dirty, so they want the "uncivilized" brutes of Earth to do it for them. If the strike team doesn't comply, something bad will happen to the planet. How do you turn the situation around against aliens whose technology seems like magic, who can blow up a star, and all you have is your strike battalion made up of several hundred humans and their imagination, ingenuity and instinct and of course their penchant for violence? The aliens don't stand a chance. :) . Some of the characters were stereotypical and could have been fleshed out better. Captain Daniels spoke too much slang and came across as a drill instructor instead of an officer. The Russians were too russian. What was surprising was that the President and the Russian Premier did not manage to get any proof of alien contact or influence. Seriously, with all of the resources at the President's disposal, he could not manage to get any photos, video or audio recordings? The novel does have the usual prerequites: violence, sex, aliens, big guns, and moral dilemma. A good book that could have been better.
  DbmasterRWB | Jan 13, 2011 |
contrived, stereotypical, weakly researched: On the bright side, Gear develops some fairly interesting characters in spite of the failings, and keeps a high suspense level. He did make a real effort to create aliens who thought in an alien way.However, his humans are hopelessly stereotypical. Just as every Chinese person a Caucasian meets does not say 'ancient Chinese secret' every time s/he comes up with a bit of wisdom, neither do Israelis make constant Holocaust/Lebanon references, nor did Russians (late Cold War) make constant statements about political matters, and nor do black Americans always make reference to the mean streets of Detroit (or wherever). If the characters had been allowed to be themselves, rather than their nationalities, they'd have been more interesting. While on the topic of nationality, Gear had best do some more research on language. 'Yeled' means 'child' in Hebrew, and is not a likely name for a male. One Russian character's last name is done wrong for her gender. On top of all this, it is too obvious that he got a lot of his information on the Soviet Army from Victor Suvorov's (real name Vladimir Rezun, a Soviet defector) books. You'd think he would have at least camouflaged the references, but authors who take the easy way always get caught, and Gear is busted with the goods here. If one can get past all of the above, it's not a bad book.
  euang | Sep 1, 2008 |
Incredibly powerful and incredibly naive aliens basically go to earth (during the American/Soviet cold war) to get a strike force for their own nefarious purpose. Why do they need humans? Well it appears that humans are the only aggressive species in the universe.

While a considerable amount of "suspension of disbelief" is required for science fiction, "StarStrike" requires you to completely flip off any disbelief you may have. Effectively immortal aliens apparently haven't learned anything over the past few million years and uses about the same logic as my 5 year old, while the humans are nearly prophetic in their abilities.

The humans that are sent off include Russian, American, and Israeli armed forces. I tend to believe this composition exists more for the benefit of the author to provide some conflict amongst the humans, rather then any nefarious purpose of the aliens.

This book is a light read, don't expect any insights regarding aliens, technology, universe, etc.

Final Rating: There are better books out there. If you've read them, then pick this one up. ( )
  Rmstar | Oct 21, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0886774276, Mass Market Paperback)

Humanity?s first contact with alien life is no less than a nightmare, as the Ahimsa take control of Earth and force humanity to do their bidding. Soon Earth?s most skilled strike force, composed of Russian, American, and Israeli experts in the art of war and espionage, find themselves aboard the Ahimsa vessel, training for an offensive attack against a distant space station. And as they struggle to overcome their own prejudices while preparing to face an enemy of unknown capabilities, none of them realize that the greatest danger to humanity?s future is right in their midst....

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:06 -0400)

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