Into the Maelstrom
David Drake and John Lambshead
Baen, Mar 3 2015, $25.00
Having served in combat and still containing the bitter taste of war stuck in his throat, Allen Allenson prays for peace. However, being a realist, Allenson knows the hostilities between the Mother World and the distant colonies will soon turn violent. When the inevitable occurs, he knows which side he will fight for though he expects his colonial forces to lose to the overwhelming superiority of the homeworld.
When the war comes, Allenson agrees to be the captain-general of ragtag untrained, unprofessional and un-united internally bickering militias. His hope to snatch victory from certain defeat (and death for him as a traitor if he survives combat) resides with the mists that enable his unfit units to avoid the enemy’s trained professionals’ Brasilian lasers and ergo force more face to face fighting.
The second Citizen science fiction (see Into the Hinterlands) is an outstanding outer space rendition of George Washington leading the Revolutionary War. The hero is a magnificent lead with his soliloquies particularly on the inanity yet inevitability of war as the solution to disputes. Part of the fun comes from matching events in the storyline with real incidents; although that proves a double edge sword since the audience will know the outcomes to this pleasurable read.