Virtues Of War
Bennett R. Coles
Titan Books, Jun 30 2015, $14.95
Terran Astral Forces Captain of the Rapier Lieutenant Commander Thomas Kane assigns Lieutenant Katja Emmes to lead a strike force of nine on an assault of Cerberus with no Corps backup. Emmes and her crew successfully complete the mission when they assassinate the target, a Centauri spy.
Thinking her military dad would be pleased with her first kill; Emmes’ elation proves short-lived when the attack ignites hostilities between Terran and the Centauri colonies. Surprisingly, Centauri’s military technology contains advance weaponry that quickly impairs the Terran’ generals from achieving their expected quick victory and subsequent glory. Instead the war leaves many civilians dead from targeted kills and collateral damage; while many military grunts die or are maimed in combat. Stunned by the horrors of war, Emmes reconsiders her initial goal to earn her dad’s approval.
This is a tremendous military science fiction that brilliantly combines awesome battles with a profound look at people on both sides of the conflict (more so the Terrans) especially their motives, goals and fears. The action-packed storyline looks into the hearts and minds of leaders whose personal objectives of fame and fortune often supersede their side’s vision; and that of expendables (sacrificial military pawns and throwaway civilians) whose personal goal is to survive the battles with no loss of limbs supersede their side’s vision too. Readers will appreciate this superb outer space thriller