(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Stephen Arseneault (https://www.arsenex.com) published the novel “A Hero” in 2019. Mr. Arseneault has published more than 50 novels. This is the first of his “Corporation Wars” series.
I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Rayford Tyvos Jackson.
Jackson has recently graduated from college with an engineering degree. Work is hard to find and he needs to find a way to support his wife and daughter. The Jackson family decide to travel to the remote mining colony of Echelon. The job with the Arlis Corporation is the only one he can find. He is expecting a good position with Arlis. His best friend at college is running the Echelon mining facility. He hopes this will be a good career move, but the corporation imposes strict rules. Soon, he and his family are fed up and are ready to leave.
Aliens are sited in human space, but they avoid all contact. Without warning, they begin to mercilessly attack human settlements. Humanity has not had a war in decades. The military is ill-equipped and the politicians are unwilling to make hard decisions. As Jackson has feared, there is an attack on the mining facilities on Echelon. Casualties are widespread and include Jackson’s wife and daughter. Seeking revenge Jackson enlists in the Marines.
Human forces struggle against the aliens. They call themselves the Togmal but little is known about them. Even after years of war, there has been no communication. While they win a few battles, humanity is losing the war. Major corporations, including Arlis, step up and offer to take over the war. They claim that their organization and efficiency will enable humans to win. The corporations take over the military. They also take over most functions of the government. The result is that newer and better weapons begin to flow to the troops. Slowly the tide begins to turn.
I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 330-page science-fiction thriller. The story is full of action as well as subtle intrigue. I am looking forward to the next novel in the series. This is the second novel I have read from Arseneault (ARMS War for Eden was the other). I have enjoyed them both. I like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.
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