Assault Troopers (Extinction Wars Book 1)
Science Fiction Book Review
I’ve read and reviewed Heppner before with the Lost Starship series. That series was a B, B-, as far as quality of science fiction was concerned. After about a hundred pages of this tripe, I found myself looking back at that B writing in a wistful sort of malaise. This book turned into a task for me that I felt I had to knock off the honey do list.
The premise was interesting if unimaginative. Aliens show up above earth and nuke us all to hell. The only survivors are those that are nowhere near cities or even villages. Our survivors are from ultra remote places like Antarctica and nuclear submarines. Due to their isolated lifestyles, they are pretty hardy folk with an abundance of attitude. One would think this would make for some interesting characters, right? Sadly, wrong. These characters were pulled directly from the vanilla wafer box. Read it a week ago and can’t even remember the name of the main character.
Our team of Saltines figures out a way to take over one of the ships that is hell bent on the last remnants of mankind’s destruction. In so doing, they introduce themselves to the players on the Galactic stage, all of whom fit nicely in different flavor douche bag molds. Our main character arranges a way to extend humanity’s existence provided that we play the role of mercenary soldier. So, our first experience with aliens turns into a Blackwater scheme. There is something to aspire to, yay us!
This mercenary group then goes through their training stage. This is when I almost put the book down in disgust. It felt like the training session in Ender’s Game but boring and meaningless. It was similar to reading filler, like a sci-fi version of a Cosmo sex quiz. Once we got through this painful interlude our team is sent on their first mission. The mission is a success but every success comes with high casualties. The problem with this is that these casualties are meaningless to the reader because they are just random numbers that have generated no empathy from the reader or from our protagonist. This makes our main character either a ruthless psychopath or a poorly developed automaton. Pretty sure it’s the latter.
Not going to spend anymore time on this as it’s unnecessary to get cruel. To summarize, the characters are weak and the plot is a derivative meandering through a river of mediocrity. If offered to read this one, even for free, take the pass.