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STRAT (a military science fiction novel)

STRAT (a military science fiction novel) [Kindle Edition]

Tara Maya
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

In the tradition of Starship Troopers, Forever War, and Live Free or Die.


On a hell-class world where feudal lords joust with mechs and use memetic tech to imprint loyalty onto their vassals and thralls, all Charlie and his people ask is to be left alone, free to think for themselves.

Then, on his wedding day, Charlie's bride is kidnapped to be a thrall. As he fights for his life and her freedom, he discovers the war helm of an ancient and powerful lord. He needs the knowledge in the helm to bring the battle to his enemies. But if he uses it, he risks losing himself... and becoming embroiled in a war that will soon span the galaxy.


Thirteen helmed Lords escorted me out to the center of the caldera: twelve lords from the legation, and Lord Ivess.

I knew Domany was right. They were unlikely to keep their word; but if there was even a chance I could save Sard from obliteration, I had to try.

We passed the frozen corpse of the woman who had taken her father’s helm and avenged her family during the jousts. All anyone had cared about her act of courage was that she had violated a stifling thousand-year-old code of law. Now I was to share her fate, for the same reason.

The legation offered Lord Ivess the honor of removing the faceplate and breather. My hands were chained behind my back. They forced me to kneel in the sulfur snow.

He leaned close to me, although he did not need to be close to whisper to me over the link.

“You stole my daughter from me, and that embarrassed me,” he hissed. “I will enjoy your death greatly. I’m not going to take off your breather, though. A quick death would be too easy. I’m going to remove everything but your breather. I’m going to let you die slowly, and as you die, you can watch Tears-of-Gold die too.” He laughed. “Did you really think we would spare Sard after you contaminated it with your thralls who think they can be lords?”

“No,” I said. “I expected you to lack all honor, having fought you before.”

He kicked me face forward onto the ground. My jaw smashed painfully against my breather. He grabbed the back of my kit and jerked me back up to my knees.

“Then why did you surrender yourself to us? That was stupid.”

“I’m a Fredder,” I said. “I guess stupid is just a bad habit.”

The other lords stood in a semi-circle around us, a few meters away. They watched impassively as Ivess dismantled my kit piece by piece, until he ripped away the last underlayer, and left me naked in the bitterly frozen acid. As he’d promised, Ivess left on my helm, the cursed Helm of Brin, trailing tubes to my discarded, but functional, air pack, so I could still breath.

It felt as though I had been dipped into fire. My skin sizzled and buckled. Every inch of my body below my neck came alive with pain, raw unbearable pain. I screamed inside my mask. Through my tears, I could see a huge army of mechs, the combined cavalcades of the lords of the “peace legation,” advance toward Tears-of-Gold. They weren’t going to just let it die of neglect, they were going to blast it straight to hell themselves.

82,000 words, around 275 pages, plus a glossary and appendices
DRM is not enabled
Advisory: Strong language

Other books by Tara Maya:
The Unfinished Song Series (Epic Fantasy)
Conmergence (SF&F Short Story Collection)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1053 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Misque Press; 1 edition (3 Jun 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D6KC6Y4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #275,761 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is really rather good 18 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I hate doing reviews. However I liked this book and it has not been reviews before and that makes me want to review it. Consider this a stand in review for when you guys finish the book and do a proper review.
Ok. Good book very imaginative tech a diverse story where the characters are forced to grow and expand. Over all its good this is the second time I gave read it and the second time I have enjoyed it.
Read it review it and enjoy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.1 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better and stronger 16 Jun 2013
By NitroNorm - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading such books as Starship Troopers and Battletech, your collection of armored fictional war would not be complete without STRAT. It is complex, it is diverse, a good plot and its fun.
The book seems to span something like fifteen years of our heros life. the first part of the book is somewhat unique that the author dosen't take a great amount of time to explain to the audeince the five W's, Who, What, When, Where, How or Why everything is the way it is. there's a little information mentioned here and there, but it's more like the character himself looked it up, rather than trying to feed you a portion of an encyclopedia. The story just starts right off and leaves it to the reader to figure things out as they go along, but that's part of the fun and it's not all that difficult to do so, since our hero comes from an isolated farming community, he's ignorant, not stupid. altogether a good character.
the second half of the book involves a galaxy at war and our hero's involvment in it. like real life, the universe is full of grey areas, and sometimes you find that your allies are your greatest enemies.
About the sicence. anybody with access to a computer can find similar technologies mentioned in this book and imagine what they'll look like two thousand years from now. things like powered armor which we haven't quite developed yet will in the future be as antiquated as the knights metal suit of armor found in a museaum and as about as helpfull when fighting against the weapons used in the future.
if you like robots and underdogs, and don't particularly care for Tony Stark but still think Iron man if efffin cool, buy the book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars STRAT 15 July 2013
By azog - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well, this was kind of a strange book. For starters, I personally would not really classify this as "military science fiction". The plot does revolve around war, but when I consider "military science fiction", I consider things like strategies, tactics, battle scenes and whatnot. There may be a smattering of that here, but it is far away from some of the mil sci-fi such as Ian Douglas (Semper Mars), Jack Campbell (The Lost Fleet) or the whole StarFIST series.

The book opens with a setting that reminded me of nothing more than hillbilly stereotypes, which segued into a medieval caste setting, complete with jousts. As the story continues, it gradually broadens out the main character's POV, where you see more and more of the universe at hand, and things start to sort of fit together.

So what is it about? People, or generally, one person, and his experiences in the war. Black and white no longer exists. Who is right, who is wrong? Technology allows people to download centuries of memories that can usually integrate so completely into your own mind, you can no longer tell what is real or what is not. Things which the main character took for granted are challenged and he has no choice but to adapt.

Now don't take this that the whole book is a character study; as I said above, there is a bit of action and such in the book. The technology used by the future soldiers is interesting (using "cavalcades" of robot drones). There are a few points on strategy in using these powerful weapons. Beyond the military hardware, there are other interesting uses of technology.

I put this as 3-stars, meaning "it's OK". I did read it straight thru without feeling the need to "take a break" and pursue a different book, so I would say it grabbed my attention enough. And that I am taking the time in writing this review is another indication that the 3-star doesn't mean anything negative, but I am not sure I would continue to explore this universe if another volume were published.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get any better than this 16 Jun 2013
By Sandy G - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
STRAT (a military science fiction novel)

I really liked this book! I generally prefer my science fiction to be harder rather than softer, and this book gives me a good dose of realistic, believable science fiction.

Tara Maya paints us a picture of a galaxy populated with heroic figures fighting against overwhelming institutions and mind-boggling social systems. The protagonist of STRAT, Charlie Cooper, is a rock-licker born on a hellish planet called Neraka. He becomes embroiled in a galactic war which challenges all his values and forces him to confront what is really important to him.

While STRAT is about people, it is primarily about war. STRAT shows us what military conflict might be like when its soldiers have the capability of accessing military strategy from the minds of brilliant strategists throughout history, of commanding weapons and vehicles that can change their mode and functionality at the prompting of a mental command, and fighting battles on worlds whose environments most of only imagine in our worst nightmares. Charlie doesn't just fight wars, however. Charlie also has to determine what is real or what is not real as each side employs mind-imprinting technology to implant false memories to ensure the loyalty of its warriors. Throughout all of the trials Charlie faces, however, he struggles to maintain his dedication to a set of basic values that helped him survive the deadly environment of Neraka. But are those values enough to help him survive everything humanity throws at him?

If you enjoyed Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game or The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, then pick up a copy of STRAT by Tara Maya and get ready to see what war is like 3000 years in the future.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Galactic Savior, not so much 18 July 2013
By Russ Stebbins - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The plot started out with interesting possibilities, If you could get memory overlays, who are you? More importantly, what will society do with that power. Anytime a story starts with dialect (in this case hillbilly/Cajun)you know the author is not going to give you strong character development, he has already used a broad brush. the first half of the book was interesting as it examined the cultural results of advanced technology. Once the protagonist left the planet, it became more of a plot point exercise with very little to recommend itself. The characters don't so much develop as blow in the wind wherever fate takes them (maybe more realistic than fiction)
3.0 out of 5 stars Love author, just not this book 29 Aug 2013
By mapleleafmanny - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I had high hopes for this book. I LOVE the Unfinished Song series from Tara Maya, but I just couldn't get into STRAT. The premise seemed interesting, but I was unable to find myself engaged in the story. It's possible it's simply because I'm not a big military/strategy book reader; I do really enjoy Dystopian type books, but this book just didn't fit that category.

I admire greatly that the author seeks to branch out into new genres. This book was just not my style.

**I received this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion**
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