One Good Soldier (Tau Ceti Agenda) Hardcover – 1 Dec 2009
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About the Author
Travis S. Taylor Doc Taylor to his friends has earned his soubriquet the hard way: He has a doctorate in optical science and engineering, a master's degree in physics, a master's degree in aerospace engineering, all from the University of Alabama in Huntsville; a master's degree in astronomy, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University. Dr. Taylor has worked on various programs for the Department of Defense and NASA for the past sixteen years. He's currently working on several advanced propulsion concepts, very large space telescopes, space-based beamed energy systems, and next generation space launch concepts. In his copious spare time, Doc Travis is also a black belt martial artist, a private pilot, a SCUBA diver, has raced mountain bikes, competed in triathlons, and has been the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of several hard rock bands. He has appeared numerous times on the History Channel s series The Universe." "He currently lives with his wife Karen, and their daughter in Harvest, Alabama." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Also, The "pretend" battles, and the real ones, are described minutely: But in the Doc's case, it is exactly as if he played 5 intense minutes of an online first-person-shooter session, and then went back over the recording and transcribed every bit of it in excruciating (or delicious, if you like it) detail with plenty of "oowaagh!" grunts to let you know high-g forces are in play. You get Every thumb-toggle of an alternate weapon system, spiral evasion move, excited slogan-laden radio communication and techy-sounding acronym. Even the deaths feel like gamer "deaths, kind of inconsequential.
I would have said it is better to spend two pages describing action, rather than one throw-away sentence such as "and then they advanced a click under heavy fire", But this is way, way too much.
I know,I know, if you like it, you like it, but to me it really needs to be edited down.
I loved how evil the villain was. Making her human instead of a cartoon made her actions even worse. I liked the characters. It's a good story. I did my own editing by skimming: "Hmm, battle action starting, skip ahead 1, 2, 3, 5 (!) pages". This David Weber level verbosity is hard to plow through.
Sorry to be negative when there is a gem of a tale pillowed in all the that cellulose verbiage.
The book is an action story where, in the end, the principles of a 600-year old constitution ultimately prevail. However, I did appreciate the rough justice in the concluding chapter where certain people get what's coming to them in a fashion appropriate to the latest Vince Flynn novel. (He writes about the world of special ops and covert actions in our current war.)
I give it 5-stars because it accomplishes its intended purpose quite well. This is an action story with characters we care about and a moral center. Good vs. evil and "Duty, Honor, Country" may sound old-fashioned some time but those values are at the core of this story.
This book finished up the story line. Way too many viewpoint characters for what was going on, but the first half was okay. Lots of over described simulated battles, but nothing too bad and a decent read. Then the wheels came off.
The second half of the book read like a college freshman picked up the assignment and took an overdose of ritalin. Just hyper jumping around and over doing every single thing. The technology turned into magic without any meaningful story limits.
It turns out the main driver for the series is revealed in the last few pages, the big secret for the entire world of the books. The one big bad girl's deepest reason for her actions.
And it was so stupid that I am not sure I will read Taylor again. Summary and stupid.
There were two earlier 2-star reviews that contain points I agree whole-heartedly with. Neither, however, covered one of the points that prevented me from enjoying any of the three books. I felt the Separatists had just cause. Certainly in the first book Travis went out of his way to point out how corrupt the Earth government was and how little say anyone off-Earth had in government decisions. Even in the second and third books, while Earth had a president who Travis gave everything short of an actual halo -- the remainder of the government continued to be corrupt. In short, there seemed to be an excellent reason for the Separatist movement to exist. In one part, the President makes a speech that the colonies seceding had no resemblance to the American colony breaking away from Britain... but did not actually provide any justification to this assertion.
Since both sides were human, it's not like John Ringo's Posleen series where you can simply write off 'enemy' deaths as being unimportant. The Separatists seemed to be in the right to me, but their deaths were treated as being trivial whereas one of the Earth forces getting a hangnail was a tragedy. In addition, despite being outnumbered in almost every fight, the Earth forces always prevailed -- even though the hardware was essentially identical in most cases and in some the Separatist had *better* hardware. I could neither believe the battles nor care about the characters he lavished attention on.
In short, the series as a whole was just completely unsatisfying to read. I didn't care for the ending, but I was happy to hit the last page.