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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 7 April 2013
Great book, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys military Sci-Fi or fans of Joss Whedon's Serenity and Firefly.

The story is set in the 26th Century and Earth has conquered and colonized the galaxy. One government has emerged as the supreme ruler, the Untied Authority (UA) - originally the USA. The politics behind the UA's government is based on Plato's The Republic, creating a very intelligent and believable anti-utopian future with a strongly defined class system. Washington, DC is the capital of Earth and Earth is the capital of the galaxy. The UA enforces its control over the galaxy with an army of clones and this is where the story begins.

My only issue with this book is that it hasn't been anglicised and I found myself occasionally tripping over measurements and scales that didn't mean anything to me.

However, all in all, this is a very enjoyable and addictive read. And I will defiantly be buying the second book in the trilogy.
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on 16 March 2013
A succinctly written book. This first story will take you through a series of adventures in the early career of the U.A. Marine Harris. As the character and the galaxy around him develop, you will be taken to desert planets, abandoned military outposts in the frozen tundra and a host of colourful places.

Gigantic United Authority space ships traverse the spans between the central planet Earth, and the far reaching arms of the Milky Way Galaxy, now occupied by the human race. With the U.A.'s overall mission being to keep all planets and their populations politically and socially in line, united, and speaking one language. It requires a vast army, unflinchingly loyal and as expendable as rounds in a magazine. An army of genetically engineered, specifically reared clones, commissioned by the natural born human leaders.

Control by force and fear is the United Authority's way, run by the elite leaders and politicians on Earth. Harris is but a pawn, brought up in the military orphanages alongside clones who will fight and die along side him, loyal and unaware of their heritage. Little does Harris realise his value when he is first stationed on a backwards planet of little significance to the U.A.

With the genre being well trodden, I was originality slightly sceptical to read a military Sci-Fi novel. However it quickly becomes apparent within the first few pages that Kent is a master of pacing and prose. As the story develops, twists and turns take place, each more surprising than the next. I have made sure not to include any of these plot points in this review, as they were a constant injection of fuel to the imagination, that kept me staying up until 2am reading with work fast approaching.

I immediately took a liking to the protagonist, his want to find his place in the world, the system in which he is born into. While surrounded by Marines who blithely obey orders as their are genetically designed to do, he is different, his own obedience is tinged with constant lateral thinking which serves him well. As Kent increases the intensity of the scenarios Harris is faced with, he evolves into a figure of strength, but not invulnerability.

The book is filled with superb supporting characters, with one of my favourites being the calculating, ruthless and intimidating mercenary, Freeman. There are moment that will make you laugh, moments in the book with such intense action, that you simply can not put the book down until you discover the outcome. Intelligent, politically driven events which are not challenging to absorb and comprehend only add to the depth of a story that, so far has stacked a deck of cards high enough that I can not wait to find out how they collapse.

Kent does not disappoint.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy the book.
Andy.

[...]
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on 15 March 2013
I have'nt read any since fiction for a while, so was a bit sceptical coming to this...however it refreshed my appetite for sci-fi.Well constructed,a believable plot, politics, action and even a little romantic interest; this kept me entertained and convinced. The narrator, Harris, a is a victim of military and political scheming in a space republic held together by force and fear.He is an orphan conscripted into a clone army, but begins to suspect that he can act of his own free will. He participates in the military campaigns and comments on them as well, turning out to be an unwittingly dangerous enemy to some in power,and used as a pawn in the battle for power. Something for everyone here without becoming unbelievable. The end leaves room for for more; can't wait to read the next one.This is a novel with a lot to say without being pretentious or complicated.
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on 11 March 2013
This was an absolutely cracking book. I enjoyed every minute of it. Lots of action, well paced and well thought out. Highly recommended.

(Full disclosure: I received this free from the publisher to review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not altered by this. In this case I would quite happily have paid for it!)
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on 13 May 2016
Ok the biggest problem with this book is, scale, the author chucks 10,000 light year trips, with no idea of the effect on his universe.
Lets look at some facts, within 100 light years of earth we have 16,800 stars of which 512 are 'G' type i.e. Like our sun. The Kepler project shows planets in abundance. How long to colonise 50 planets if we say only 10% of the 512 are suitable.
This novel is set 400 years in the future. So Total galactic colonisation (thats 100,000,000,000) stars roughly.
No chance. Ok we give it a pass it just fiction.
The fact the main protagonist doesn't realise his helmet can record stuff. My 3 year old niece can figure that out.
Not only that, in one breath he tells us he likes to be combat ready and then doesn't even know how his equipment works.
This just destroys the credibility of the story, I lasted about 6 chapters, and had to give up.
So if you like your military SF even slightly credible give this a pass.
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on 25 March 2013
When this book dropped through my letterbox, I must admit I was worried. I shouldn't have been. This book is well written and paced well. It unveils as you read a world of clones and intrigue. I thoroughly enjoyed this and was half way through the book before I realised. It has a touch of humour, a smattering of violence and a thought provoking attitude to how 'civilisations' clone us all. Whether it is meant to is an entirely different thing. Even if your not a marine loving sci if fan, I'd recommend this read it might just change your mind.
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on 13 April 2014
I'm relieved at getting to the end of this short book fairly quickly. I paid for it, so I was going to read it to the end.
This is a case of ambition over reaching talent. The book flits between poorly represented locations over a long time span compressed into a short book. I found the battle sequences uninspired, and talking of which, somewhat inept. One example involves marines scouting and fighting in caves with great loss of life. Only once the battle is won do they send in the heavily armed robotic drones to finish off whats left. I think sending in the automated drones might have been a more considered initial approach, but then again, I was beyond caring at this stage.
The second star in my rating is for the cover, from which I judged the book when I bought it.
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on 23 July 2015
Very good read
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on 17 January 2014
This is a fun book to read and engaged me from beginning to end. However the editing in the Kindle edition is quite poor in places; spelling mistakes, incorrect versions of words and speech marks in the wrong places. I would happily give more stars if this was resolved.
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on 21 May 2015
Good story, enjoying it
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