Nuttall is a very good writer of the military sci-fi book, however he does leave the subtle bit, at home sometimes. Having said that, his latest book, Ark Royal is more balanced so perhaps age, experience and maturity are coming to the fore.
If you want to avoid feeling a bit uncomfortable then you have to read this book very much on the surface because if you look too hard then the empire marines start to look a bit too much like the Waffen SS - with morals, admittedly. If I'm being charitable then perhaps more like Spartans.
In a nutshell, an understrength company of marines are sent to the back end of a crumbling empire to a basket case of a planet because of internal political issues on Earth. Of course the marines are supremely effective as fighters and moral to a person and bring much needed leadership and backbone to the colony. With them is an academic who is also exiled because of his naive publishing of a book pointing out that the Empire is failing.
Immediately I spotted the dead hand of Asimov there as Nuttall had in effect created his own Hari Sheldon. This character seemed to have a point early on but almost vanished by midway through the book. Maybe he makes a return in subsequent books.
What Nuttall does do very well is action and adventure and he manages this perfectly with this story. It's fun. fast paced and well written, if a little black and white at times. Overall a great read as long as you don't think too hard.
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