Legionnaire (Galaxy’s Edge) (Volume 1) by Jason Anspach & Nick Cole – A Science Fiction Book Review

I read one of Nick Cole’s earlier books (CTRL ALT Revolt!) last year and liked it.  So, when I heard he was involved in a mil-sf series I figured I’d check it out.  It turns out it’s a dual authorship arrangement with Jason Anspach.  I ordered it (I like to read books on paper) and read it last week.

I like well-written mil-sf.  This is well-written.  The story chronicles an elite military unit involved in a supposedly routine diplomatic mission that devolves into a catastrophe.  It melds the feel of modern American military in the middle east (ala Black Hawk Down) with lineage going back to Rudyard Kipling’s India stories and translates it into a futuristic landscape of alien creatures, energy weapons and space cruisers.  But the technology is definitely beside the point.  The story is the camaraderie of men attempting to complete their mission and keep each other alive in an environment where bureaucratic amateur officers are just as dangerous as the enemy.

The protagonist (first person narrative for the most part) is an NCO in the “Legion.”  Through his eyes we see his comrades display various strengths and weaknesses and we observe the “regular army” that are combined with the legionnaires on this mission attempting to adapt to a combat role they are unprepared for.  And we observe non-combatants and the alien inhabitants of this planet at the “galaxy’s edge.”

If you like military science fiction you’ll probably like this book.  If you even just like war stories you might like this book.  It is volume one of a series but this book is sort of a stand-alone story.  The series chronicles the saga of the Galactic Republic through the eyes of the Legion as an elite force cleaning up the messes being perpetrated by an increasingly autocratic state over its subject worlds at the periphery of the galaxy.  Basically, it sounds like the Roman Republic devolving into the Roman Empire.  Or is it the American Republic?

As you can probably guess from my comparison with Black Hawk Down, it’s not a happily ever after kind of tale.  It’s a down beat story but if you like mil-sf then that’s probably no surprise.  If not be warned.

So, here’s my opinion.  This is a good stand-alone story.  The story develops and the action and the sub-plots unfold in natural way.  The characters are interesting and have enough development to allow you to cheer and boo the appropriate actors.  I can definitely recommend it.  For me the question is do I go forward with a longer series?  From what I understand the individual books are separated in time.  They document the history of this galactic civilization.  Implicitly this means none of the characters will carry over to the next book.  Can the authors generate enough new people to populate the series?  I think I’ll try the next book in the series and see how that works out.  I’ll report back on the next installment when I do.

6 thoughts on “Legionnaire (Galaxy’s Edge) (Volume 1) by Jason Anspach & Nick Cole – A Science Fiction Book Review

  • January 22, 2018 at 8:58 pm
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    Took a chance on it, not an expensive chance, a whole $2.99 on kindle.
    There seems to be a lot more mediocre to bad SF these days than good. Just finished (don’t know why I bothered) a “Sci-Fi” book written by a scientific illiterate though that seems about par for the course these days.

    I find myself rereading my old favorites more and more.

    It’s my wish that kindle and nook had been available a few decades before they were. I can only lament the 1000’s of books over the years that I’ve boxed up and given away when they became numerous enough to threaten taking over the house. I could have kept everything on a single SDHC card about the size of a stamp, and that fact approaches some of the furthest out Sci-Fi that I’ve ever read.

    Have you ever read Lord Valentines Castle? That has to be the most memorable Sci-Fi I’ve experienced.

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  • January 22, 2018 at 9:24 pm
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    The only Silverberg I remember reading (except for a collection of short stories called “A Calibrated Alligator” was a novel called “Up the Line” about a guy who has some kind of sexual obsession with one of his distant ancestresses. It was quite bizarre.
    I have heard of Lord Valentine’s Castle. I assumed it was high fantasy like Tolkien. Is it?

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    • January 23, 2018 at 6:18 pm
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      Elements of fantasy but I can’t characterize the book as such.

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  • January 23, 2018 at 6:41 pm
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    Well, I’ll put it in the in pile.

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  • February 3, 2018 at 10:19 am
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    Just started “Legionnair” and see this sentence lead in about 1/5th of a page in: “I’m not going to clint you,”.

    I love it!

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  • February 3, 2018 at 11:58 am
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    Yeah, I do like when we get some back. But the author’s gotta make it fun and interesting. I had a story I was writing a couple of years ago and I had an Obama DOJ overreach thing in it but it makes it tricky. It easily becomes dated and preachy. But definitely better than when they do it to us.

    Reply

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