Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hard Duty by Mark E. Cooper

This is book one of the Merkiaari Wars.  A survey ship stumbles across a radio transmission that isn't the Merkiaari.   Desperate for allies in their stalmated war with the Merkiaari, they make contact with the Shan.   The Shan have had their own experiences with the Merkiaari and are as distrustful as the humans.  

The survey ship Canada is ill equipped to make first contact with an alien race.  They send home for help and get a ship load of academics who quickly discover that reality is different than the classroom.

The story within the story deals with the Vipers.  Vipers are enhanced humans who were the deciding factor in keeping the Merkiaari from overwhelming mankind.   The fighting abilities of the Vipers and the vastly enhanced skill set also keeps them from re-melding with normals.   Their commander uses them as troubleshooter to keep order in the human empire.

The Shan are an interesting alien race that the author has done a nice job in a contrast and comparison with humans and the ensuing interaction.   The book has plenty of action and I hope to read more from Cooper.

I recommend it.

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 This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

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