Book Review : Earth Strike: Star Carrier: Book One
The title says it all. The book lured me in with promises of “If you loved Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War (which I did), you’ll love this book!”. I tried to read it, really I did. I made it through about 16% of the book before I hit my military techno babble saturation point. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy military fiction and I enjoy science fiction, so normally when they are put together I’m pretty pleased with the result. However, some books just go so heavy with their use of scientific buzzwords and military lingo that they are next to impossible to read without regularly referencing terms and slang, this is one of those books.
Suffice to say, I could not recommend this book to anyone.
This section is going to be rather short. I only made it roughly fifty five pages into the book before I had to stop. It just got to the point that the book was a chore to read and not enjoyable. The author used military slang so frequently it was hard for me to read, and I really enjoy military books. He bombarded me with science fiction terms, and frequently gave me gobs of information that did absolutely nothing for the story.
The Bad (Facts):
1. I hate, hate, hate, hate it when indie authors think they can get off without having their book professionally edited. The editing in this book was either only done by the author or not done at all. I did not make it very far into the book, but I made it far enough that painful reading made me put the book down. The thing that comes to mind first is a conversation that goes “Our radar shows you hit your targets. Good shooting! You tore those guys up really good! Nice shooting!” That’s not the exact phrasing, but the sentences “Good shooting!” and “Nice shooting!” are literally separated by a single sentence. (It just occurred to me that I never actually confirmed if he was an indie author. Turns out he isn’t, or at least wasn’t with this book. HarperCollins published his book. I have no idea what this books editor was doing.)
2. Character development was essentially non existent. I was about a 1/5th of the way through the book and I knew next to nothing about the perceived main character except that he was fighter pilot, a loner, had a temper, and had some kind of undesirable origins. None of the other characters in the book had any kind of development.
The Bad (Opinions):
1. The author goes WAY too indepth into the explanation of his technologies, and does it repeatedly. By my fifty five pages into the book I had, no less than three times, read about how the human space fighters could change their shapes due to their nanoskin transformer technology. I think I read about how their space missile chaff pods worked two or three times in the span of several pages. Don’t get me wrong, I really like reading about technology, I thought the gravity based propulsion systems he had described was a really cool idea. But when you sacrifice character development and readability to explain how a guys survival suit filters oxygen out of the air (including giving me the chemical formula for sulfuric acid) it really just degrades the quality of the writing.
2. The author bombards you with information that is completely and totally irrelevant to his story. The example that comes to mind for this point of contention is a paragraph where he leaves the story to explain the historical uses of the phrases “fox one, fox two, and fox three”. It does nothing to advance the story, enhance his characters, or draw the reader in. It just destroys any momentum he’d built up. (Not to mention that he’s told us two or three times what “fox one” is used to denote by this point). Also he loves to tell you just how fast something is going or accelerating. I counted no less than ten phrases referencing a specific items acceleration or speed in short reading period.
3. I like the use of military terminology in books. It can be a little hard to get by at first depending on the writer and what you’ve been reading lately, but the military terminology in this book was just so thick it really took away from the story. For example. the author uses the word ‘oplan’. When I first read it I thought it was just a typo that had been missed. Then I read it again, and again. I checked it with my kindle, my kindle had no idea what this word was. I had to pull out my phone and search the word on google to find out that oplan is a military term that means “operational plan”. Makes sense after you know it, but if you don’t? It just looks like a horrible typo.
4. He gives things three names, or seemingly changes their names when he wants to. At one point he talks about a pilot using a laser weapon, the sentence goes something like “He powered up his PBP, or Particle Beam Projector, it was also known as a Peeb-Bee in some military circles.” I don’t need to read three separate names for a weapon if you just call it a particle beam. I could be wrong on this second example, but as far as I could tell he randomly switches what his human starfighters are called. They are initially called Starhawks, then later referred to as Gravfighters (understandable once you’ve learned how their propulsion system operates), then (this is the part where I could be misinterpreting or not understanding something) later calls the same ships Dragonfires. There is no good reason to flip flop on somethings name like that that deep into a book.
The Good :
1. I got it on the Kindle Daily Deal, so it was cheap. That was good.
The Meh :
Move along. I would normally say that his characters were meh, but I don’t think 55 pages is a good enough length to judge the true depth of a character.
Story Synopsis :
By now it should be obvious that I didn’t finish the book. What I can tell you is that there is a marine encampment on a planet under attack by an alien force called the Turusch. The beginning of the book centers mostly around the Commander of the Carrier America, and a naval fighter pilot named Trevor Gray. Trevor flies his spaceship into a fast paced and unfair space battle against the Turusch and gets shot down. I stopped reading shortly after that.