Friday, September 2, 2016

James Review -- The Icarus Corps: Titan's Fall

This week I decided to review The Icarus Corps: Titan's Fall by Zachary Brown. 

Before this book takes place, Earth was conquered more than a generation ago by the Arvani-led Accordance. While the Accordance tried to prevent humanity from spreading further than the moon now the war between the Accordance and its long-time enemies the Conglomeration has come to the Sol system and the Accordance wishes to use humans as troops in the fight. The Conglomeration has taken Saturn but doesn't control the gas giant's moons, so the few survivors of the battle for Icarus Base, now heroes of the human Colonial Protection Forces, are being redeployed to Shangri-La, a base on Titan, along with a host of rookies to replenish their unit's devastated ranks. 

Despite their jumpship being intercepted and downed by Conglomeration forces, they make their way to their new base. Soon, Sergeant Amiria Singh, a former anti-Accordance hacker who joined the military to get out of jail, has been traveling beyond the base's perimeter seeking signs of enemy activity in the area without authorization, and Lieutanant Devlin Hart, The viewpoint charter of the book who was blackmailed into joining the military by threats against his anti-Accordance dissident parents and any possible havens of theirs, is ordered to stop her. 

But Amiria soon finds evidence of enemy activity and the Conglomeration launches an assault on the Accordance's bases on the moon using forces that had been concealed beneath Titan's surface. Using drivers, creatures that can turn a human into a puppet, the Conglomeration has devastated the base's leadership. To make matters worse, the attack is led by Zeus, an Arvani defector who once was an instructor to the Icarus Base survivors and soon the Accordance begins an evacuation leaving many civilians behind because they prioritize saving soldiers over non-combatants. 

Hart's team is sent to a Trojan asteroid converted into an Accordance base and shipyard where they soon find themselves facing angry civilians while reeling from the news that Zeus' children, who are high ranking members of the Accordance, are seeking revenge against those they blame for the disgrace of their parent. Soon, the crews building some of the carriers at the shipyard mutiny and Hart must seek a way to minimize bloodshed despite being saddled with an Arvani officer willing to start executions at the slightest excuse. 

Then, after it is revealed that a human Conglomeration agent sparked the mutiny, Hart's team must endure the followup attack before being sent back to Titan where they will discover just how far the Arvani will go to deny their enemy territory and face a choice that will have a massive impact on humanity's future.

I give the book 7 out of 10. While it does a great ob of leaving the reader wondering which of the two alien powers us really the lesser evil, I feel that having the entire story told from a single character's viewpoint gives it an incredibly narrow focus. This is crippling in a story with large-scale battles, especially when the character is a low ranking officer because it means that the reader only sees a small section of what is happening. Also, I feel that the technology used in the story is left far too vague for my taste.  Most of the weapons involved are only described in the most general of terms.

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