I’ve spoken already about Kindle Unlimited (its pros and cons) so won’t go into too much detail on it here. Suffice it to say from my point of view its a way of getting books cheap (often from new or fairly unknown authors), but that being said, no one wants to read books that aren’t worth it, so here is my quick and dirty list of the books to get and the ones to miss for the Military SciFi buff. So without further ado, here’s my list from worst to best. Oh yeah, if you’re interested in purchasing any of the books on this list, click through to Amazon on this link.

Constitution ‚Äď Book 1 of the Legacy Fleet by Nick Webb (3.3)

My thoughts

I think this was one I’ve rated lower because of the quality of other books that I was reading at the time and it just jarred me. Reading through this overall list now, I’d probably give it a higher overall score and might end up adjusting it in the future depending upon how the other books in the series do (assuming that I read them ūüôĀ )

What’s it about?

Broken down ship, broken down and down on his luck captain, Engineer and Doctor that are caricatures of Scotty and Bones … unfortunately nothing really new or original to this tale and the writing and editing errors simply don’t help the situation. The enemy is somewhat interesting but they are also limited in my estimation and I think its the lack of originality that is probably the most disappointing here.

Escape to Earth Series by Andrew Saxon (5.8)

My thoughts

Some interesting ideas and concepts but the massive fleet battles tend to take away from any caring that you might have for the characters. In addition, it seems that regardless of the challenge put forward, there is always a technical solution waiting in the wings ready to be deployed. Its hard to really have any empathy for the death and destruction when you know that its only temporary.

What’s it about?

In this case an escape pod from an advanced race crash lands on Earth with one survivor. This survivor is “changed” to look like Human’s although he retains his strength and intelligence which are both greater than normal mankind. Realizing that the people that attacked him will not rest till he is recaptured, this escapee decides that his greatest hope for survival is helping Earth’s forces and Earth itself modernize in preparation for the upcoming alien invasion.

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Swarm Series by BV Larson

My thoughts

The first book is actually quite good although you will be exposed to quite a few typo’s and other writing related errors. As a 10 issue series (& counting) it will keep you engaged for quite a while, and while its good (mindless) reading, its definitely not at the same level of quality as some of the others in this list. However for a read on the beach or a similar distraction it will probably keep you quite well engaged.

What’s it about?

Similar to many others on this list, Swarm is about an imminent attack on Earth that could cause the extinction of Humanity. Once again – similar to Ember Wars – another species chooses to send out emissaries to save those under attack … this time the emissaries choose their candidates in a brutal Darwinian process that weeds out all but the strongest and smartest leaving those survivors as the pilots of a fleet of ships. These ships are the only hope for Earth’s survival and as they are somewhat self aware, they don’t always have Humanities best interests at heart.

Human Legion Series by Tim Taylor (6.1)

My thoughts

Book 1 starts out way too slowly and while its written well, the action sequences take forever. Subsequent books are definitely better paced which is good, although this is primarily in terms of the action itself, unfortunately the underlying (and overarching) story progresses only slowly.

What’s it about?

In the not too distant future Earth was approached by an Alien Superpower. In exchange for Earth‚Äôs survival, millions of children were sold into slavery to found the Marine Corps. These ‚Äúchildren‚ÄĚ without any knowledge of Earth would change/grow and develop over the centuries to come into an enhanced race of warriors ‚Äď and while most of their enemies see them as nothing more than cannon fodder with third rate weaponry and training, over time that changes.

Battle Cruiser by BV Larson (6.8)

My thoughts

The same author as the Swarm series (also on this list), this one is written significantly better & has a much larger scope than that one. The characters are much more interesting and while the book starts out somewhat slowly, it quickly picks up pace.

What’s it about?

Earth had established a small interstellar empire with several different colony worlds and more continually being founded. However when a solar flare disrupts the wormhole network that connects these splintered colonies together, Earth is left alone once more. With widespread devastation throughout the solar system, the colonies are left to wither as a secondary concern and gradually Earth focuses more and more on issues closer to home. Hundreds of years later however, it seems that the colonies haven’t necessarily forgotten or even forgiven Earth for their abandonment and they have some lessons of their own they want to deliver.

Space Carrier Avalon by Glynn Stewart (7.3)

My thoughts

Space Carrier Avalon is also about a legacy ship (similar to Constitution also on this list) from a war fought decades previously but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. The Captain is absolutely not a broken down has-been, the engineer is not Scotty and the ships’ doctor is not Bones! This book is well written and is absolutely engaging almost from page 1.

What’s it about?

No aliens here, the battles are human v.s. human and the “baddies” are the Terran Commonwealth. Lots of good fighter action and also some well explained and detailed inter-ship combat.

Steel Breach series by Casey Calouette (7.7)

My thoughts

Really well written and thought out, this book definitely takes us in a different direction to the others in the list. While there are some significant battles being fought, the technology on the front lines is absolutely understandable and recognizable and is in some ways more archaic than you’d expect.

What’s it about?

Penal battalion is sent in with unfamiliar leadership, weaponry and training and expected to make a difference in an all out war to the death.¬†We’ve seen similar scenarios before, but this one is definitely well conceived and written and the underlying story arc that is only explored briefly in Book One is extremely interesting and engaging.

Fractured Space Series by J G Cressey (8)

My thoughts

Looking at the list as a whole, I’ve probably rated this one a bit higher than it should be, however I’m going to let it stand right now as it is written well and while the story is a bit weird, it is also interesting. ¬†Interesting enough for me to want to read the next part that’s for sure!

What’s it about?

A ragtag group of castaway’s are thrown together through a bizarre set of circumstances on a strangely changed Mars.  Here Mars is a big game preserve and a farming planet where the monsters from other planets and dinosaurs from Earth’s past are left to roam free … prey only to a few solitary hunters that track and kill them for Earth’s teeming masses.  By itself that would be quite interesting, but Mars is just the start of the story as these castaways need to determine not only why they were marooned on Mars in the first place, but also why all communications with all other humans in all the populated planets seems to have ended so abruptly.  Are they the only surviving humans left?

Saiph Series by PP Corcoran (8)

My thoughts

Really well written and gripping right from the get go.  The characters are interesting and engaging and perhaps most refreshing Рthey are not infallible!  They make mistakes and are as human as we are.  The enemy in book one is somewhat faceless and amorphous but that quickly changes in book two Рin fact by the end of the second book the question of who the real enemy is starts to raise its head!  Definitely recommend this one.

What’s it about?

In the not too distant future mankind manages to perfect faster than light travel.  This isn’t the type of travel you’d expect with wormholes and varying degrees of acceleration but is almost instantaneous for thousands of light years in all directions.  On the maiden voyage their ship detects an artificial signal on a planet and after much investigation they realize that these are the remnants of a long dead civilization.

However this civilization has a connection with humanity as the DNA of the alien species and humanity is almost identical. ¬†We quickly come to realize that while we were not seeded on Earth, our DNA was manipulated in a last ditch effort by the Saiph to escape oblivion and destruction and to leave a little bit of themselves behind in their battle with the ‚ÄúOthers‚ÄĚ. ¬†What they have also left us is a library of information to help bootstrap humanity so that they can survive when the Others come hunting them too!

Escape to Earth is another series that I tried because of Kindle Unlimited and the ability to obtain books for “free”. You might recall my previous post on a similar trial with the series The Human Legion – Marine Cadet?

I guess lets start with my biggest gripe with the books in this series … that’s unfortunately the writing itself. ¬†It’s very stilted and seems forced and while some of the characters are interesting you can’t really engage with them due to the language. ¬†The idea itself isn’t bad & the concept as a whole is somewhat intriguing (I’ll describe that further below), but there isn’t really a flow to the story and while I’ve read through all of the books in this series, that’s primarily because they were free as I don’t think I would have paid for all four books.

Escape to Earth – Running from Fate

As the first book in the series, this is where some of the most intriguing ideas and concepts are put forward and while some of these elements continue to play out in subsequent books, they aren’t given as much weight there.

In the Fellowship a rule exists that a “primitive” planet cannot be contacted unless they develop a stardrive or forcefield. ¬†However when a warrior from one of the races battling in the galaxy is forced to flee, his escape pod determines that the only way he can be kept safe is for him to hide. ¬†His hiding place however just happens to be one of those planets – a planet called Earth!

Transformed by his escape pod so that he mimics a human in shape and form, the Welkin warrior becomes Lukas Рa blonde haired, blue eyed 6 foot tall Norweigan.  Smarter, stronger and faster than other humans though, his now human body is impacted by strange and unexpected impulses that cause him to act and react in strange ways.  He also learns all about Love and because of these changes to his system he finds a new home for himself on Earth Рone that he is willing to do anything to defend!

Escape to Earth-Fighting for Space

Continuing on from the first book, Fighting For Space has the human’s and their fleets now competing on almost equal footing with the Fellowship despite being overwhelmingly behind in terms of fleet sizes. ¬†However if nothing else, this book and the ones that subsequently follow make the point that “quality has a quantity all its own!” as while they might not have the numbers, they are more than able to make up for this lack.

What doesn’t really seem to be considered however is the fact that 3 dimensional combat is significantly different to 2 dimensional and this would be even more evident in Space where the enemy has the ability to attack from a multitude of different directions – simultaneously. ¬†While Saxon does¬†cover the improvements in technology, he doesn’t spend an undue amount of time on it & it really has the feel of some of the older pulp classic E.E. Doc Smith books where every chapter had another new invention that was better, stronger, faster etc… than the one before. ¬†While somewhat exacerbating, it did help to move the story along, however its one thing when its the alien making all of the advances … its somewhat more annoying when the geniuses are the humans themselves as it always brings up the point – why didn’t they do it before?

Regardless there are many different space battles, but perhaps most importantly this book introduces the real villain of the series which is the attack on our Galaxy by another Galaxy entirely!

 

Escape to Earth-Defending Holy Ground

Continuing on from the previous book, Defending Holy Ground has fleet battles numbering in the million ship range. ¬†While the technology advantage is still on the humans side, the fact that literally a whole Galaxy is contributing forces to the attack¬†vs. a single planet to the defense … well regardless of how good their quality is, in this case, overwhelming quantity wins out.

While some of the fleet battles (at least in size) evoke memories of some of the earlier books by David Weber and its similarities to old classics like Master of Orion the passion isn’t there for the characters and the multitude of ships that are destroyed.

Humans while no longer a defenseless species are still primarily on their own in this fight and bear the bulk of the work.  I think to some extent this would bring up questions of resources as they realistically could not put up fleets of the size they do, with the numbers they have left but its a small point.

Escape to Earth-The Legacy of a Conqueror

Finishing this series, we’re introduced to Lukas’ son and he is the primary character in this final book. ¬†Realizing that humanity can never truly be safe until they take the fight to the enemy Lukas and crew nominate his son as the Conqueror. ¬†The leader of all of humanities forces in their battle against the attacking Galaxy.

With telepathic abilities in addition to super strength, intelligence and speed the only fear is that he might grow to love his new found power too much, however being Lukas’ son and guided by the Sentinels he is able to maintain his humanity enough to find an alternative solution to genocide in several key battles earning humanity even more allies before the climactic battle against the Leaders of the evil Galaxy.

Overall Review

Some good ideas and interesting concepts, but unfortunately the bad writing tends to outweigh them. ¬†While worth reading through Kindle Unlimited or another forum that allows you to “purchase” books for a nominal or free price, I probably would not pay for this series if I had to.