Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Master Sergeant: The Makaum War: Book One by Mel Odom

Military Science Fiction

From Goodreads:

They call it The Green Hell. A maze of tangled jungle, the planet Makaum is one of the most dangerous places in the universe. And for Terran Military Master Sergeant Frank Sage, it is now home.

The war between the Terrans and the Phrenorians rages, and both sides have their sights set on Makaum. If the planet's rich resources fall into enemy hands it could mean devastation for the Terran Army. To ensure that doesn't happen, Sage is sent to assess the Makaum troops and bring them in line with Terran Military standards. But soon after arriving at his post, he realizes the Phrenorians are not the only threat. Heading up a small but fearless unit, Sage must stop a brewing civil war with the power to unleash a galactic cataclysm unlike anything ever seen.

Master Sergeant Frank Nolan Sage is not where he wants to be.  After spending 6 years training troops he wants back in the war against the Phrenorians.  Instead he is sent to Makaum, a planet that appears to be on the sidelines of the war.  We readers are much smarter than the Master Sergeant.  We know that Makaum is going to be something much different.

World Building: Odom does a great job of building the universe where Master Sergeant is set.  From the first page that world is developed using action and dialog.  By the time I was halfway through the book I understood what and where the story was set.

Back Story:  Again that is told in the action and dialog that moves the book.  There is not that much back story required and much of it is presented early in the book.  The rest is worked into the plot as required. 

Plot:  While Master Sergeant sets up the series there is a definite danger that must be addressed.  There are numerous problems that are presented.  Some are pretty straight forward but some require Sage and his fellow soldiers to bend if not break the law.  The heart of this plot is drug running and production but it leads to the bigger problem – what the Phrenorians are planning for Makaum.

Characters:  Master Sergeant Sage is the main character that moves the story.  His development follows familiar lines for Military Science Fiction books.  His is backed up by an interesting cast of secondary characters.  While both the Master Sergeant and the secondary characters are often a stereotypes it is because that is what works in this type of novel.  It works well in Master Sergeant.

Writing: This is a well written story that uses great dialog and action that entertains the reader.  There are not any new ideas but everything is so well done that any Military Science Fiction fan will enjoy the book.  It is also a great introduction to those new to Military Science Fiction.

I enjoyed Master Sergeant.  I knew what was going to happen but really liked how the plot developed.  I look forward to more books in the series.

Harper Voyager published Master Sergeant by Mel Odom in 2015.

I received an ARC of Master Sergeant from Edelweiss in return for a honest review.

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