Friday, October 31, 2014

The Rods and the Axe by Tom Kratman

 Tom Kratman continues the ongoing saga of Carrera's war on Terra Nova here. There is a great deal of detail given relating to how his tercias continue to prepare and dig in for the anticipated attack from the Tauran Union and the Zhang Empire, some good political shenanigans, and some fun stuff from his "ministry of dirty tricks".

I've learned from watching BSU football games over the years that, even if you're known for having a lot of trick plays up your sleeve (like Carrera), you still have to have a good solid skill set of offensive and defensive strategies and tactics in order to win, and I think that the author is quite aware of that, while still providing enough exciting confusion and misdirection to keep the readers entertained.

Kratman may be the only author I can think of off of the top of my head in the military science fiction field, besides David Weber, who can pull off the massively multi-POV story well. I'm not terribly good at visualizing all of the locations on his world, or keeping track of all of the different officers and soldiers and government officials on the multi-front conflict, but he gives me just enough referents to keep moving along with it.

A good, solid step forward in the story line, which was only irritating in that it ended after four hundred pages or so with "To be continued..." Drat! I was really hoping to see the Zhang and Taurans brought to their knees at last.

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