Opening Shots (Fierce Girls at War #3)

Opening Shots Book Cover Opening Shots
Fierce Girls at War
Mike Adams
Sci-fi
Self-Published
February 6, 2018
Paperback
250

“OH, MY GOD! Do you have any idea what it’s like to be trapped in a restroom doorway on a 850-ft long cargo transport flying sideways through the mountains after being hit by plasma bolts from alien ships way down on the ocean and think you’re gonna die, and it’s a good thing I finished or I would have had my pants down around my ankles, and ha ha very funny, and then and then to be picked up and carried like a rag doll with a broken wrist and then thrown into a crash couch and then have a really handsome naval officer that you know your mom would like jump on top of you just before you crash into a mountain with your nose and mouth full of crash gel foam? OH, MY GOD!”
Ruby McCarthy, age 14, 2nd year student from Canada, New Hope Academy, New Hope Colony, Tau Ceti 4

“Take a breath, blondie! You know you hammered my eyeball with your elbow, right? You’re welcome anyway.”
Commander Rick Cassidy, Director of Logistics, Colonial Ranger Regiment, New Hope Colony

Opening Shots Book 3 of Fierce Girls at War
The Rift are ready to strike. They’ve had to wait until after winter and for Amundsen to depart before their waterborne invasion can begin. They have been covertly landing their mercenary troops on some islands 300 miles south of the southeastern coast. Reluctant to endanger their handful of orbit to ground airships they plan to attack the eastern settlements by sea using The colony ship Amundsen had brought thousands of new colonists plus 500 Rangers under Colonel Colin Fox. Among them is Major Naomi MacCaffrey who is unaware of who she would be really be working for.

A group of fifty female students and interns from the New Hope Academy prepare to leave on their internship tour of the colony’s eastern settlements with Veronika Tchachenko in charge of getting them where they need to go. Some of the girls chosen for the internship tour are members of a female protection group that deals with male students who create sexually harass the girls. First stop is New St Louis where they will put on concerts for the residents. Some of the girls visit with their parents who live in the various settlements.

When Colonel Fox returns to New Hope Town with his Rangers he wants to take them to New Cancun early. CDR Rick Cassidy is asked to arrange that for their earlier departure. Their cargo containers can’t go with them. Cassidy and GSGT Molly Pickford will have to travel with the Rangers’ equipment including their weapons and ammo on the transport Cairo. The Regimental Commander General Jamison receives a report from the starship Asia message to informing him about the incident on Asia and learns that Rick Cassidy’s daughter was involved.

 

A copy of Opening Shots was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

So, I’m going to start by saying I haven’t actually read the first two books in this series. Normally I wouldn’t skip over books like that, but Mike Adams was kind enough to send me summaries of those two. After reading those summaries and Opening Shots, the best way I can describe this is the end of the prologue. Up to this point, the stage is being set for bigger and better things in future books.

Now, this is a fairly basic sci-fi setting. Humanity is just starting to colonize their first not-Earth planet. The colony has been established by this point in the story, but it’s still small. Unfortunately for humanity, aliens staked a claim on this real estate before they showed up. And instead of chasing humans off with a cease and desist order, the aliens plan to do it high powered weaponry. It reminds me a little bit of Halo in that way, but without all the religious overtones.

While the premise of Opening Shots is solid, the execution was a bit mixed. I, personally, am used to reading novels much longer than this one. Books where there is a higher page count to establish worldbuilding, develop characters, and all that good stuff. The faster pacing just threw me a little but that’s more of a personal pet peeve than anything else. But the thing that really stuck out was the characters. More specifically, the amount of named characters. There are points in here where 6 or more new characters might get introduced, by name, in a single chapter. It was just too much too fast to keep up with.

The limited page count made it hard for each character to do anything meaningful enough for me to remember who everyone was. And some characters are more significant than others. While there isn’t really a main character, some people are just name-dropped a few times while others are making major plot decisions. The one who stuck out the most was really the main male character, who seems to have gone through the same military graduating class as Zapp Brannigan. To the point where he casually suggests he was ok with sleeping with a minor. It was creepy.

Anyway, overall Opening Shots seems like a decent enough starting point but that’s really all it is. Just the preamble to the main performance. Not 100% my usual pick for a sci-fi series (I’m more for space operas) but there’s some potential here.

November 1, 2020

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