The Misfit Soldier: War Never Changes - Even in Space
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The Misfit Soldier: War Never Changes – Even in Space

The Misfit Soldier: War Never Changes - Even in Space

The Misfit Soldier: War Never Changes – Even in Space

Sergeant Gastovsky (known to all as Gas) discovers that one of his soldiers was left behind on a distant planet. Because of the risk, his superiors don’t approve of a rescue mission. He hatches a plan to sneak aboard a supply vessel and perform the rescue himself, but when that fails, he creates another plan to smuggle other soldiers to the planet. Gas has other motives to save the man he loves.

It’s important to say that I was an outsider to this genre when I started reading this book. I don’t usually read military science fiction. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein and The Forever War (by Joe Haldeman) are two of my favourite entries in this genre. I was exposed to some of the most popular tropes like soldiers in mech suits and wars with alien animals, as well as contemplations about the nature of war. They gave me the impression that this genre is either directly fascist propaganda or strongly anti-war.

While the Misfit Soldier may be more cynical about war than others, it isn’t actually. Gas is fighting in the battle against other people, but the reasons and politics are only briefly touched on. I don’t find it a problem, even if the book is written in the first person. But, this was something that stood out. Although there is a glimpse at the wide-ranging conspiracy underlying the war Gas, and his soldiers are fighting, it isn’t explained. This book also doesn’t contain any unique weapons or technology. With its mech suits and robots, it all feels familiar. Mammary wanted to create a fast-paced and action-packed plot. This was similar to the sci-fi pulps, although those had something different and innovative for the time.

Gas and his crew arrive on the planet with some descriptions. They mention that everything has a purple tint from the gasses in its atmosphere. But for the most part, it doesn’t feel alien. A few words are made about exotic species, but there is no mention of their existence. The planet is home to civilians who are no different than Earth. The crew also encounters robots and mech suits.

The first half of the book was boring and repetitive. Gas assembled the crew and established each role. Although there are moments of banter between them, the characters seem pretty standard. The tech person, the novice, the veteran and the hard-ass.

The twists start to appear halfway through the book, and the story becomes much more enjoyable. This book focuses more on Gas’s life his motivations for wanting to complete the mission. It also explains some of the backgrounds behind the war and why it has been ongoing for so long. The intrigue, along with well-written action scenes, pulled me back to the book.

Some things I have to complain about, such as the way Gas describes war-profiteering, is so simplistic. There was so much more to learn about the forces that pull the strings. The plot’s second half focuses on Gas’s attempts to smuggle the information he has discovered and his relationship with one of his coworkers. To me, the novel reads like a Hollywood sci-fi action film.

The Misfit Soldier is a good read, even though it doesn’t do anything new. Although it doesn’t explore all the interesting angles it could, such as creating alien worlds and the politics of the endless war its characters are fighting in, it has enough humor, intrigue and romance to keep it interesting. This book is a great choice for sci-fi fans who want a quick and enjoyable read.

The Misfit Soldier: War Never Changes – Even in Space
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