Columbus Day by Craig Alanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Earth was alone until that day flashes in the sky herald the arrival of an alien species that we later learn were known as the Ruhar, they struck our industry and infrastructure but left the cities mostly intact and then their soldiers arrived. Jo Bishop (former US Army) was back home looking forward to celebrating Columbus Day but finds himself and a few friends engaging in a cat and mouse maneuver with the alien occupants of a damaged troop ship but when it looks like the end is nigh the sky erupts again as second alien fleet arrives and engages the first.
The Earth is saved and in gratitude the world governments commit ground forces to aid the second alien species (Kristang) in their ongoing galaxy wide conflict but the men and women who journey to the stars are in for a rude awakening, not everything is as advertised and the Earth and her people are little more than pawns in a greater game.
Columbus Day was a purchase based purely on reading the blurb when the Amazon algorithm decided I would like it and you know this time it got it right. The central character of Joe Bishop was written well and with enough flaws to make him the everyday former soldier drawn back into what he's really best at and to exercise his ethics in a theatre that has little time for compassion and justice. The novel takes its time to create the world the series is based in and of course that always pays off so when the scope of the narrative expands greatly it all fits together well and doesn't stretch the bounds of credibility. I'll certainly be reading the rest of the series but not right away, there is a lot on my to read list but when I'm ready they are on the kindle good to go.
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