This is the eighth edition of Warzone: Nemesis. Warzone: Nemesis opens the files of the top-secret war for space, hidden behind the facade of a decades-long cold war between super-powers. The wrecks of two alien spaceships, and the larger disaster behind the wrecks, gives both the USSR and the USA the rudiments of space travel, and access to the element known only as alloy-x, the key to the interplanetary engines. Elite fighters recruited anonymously from Special Forces units join the battle between the two countries for supremacy in space, waged on the Moon, on Mars, and on the moons of the outer planets. To their planet, these men are dead, their histories erased from the record. Identified only by call signs, they engage in a life-and-death struggle far beyond the view of the public. Warzone: Nemesis is an action-packed opening novel to the Warzone series, a richly-detailed read for lovers of science-fiction and military fiction alike. Contrasting ideologies bring the underlying similarities between the commanders on both sides into sharp focus, adding depth to the story, and the levels of research that have gone into the book are clearly visible in the meticulous description of locales and technologies. Morris E. Graham creates comprehensive battle strategies and interesting psychological twists to keep the battles, and the story, moving along, while touching on some of the many ethical dilemmas that any war brings into the open.
My book review
Although I don’t commonly read speculative fiction, Warzone: Nemesis is a well-written reflection on a Cold War that never existed. Graham peoples his speculative world with elite soldiers draw from the battlefields in Vietnam, at least initially. In this world, the Cold War migrates to the Moon, then Mars, where soldiers bear the hardships of living in space, away from loved ones and community, to fight for the domination of space.
For those who love reading military fiction, this is a superb example, containing the kind of detail on military strategy and weaponry, these readers will enjoy. For those who love science fiction, the alternate world created by Graham is peopled with rich characters and places.
The hero of our story, Cowboy, proved himself in the air as part of the Vietnam war before being recruited to the elite fighting force destined for the battlefields of space. His military acumen and bravery serve him well as part of this elite unit, whose very existence is kept secret from those left on Earth.
The first in a planned series of books, Nemesis is a good introduction to the speculative world and technologies we’ll likely see as other books in the series are published.
I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to those who like this genre, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
One thing I found a little disturbing was the code names taken by the American fighters, which they were allowed to change each time they came up for promotion. The book explained this as a means to avoid retribution by Russian’s against the Earth-bound families of the soldiers, but that lacked realism for me — after all, the US isn’t exactly a third world country where foreign nationals can enter and kill our citizens. There’s also the situation of the soldiers’ “deaths” designed to keep the extra terrestrial warfare a secret from the citizens of Earth, which might also explain the use of code names.
Regardless, I found the code names made it difficult to keep track the multitude of characters that peopled the story, which, of course, makes it difficult to engage with the characters or to care about what happens to them. I think Graham should reevaluate the usefulness of using only code names as he moves forward in writing future books.
My only other recommendation is that Graham hire a professional editor for future versions of this book and future books. As a writer, I know how challenging it is to write a good story and I’m far from an expert at editing for grammar and spelling. I do have Beta readers and I’m indebted to them for their editorial contributions, as well as their insights that make my books better. Regardless, I do have a professional editor go over the book after making the strongest story possible in order to catch those nasty spelling and grammar mistakes.
About this blog
Hi, I’m Angela Hausman and I write the Buried Ladies series. My first book, Buried Ladies: A Novel of Murder, Mystery, and the Dark Web is available on Amazon or read free on Kindle Unlimited.
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