Bolo Mark XXXIII in the vanguard strikes against the planet Caern. The enemy is the Aetryx, unknown beings who enslave other species by promising them immortality. Colonel Jon Steicher and his men and Bolos soon find themselves stranded in the hellfire of battle as Bolo battles Bolo-human hybrid. But then they uncover a secret: what if the Aetryx ...
Bolo Mark XXXIII in the vanguard strikes against the planet Caern. The enemy is the Aetryx, unknown beings who enslave other species by promising them immortality. Colonel Jon Steicher and his men and Bolos soon find themselves stranded in the hellfire of battle as Bolo battles Bolo-human hybrid. But then they uncover a secret: what if the Aetryx are literal gods who can make good on their promise of eternal life?
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-08-20 Following Bolo Brigade and Bolo Rising, Keith serves up a military SF adventure with the exciting complexity of a good computer war game and about as much depth. Keith Laumer was the first to write about the Bolos, immense tanks that develop enough intelligence to become partners rather than mere tools of flesh-and-blood warriors. Since Laumer's death, other writers have carried on the concept, so that a Mark XXXIII Bolo weighing 32,000 fearsomely-armed tons can ponder its relations with humans in leisurely fractions of seconds when it isn't deflecting nuclear missiles or outmaneuvering swarms of other tanks. In this novel, the Bolos' Confederation commanders have seriously bungled a planetary invasion intended to free human slaves from mysterious aliens. Unfortunately, the aliens are smarter and more ruthless than anticipated, and they control earlier-model Bolos that are almost as formidable as the Mark XXXIIIs. The pace of conflict escalates constantly, especially after Confederation personnel crash-land in the battlefield. The human characters themselves are pretty rudimentary, but their presence does serve to further complicate the action. The result is fast, furious and clever. It would be a mistake to call this kind of fiction "mindless" fun, since readers have to keep track of damage reports, ammunition status and battlefield tactics; the enjoyment simply requires that you turn off the part of your mind interested in people. An old pro at action series (Warstrider, Seals and Battle Tech), Keith does his part to keep this franchise profitable. (Sept.) FYI: Keith coauthored the comic SF adventure novel Diplomatic Act with Babylon 5 star Peter Jurasik. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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