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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Friday, November 14, 2014

First Contact by Michael R. Hicks

First Contact

The Terran survey ship Aurora makes a startling discovery in an uncharted star system: two planets inhabited by an advanced, and decidedly unfriendly, non-human civilization. Disabled by gigantic alien warships before it can escape, the Aurora is boarded by nightmarish blue-skinned warriors with claws and fangs who slaughter the crew in ritual combat using primitive weapons. The sole survivor, Midshipman Ichiro Sato, is returned to Earth as a messenger bearing a device that warns of an impending attack.
For that is the way of the Kreelan Empire, which has waged war against countless civilizations across the stars in its quest for a savior, one not of their own blood, foretold in an ages-old prophecy. With only a few generations left before their ancient species faces extinction, the Kreelans will wage their last war against humanity, hoping against hope for redemption of sins long past.

First Contact (SF Military War)
(The Last War Trilogy Book #1)
By Michael R. Hicks
Imperial Guard Publishing
Kindle Price $0.00
373 Pages
Rating 4 Stars

“Well Researched Military Detail.”

         Taking place far in the future when Planet Earth has achieved interstellar spaceflight, and Earthmen have settled on planets in other star systems, their survey ships have often found life on other planets, but never intelligent life. But when the Aurora jumps into an unknown star system all that changes. Huge ships are fast approaching their entry point, as if they were expected. Before they can return to their jump port, huge warrior women wielding swords bent on slaughtering all on board invade their ship. Taking but a few captives, the prisoners are placed in an arena to fight to the death; only one is left alive to carry the message to Earth – the aliens now know where their planet systems are located, and an invading force will soon be on the way. They have 18 months to prepare for war.
         The Kreelan Empire has been around for five hundred thousand years, and their technology is highly advanced. But they have a strange sense of honor, even though they happily slaughter millions (billions?) of innocent people, they will fight using technology on the level of their foes. The war that they wage with the Earth fleet near one of Earth’s colony planets is fast and ferocious. They fight for their honor, whether they win or die in battle, and they don’t care if their foes are peaceful civilians or professional military soldiers, they will die in battle to give them honor and pleasure.
         This reminded me of one of Robert A. Heinlein’s juvenile stories, to be honest. SPACE CADET comes to mind. The fighting is fierce, then suddenly, for little reason, the Kreelan warrior stops slaying to fight an Earthman they think has shown bravery or something, and then will fight that person to the death – though often sparing them, which doesn’t make any sense, either. Earth should have stood little chance against their superior power, yet we walk away to mend our wounds and fight again another day. The Kreelans could have wiped us out in one massive wave using weapons far superior to our own, but merely played with us by slashing our heads off. Though probably set thousands of years in the future, the words “embedded”, “blogger” and “Gary Owen” are mentioned. Remember, supposedly there hasn’t been a war since we entered space, and all monies have been directed to space travel. Embedded should have been a word long forgotten. And Bloggers? Heck, even today Bloggers are moving away from Blogs to other social medias. Will there still be a 7th Cavalry in the far future, when war is forgotten, and man turns his eyes toward space? Who will remember Gary Owen?
         I don’t know what the point of the story was. The novel is totally war, killing, and profanity. I’ve been to war, and this novel made me think of kids play-acting – or role-playing games. So millions of people are killed, so what, it’s only a game. Although it certainly wasn’t for me, I understand there are many readers who do like this sort of thing, and for them it’s recommend. But if you are like me, read a Star Trek novel, at least there is more than war, killing, and profanity. You might even enjoy a good yarn.

Tom Johnson

Author of Pangaea: Eden’s Planet

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