Kill Team: Galaxy's Edge #3
by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published August 13th 2017 by Galaxy's Edge
Kill Team brings us back to where we started in the Galaxy's Edge series: highly trained military professionals who get to kill people and break stuff, hopefully in the service of the greater good. We also return the viewpoint of Lieutenant Chhun, survivor of Kublar and general bad-ass.
Galactic Outlaws had a pretty different feel than Legionnaire. In part, that was due to the alternation of viewpoints between Aeson Keel and Tyrus Rechs. This made the book a little bit hard to follow, but I am willing to endure such things, because some of my favorite books have been hard to follow the first [few] times I've read them. There were a lot of questions left hanging at the end of Galactic Outlaws, and at least a few of them get wrapped up by Kill Team. My patience was rewarded.
We also get a good hard look at the dark underbelly of counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism work. False flag operations and double agents are an expected part of the wilderness of mirrors that characterizes the human side of intelligence gathering, but simply acknowledging that doesn't really count the human cost on the agents who infiltrate terrorist organizations to expose and subvert them.
The moral tradition of which I am a part insists that it is never permissible to do evil in order to achieve good. "Tom," ex-navy undercover operative, has an uneasy conscience about the horrible things he does in order to prevent yet more horrible things. His moral intuition matches up with the moral maxim, but he does those things because they are his mission. In the end, "Tom" receives a kind of rough justice. I'm not sure that what happened to him is just. I'm also not sure is exactly unjust.
As I mentioned in my review of Galactic Outlaws, I appreciate the moral realism of the Galaxy's Edge series. There are very real dangers lurking for the rough men who guard us in our sleep, the temptation to become the monsters they fight, spurred by their often justified contempt for the polished and comfortable who blithely send them to die. "Tom" is a man of integrity, as are most of the Legionnaires we meet. Unfortunately for them, the harshness you need to survive can slowly sap away your humanity. Which is why the real heroes are very often dead.