All five books in the Order of the Centurion series are available in a set for $0.99 USD on Amazon right now. I copied in my capsule reviews of all five, or you can scroll down for the full reviews at the bottom. This is a screaming deal for five books, and worth picking up if you find this interesting.
Order of the Centurion
A return to Space Vietnam, and an inversion of the most hated characters of Season One, the points, appointed officers who owe their loyalty to the House of Reason rather than the Legion. The unwinnable war on Psydon is won by a point, or at least the sequence of events that ends it is put in motion by one.
Also looks at survivor’s guilt, since not every hero dies a glorious death. Sometimes, they just toil away in obscurity, wondering why they are the ones who lived.
Iron Wolves is about the less legendary, and more typical men who comprise the Legion. Much like the Légion étrangère, the Legion can be willing to tolerate a lot if can be pointed at the enemy and let loose. Reminds me of Beau Geste or Jerry Pournelle’s Falkenberg series, books dedicated to the men who love the military life, but don’t fit in so well anywhere else.
The ugly reality of military life is you have to take orders from people you really don’t like. Stryker’s War looks at what happens when officers are not just incompetent, but corrupt and venial. There are plenty of men just like this throughout history, but since I recently read Blood and Thunder, I will single out Manuel Armijo, who abandoned Santa Fe when his troops had an excellent defensive position set up in the pass leading to the city during the New Mexico campaign of the Mexican American War.
Stryker’s War is much like what would have happened if Armijo hadn’t pulled his troops out of Apache Canyon before the Americans came, but still ran off with the loot.
Through the Nether
Through the Nether is one of the few books in the Order of the Centurion series that connects directly to Season One. Through the Nether functions as a kind of sequel of Kill Team, but it looks at the downstream consequences of those events through the eyes of less exalted people.
A major theme of Season One is how crazy and unhinged intelligence agencies can get. Attempts to practice operational security can also unmoor you from reality. Intelligence agencies have done things that an author would hesitate at describing in writing as “too unbelievable”. Well, other than Tim Powers, he just went there. More than once. Clancy never talked about the whacko stuff that goes on all the time.
Through the Nether deserves special mention as the least military-themed book of all of Galaxy’s Edge.
If Legionnaire was the Afghanistan experience, The Reservist is the Afghanistan experience of the weekend warriors. Men who signed up for free education and health benefits who ended up paying everything up to and including the ultimate price. Men who you probably wouldn’t stop to look at in the supermarket and think, whoa, that guy stacked some bodies.
Which is probably OK with him, because he isn’t really comfortable talking about it.
Order of the Centurion
Order of the Centurion #1 Book Review
Iron Wolves: Order of the Centurion #2 Book Review
Stryker’s War: Order of the Centurion #3 Book Review
Through the Nether: Order of the Centurion #4 Book Review
The Reservist: Order of the Centurion #5 Book Review