On Memorial Day, we remember and appreciate the military men and women who gave their lives in the service of our country. However, we also have living vets, some of whom have now gone on to careers in the publishing world (and one of whom is a very good friend of mine), and I’m a big believer in remembering people’s service even after the official holidays have come and gone.
One way to thank a veteran is to buy her books – but to buy them, you have to know that they exist, and that they’re an awesome read.
That’s where this post comes in.
I recently had the privilege of reading an advance copy of CONTRACT OF WAR, the upcoming third novel in Tammy Salyer‘s fantastic Spectras Arise trilogy.
And since Tammy is not only a talented author and editor but also a veteran, I thought I’d take this week to review–and highly recommend–CONTRACT OF DEFIANCE and the other novel in the trilogy. (When you finish CONTRACT OF DEFIANCE, move right on to CONTRACT OF BETRAYAL, and you’ll be all set for CONTRACT OF WAR, which releases later this summer!)
First, the summary:
In a few hundred years, the Algol system becomes humanity’s new home. The question is: is it a better one? When a crew of arms smugglers botches their latest job, Corps-deserter and crewmember, Aly Erikson, is separated from her brother, the only person she can trust, and left behind to fight for her life. In the aftermath, as she tries to piece together what happened, a crew of roughneck settlers pressgang her into a dangerous mission in the heart of Corps territory. Time is running out to get back everything she’s lost: her crew, her brother, and her options. But no one is taking her gun.
Short review: Highly Recommended.
Longer review: Aly Erikson is my favorite kind of hero. She’s tough as nails, good with her mind as well as her fists, and she doesn’t take crap from anyone. Even better, she says the things I always wish I could say … but didn’t dare.
Best of all, Aly is strong without the edgy, over-the-top kind of toughness so many writers mistakenly introduce to a female protagonist. She’s not “tough with something to prove” – she’s tough because the system in which she lives treats females and men as equals, and Aly has proven she has what it takes to hang with the Algol system’s equivalent of the space marines…and its smugglers.
I prefer my sci-fi action-packed, and CONTRACT OF DEFIANCE delivers there as well. Aly is a creature of action, and Tammy Salyer’s own military experience (she was a paratrooper!) serves her well when it comes to writing realistic, fast-paced combat scenes. Tammy has probably never assaulted a space station personally – but her writing puts you into the action in a way that makes the novel realistic and impossible to put down.
I devoured CONTRACT OF DEFIANCE and the sequel, CONTRACT OF BETRAYAL, and had been waiting, eagerly, for the third installment, CONTRACT OF WAR. Tammy’s writing, and the story, gets better and better with every novel.
Tammy hasn’t given her life for our country (and I’m glad, because she’s a talented author and fabulous friend I hope to have around for many years)–but she has put it on the line, and that deserves some thanks, I think.
You can help by checking out the Spectras Arise Trilogy – and since her books are prime-quality science fiction, this is definitely a win-win situation.
Do you know a veteran who is also an author? I’d love to hear your recommendations for other vet-authored books in the comments today!~