Back in August I saw a promotion for some free Kindle books and I decided to grab a copy of one titled Star Soldier (Doom Star #1) by Vaughn Heppner. I had never heard of the author or the series, I just wanted a free book. I knew the promotion was designed to get me reading the first book, and then purchase the remaining 5, and being an unknown author/title, I wasn’t sure it was what I was looking for. Obviously I decided to give it a chance (otherwise this article wouldn’t exist).
The series focuses on the main character Martin Kluge. The son of dissidents, he lives under the thumb of Social Unity, a communist regimen that controls the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars). Martin wants to be free, to be able to have his own thoughts and live his own life. His thoughts and temper get him in trouble with the Policial Harmony Corp, and he is sentenced to forced labor deep underground in Australia. Meanwhile, the genetically engineered super-soldiers, created by Social Unity, have decided they are superior and they should be the masters of homo-sapiens. Renaming themselves as Highborn, they start an interplanetary war against Social Unity. This conflict eventually spills into the outer planets, as a third threat arises and the whole solar system jockeys for power.
The series reminds me of Starship Troopers, with their battle suits and extreme ideologies, along with the training and space battles of Ender’s Game and the Eugenics Wars of Star Trek. There is a line taken straight from Space Seed, when one of the Social Unity generals is referring to the super-soldiers “superior ability breeds superior ambition.”
These books include, but are not limited to, the following tropes:
- Space Is An Ocean
- Asteroid Miners
- The Battlestar
- Space Marines
- Drop Ship
- One World Order
- Orbital Bombardment
- Stealth In Space
- The War of Earthly Aggression
I was taken in by the first book and subsequently purchased the eBooks for the remainder of the series. The adventures of Martin Kluge and others were interesting. The second and third books suffered from repeating information from the first book. I know why authors do this, but I find it irritating, particularly when I’m reading the books back to back. Once you get to book four recapping reduces to the minimum so the story can progress.