Through three centuries of interstellar travel, intelligent alien life-forms had never been encountered . . . until now.
When a scientific team exploring an obscure planet fails to make its regular communications check, the Marines of third platoon are sent to investigate. They prepare for a routine rescue operation, but what they find on Society 437 is a horror beyond description. Only a handful of ragtag pirates who were in the wrong place at the very worst time have survived, and there is little trace of the scientists.
This is another good book in the Starfist series but…I did not like this one as much as the other ones. It is a bit surprising since I generally like when they throw a few slimy never-before-seen aliens into the mix.
Somehow this book never felt as fun to read or as engaging as the the other three ones. The marine “stuff” and the battles where well written and fun to read as usual but the aliens where somewhat shallow and illogical. There where never any real explanations as to why the aliens where even there and why they where acting as they did. More annoying was that these aliens, that where obviously intelligent enough to travel between the stars, seemed to get pretty dumb when confronting the marines.
The naval officer, Snodgrass, was probably in the book to add a bit of humor but he was so overly stupid and silly that is was only marginally funny. I was waiting for him to get smacked by the marines the entire book but it never really happened apart from verbally a few times. Instead he magically transitions in the last few chapters to a hero type guy. Both predictable and not very likely.
I still enjoyed the book quite a lot but I feel it could have been better.