Planetside, part 1. A book review.

Wersja polskojęzyczna tutaj.

Having recently finished reading the first part of the "Planetside" series by Michael Mammay, I'm hereby presenting a quick review of the book.

The novel is basically a crime story with a pinch of SciFi and a sound military carnage.

Colonel Butler is ordered by his superior, General Serata, to travel to the planet Kappa to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Captain Trey Mallot, the son of a high-profile politician. Butler is at the end of his career, due to retire any time now. The mission on Kappa is to be his last.

What do we know about mankind's progress in the universe of the novel? Well… We mastered interstellar travel using vague "jump" technology. We are engaged in relatively harmless wars on many planets, trying to assert our hegemony in the Galaxy. Kappa is a world with more or less humanoid beings who are generally friendly with us, except for a small (less than 10%) faction who would like to see us gone from the neighborhood of their home planet. There is our troops stationed on the surface of Kappa (as well as its orbit), commanded by Colonel Karikov. Butler's only task is to establish what happened to Mallot.

This is roughly what the initial arrangement of events looks like.

And then the fecal matter strucks the atmospheric propulsor.

The strongest part of the book, in my opinion, are the reflections of the narrator (Butler), who is basically a kind-hearted man, although, as you might guess, kindness alone won't get you to the rank of a colonel. The best way I could probably describe Butler is as a "friendly motherfucker" but I won't do that, because I don't want to use uncensored language on an otherwise public blog.

The book reads in an instant, and thanks to the 100% linear narrative (all events are delivered from the perspective of a single narrator, sequentially), there is no need to focus on "camera skips." I gobbled "Planetside" in three evenings and I will absolutely be reaching for the next parts.

My personal rating: 9.5/10. I deducted half a point for the lack of a deeper meaning - the book is actually a brilliantly crafted page-turner in which action chases action, but if you expect some deepness, read "Ulysses" instead 🙂

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