Title: The Cobra Trilogy (Cobra, Cobra Strike, Cobra Bargain)
Author: Timothy Zahn
Nutshell: The Cobra Trilogy covers three generations of super-soldier. In the first book, small town boy Johnny Moreau wants to change the odds in the war against an alien menace to the Human worlds. He undergoes surgery to become a super-soldier, with servo-assisted, ceramically strengthened muscles and bones, built in lasers, and an implanted computer loaded with an acrobatic skill set to help drive them. He fights the war with the Trofts, and then afterwards deals with the political ramifications of a segment of the population having been turned into un-retireable weapons.
In the second book, Jonny’s twin sons Joshua and Justin impersonate each other on a covert mission. A planet populated by humans has been discovered far from human-controlled space, but intel suggests they are hostile. The inhabitants don’t seem hostile at first. In fact, they seem unnervingly peaceful. Unsettlingly peaceful. And a strange bird explorers find on a different planet may hold the key to getting back home safely.
In the third book, Justin’s daughter Jessica is made the first female Cobra and sent to surveil the formerly suspicious planet, but she is unexpectedly shot down. Somehow, as an obvious offworlder in potentially hostile territory, she must escape the planet. Od course, she thinks she’ll be able to complete her mission on the way.
Read-alikes: Michael A. Stackpole and Jerry Pournelle both write similar planet-based military SF.Read More »
Title: I, Jedi
Author: Michael A. Stockpile
Nutshell: Corran Horn’s wife has been kidnapped. Ordinarily he would go rushing off after her, swoop in to her rescue, and they would kick rear end and take names all the way out of the enemy base. But Corran doesn’t know who kidnapped Mirax or where to find them. The galaxy is a huge place, and only a few New Republic intelligence officers know where she was before she was kidnapped. That information is highly classified, of course.
In addition, there’s some evidence that Mirax was kidnapped by someone who thought she was associated with the Jedi. Which means it might take a Jedi to rescue her.
So Corran joins Luke’s Jedi academy, to connect with the Force and his Jedi heritage. But soon he discovers that being Luke Skywalker isn’t his destiny. If he’s going to save Mirax, he’s going to have to be a Jedi on his own terms.
Read-alikes: Just about any other Star Wars book is like this one, especially the X-wings series.Read More »
Title: The Icarus Hunt
Author: Timothy Zahn
Nutshell: Jordan McKell is a small-time smuggler for a crime lord. It’s not an ideal line of work, but it pays the bills. He’s between smuggling runs when he gets approached for a regular shipping job. Since he’s supposed to be an out-of-work shipper in between runs, he does what any good out-of-work cargo hauler does: he takes the job. He’ll explain it to the crime lord later.
The job does have a couple of oddities. First, the cargo is an entire ship, so he’ll have to fly it. Second, the ship is one of the ugliest, worst-designed ships in the galaxy. Third, he isn’t allowed to choose a crew. Besides his own partner, he has no say in the choice of crewmembers that are helping him. Fourth, there is something fishy going on. This small freight job might be a lot more like smuggling than he was planning. And fifth, one of the crewmembers is dead.
Read-alikes: Michael A. Stackpole’s science fiction is quite similar, as is Aaron Aliston’s. Avalon, by Mindee Arnett has many of the same features.Read More »