Multi-volume author, Bruno Goncalves introduces us to the first of a series, “Descent Into Mayhem”:
After two hundred years of isolated existence, the colonists of Capicua, a fertile super-earth orbiting Gliese 667C, find themselves confronted with a newly arrived paramilitary force aiming to impose annexation through force of arms.
Oblivious to the impending invasion, Toni Miura joins Capicua’s decrepit armed forces in a bid to escape domestic troubles, aiming for the privilege of driving the Hammerhead, a bipedal armored suit which is the epitome of his planet´s ailing warrior spirit.
With the arrival of the earthborn raiders, Toni’s unqualified platoon, brimming with misfits and plagued by internal differences, finds itself suddenly thrown into the midst of battle. Abandoned by their seniors in the course of their mission, Toni and the remnants of his unit become lost in the wilderness of a world which, owing to the nature of its orbit, suffers periodically from planet-wide hurricane conditions.
So begins a race against time, where a handful of cadets will be forced to outmaneuver a pursuing enemy in the boondocks of a turbulent planet, all the while seeking to deliver an odd but important Bavarian prisoner-of-war to their Headquarters.
I read the story and found it quite appealing. Having a background in military service and construction, and being an avid fan of Sci/Fi this book was tailor-made for me. I derived a lot of satisfaction in the story, easily relating to Toni and his troubles both internal and external. Bruno gives great descriptions of the military emplacements and their construction; the mechanisms of the walking battle suits, weapons and tactics; and the difficulties inherent to the world of Capicua.
This is also one of the problems of the book, the balance between necessary background information and the actions of the characters, including dialogues, is tilted too heavily away from the characters and their interactions.
While we are talking about balance, the story is heavily weighted in the favor of Toni; there is far less story about Kaiser, who he meets on the battlefield over halfway through the book, it seemed like two separate stories unlikely to clash until they finally engaged in combat.
The book opens with an interesting prologue of a tired warrior on the battlefield. Set about 20 years before the story of Toni, I failed to see the significance to his story. While good in and of itself, the prologue did not seem to relate, and therefore seemed unnecessary.
I came across some unusual words that sent me to the dictionary. Bruno used the words without explanation which leaves the reader to struggle with the meaning, I think an improvement is needed in this area because it detracts from the pleasure of a good story.
The reader has to do some work to fully appreciate the story. Bruno could have made it much easier, allowing the reader to stay within the world of Capicua.
Bruno has a really good story here, but it has a lot of rough edges and some structural defects. I rate this book 3.5 stars of 5.
You can buy this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Descent Into Mayhem
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Copyright © 2015 Mark L. Schultz except for the author’s introduction
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An avid reader, typobuster, and the Hyper-Speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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