Tag Archives: military

fierce firls

Review of Fierce Girls, by Mike Adams

Author, Mike Adams, sent me a copy of Fierce Girls.

Description from Goodreads:

“I love being a Marine but there are days…We may have a lot of the same problems in 2122 we did a hundred years ago but back then the Gul brothers weren’t paying lots to see my head on a spike! Not that I was born yet but that’s not the point! So I’m a pretty good shot and Rick is even better. Did I ask daddy Gul and his boys to go on a rampage? No, I didn’t! But now we have to leave the planet and go to the New Hope colony where the locals like to eat people!” –Staff Sergeant Susan ‘Molly’ Bennett, USMC

The story of the alien Rift invasion of the New Hope Colony begins on Earth in 2122 when all too familiar problems and events cause a chain reaction that will have repercussions on two worlds. Fleeing for their lives and to protect his family Navy, Lieutenant Paul “Rick” O’Brien and Marine Staff Sergeant Susan Mollison “Molly” Bennett will have to board a starship for the long voyage to Earth’s first extrasolar colony under new identities. There they will join the Colonial Rangers, the international military force designed to protect the colonists from the planet’s ferocious predators, not to deter an alien invasion.

The female-loving Logistics officer O’Brien and superb marksman and the courageous Marine recon squad leader form an unbreakable bond forged under fire that will serve them well as events unfold around them. The circumstances that send them to the New Hope Colony will also have a profound effect on the other members of the O’Brien/Cassidy family and especially Rick’s daughter Ciara as well as on the colony where they find refuge.


This was not a winner for me. The book is titled Fierce Girls, and there are a number of fierce girls in it. But if you asked me who the main character is, I’d tell you it is Rick O’Brien (the only male). He is the primary idea man, it’s his family the book centers on, and he’s the primary instigator of action. He‘s the main character of a book called Fierce Girls

And it’s not surprising. Because honestly, you can feel that this book is written by a man, despite the title. It’s in the aforementioned focus on the male. The way he’s affectionately referred to as a womanizer. The subtle gun worship (or at least shooter worship). The white knight syndrome as Rick saves all the women. The way he’s described as super respectful of women, but still laughs at sexist jokes. The way every mention of Molly (an accomplished Marine) includes how attractive she is, calling her “pretty Bennett” and usually includes mention of her clothing (or lack thereof). The way the book couldn’t get to the end without putting that pretty, self-sufficient woman in a position to possibly be raped. And the whole weird kumbayah, love fest all the women seem to engage in whenever they were all together. As a woman who has a mother, aunt, sister, female friends, nieces, and daughters (one of each Ciara’a age) very little of that felt realistic. It read like some uber stereotyped version of idealized womanhood.

But being written by a man wouldn’t be an indictment if the book didn’t simultaneously feel so much like author wish-fulfillment—Rick, after all, is the most handsome, smartest, bravest, most talented, most skilled, most sought after man in the universe—and have an incredibly unlikeable main character. Rick, after all, is the most handsome, smartest, bravest, most talented, most skilled, most sought after man in the universe and it makes him painfully smug and arrogant.

Then there is the actual writing. It’s mostly ok, but there were some irritants. Everyone talks with exclamation points, there are a ton of info dumps (usually in the form of dialogue that reads like a lecture), there’s too much telling as large chunks of time and events are glossed over, there’s some weird bolding and italicizing going on, it’s repetitive, and names/titles are used too frequently.

But worst of all, the plot is a very loose weave. For over half the book, I didn’t even think there was one. Eventually one kind of coalesced, but the book would have been significantly improved if the first half was a lot tighter and the last half had a point beyond “look how awesome Rick is.” Readers are introduced to a million characters, many of whom we don’t need to know, and some of whom go by as many as three names (before also changing their names in the latter half of the book). It confusing and, I hate to say it, boring.

I understand that this is the first in a long series (22 books to date). So, some leeway can be given for setting the ground for the rest of the series. But for me, I didn’t particularly enjoy this first one, so I’m not interested in 21 more.

Review of On Point (Out of Uniform #3), by Annabeth Albert

I received a copy of Annabeth Albert‘s On Point through Netgalley. You can find my reviews for the first two books in the series here and here.

Description from Goodreads:
Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

I liked this ok, about as much as any of the others in the series. Alberts writing is very readable, though there was one writing device used here that annoyed me. (The dropping of pronouns, making short—”Want you.” “Need You so much.”—sentences. Once or twice would have been fine, but it cropping up every time things got heated started to feel gimmicky.) I liked both of the characters and thought their personal hang-ups believable, Maddox’s more than Ben’s, though Ben’s fears of Maddox leaving the team were especially well done. All in all, I’m still interested enough to continue the series, even if I’m not quit gagging for more.

In the Wreckage

Book Review of In the Wreckage (Metahuman Files #1), by Hailey Turner

Author, Hailey Turner sent me a copy of In the Wreckage for review.

Description from Goodreads:
A Marine with honor. 

After surviving a horrific chemical attack that turned him into a metahuman, Captain Jamie Callahan got a second lease on life. For three years he’s been working for the Metahuman Defense Force and leading Alpha Team—all against the wishes of his family. The job requires his full dedication, so it’s no surprise Jamie doesn’t have time for a relationship. An enticing one-night stand with a gorgeous stranger is all it takes to show Jamie exactly what he’s been missing. When a mission to take down a terrorist cell brings that same stranger back into his world, Jamie’s life gets complicated. 

A soldier with secrets. 

Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan was only looking to relieve some stress after a long mission. He didn’t know the hot guy he picked up at a bar was the leader of the MDF’s top field team. When Kyle and his partner get seconded to Alpha Team to help fight a terrorist threat, he has to balance his desire for Jamie against his duty to keep his secrets safe. That gets harder and harder to do amidst regulations both are tempted to break. 

Two men trying to survive. 

Giving into passion could cost both their careers. Abiding by the rules will only result in heartache. An attack on MDF headquarters brings with it a choice Jamie and Kyle can’t escape—duty, or love?

Not bad at all. I quite liked Jamie and Kyle, as well as all the side characters. I liked that women were given equal time and treatment. I liked that the sex was filthy hot (a little over the top for my taste, but still hot). I liked that the two men explored power dynamics without having to formalize into BDSM or declaring “I’m your Dom and you’re my Sub.” If felt a lot more natural than a lot of authors attempts at this. I liked the idea of the world and how metahumans were created. There is a lot of good going on here. It’s well written and I’d definitely read more.

However, I also thought the sex blotted out the plot at times and there didn’t really seem to be an overarching plot line beyond ‘these are metahuman soldiers who get set out on missions.’ Yes, there were the good metahumans and the bad metahumans and theoretically neutral, civilian metahumans (though you never see one). But there was no apparent central villain or single disaster they were aiming to prevent, at least not as far as I could tell. So, it felt a little strung together and random. Plus, becoming metahuman was supposed to be rare, but there sure seemed to be an endless supply of them.

Also, while the writing was good for the most part, it did occasionally fall into heavy telling passages and occasionally the ‘I’ll use my powers to…’ came across as cheesy. There were also a few really Hollywood scenes that stretched my credulity too far.

While I really liked Jamie and Kyle and I liked them together. There was not enough development in their romance to believe. I totally saw that they clicked sexually, but then suddenly they’re falling in love and I couldn’t fallow that at all. It’s not quite insta-love, but it’s pretty darned close.

Lastly, as much as I liked everyone, I had a hard time keeping up. There were a lot of characters, all of which had multiple names and it was really easy to get lost in it.