Elliot Kay’s Poor Man’s Fight is a Buildungsroman for the military scifi geek in you

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Elliot Kay’s Poor Man’s Fight is a Buildungsroman for the military scifi geek in you

This was an intricately detailed military science fiction book that finally won me over at the end.  It won’t be the book for everyone, but if you enjoyed Ender’s Game, this feels like a more grown up version to some degree.  It takes a lot of work to stick it out with Tanner through boot camp and his time as a grunt, but the end is worthy of a Firefly episode.  It is part of the kindleunlimited program, so it’s free if you are a member ($3.99 ebook if you aren’t).  While I thought the pace was a deal breaker, it has managed to garner 4.5 stars with over 800 Amazon reviews, so it might just rock your galaxy.  I do have to say that the cover both repulsed me and drew me in with it’s old school pulpy SciFi charm.  

  
Goodreads Summary

High school senior Tanner Malone has bombed the Test, a high-stakes exam that establishes how much he owes for his corporate-funded education. Burdened by a crushing debt that rules out college, Tanner enlists in the navy of Archangel, a star system with four terraformed worlds. But he hasn’t factored in the space pirates.

Just as Tanner begins basic training, the government ramps up its forces to confront a band of rowdy raiders who are wreaking havoc in the void. Led by complex and charismatic Captain Casey, the outlaws love a little murder and mayhem, but they are also democratic, egalitarian, and devoted to freeing each new recruit from debt and corporate oppression.

Assigned to the front lines, Tanner soon finds himself caught in the crossfire between ruthless foes, cruel comrades, and unforgiving space. Can he do his duty when good and evil look so much alike?

My Thoughts

Sometimes the ending of a book can change everything, and this was certainly the case in this book.  The last third of this book was exactly what I wanted – action, action, action.  However, as enthralling as the ending was, I found myself struggling to get through the first half of the book.  I actually put it down at 56%, because it was just so long.  Boot camp and first assignments were essential to setting up the fabulous resolution, but I really think they dragged on for too long.  Don’t even get me started on the political jabber.  I think my real problem was that I just couldn’t see where this was all going to pay off.  I’m glad I got the reward, but the pace is off, and some of those moments could have been accelerated to make it more engaging.  I did, however like Tanner.  His situation certainly evoked empathy, but I have to admit his isolation was depressing because it seemed neverending.  It did parallel nicely with the narrative of brand new space pirate (Space Pirate!) Darren who was also experiencing the life of newbie grunt.  However, I think I might have found a more interesting parallel between the pirate captain with his comraderie and power to Tanner’s loneliness and powerlessness.  It would have made for a more cohesive narrative hand off.  Overall, this was a decent read, and I’m so tempted to pick up the next one in the hopes that all the groundwork has been placed, so it can be action packed from the start.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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