This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Order of the Centurion
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Order of the Centurion #1
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
“The Order of the Centurion is the highest award that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in, or with, the Legion. When such an individual displays exceptional valor in action against an enemy force, and uncommon loyalty and devotion to the Legion and its legionnaires, refusing to abandon post, mission, or brothers, even unto death, the Legion dutifully recognizes such courage with this award.”
Tired of sitting out the war on Psydon in a mobile office hab, Legion Lieutenant Washam agrees to undertake a covert and unsanctioned mission with a band of Republic Recon Marines. Inserted deep behind enemy lines, the strike force uncovers a surprise key to ending a bitter war. Now they must navigate a hostile jungle teeming with murderous alien rebels, pushing themselves to the limits of their abilities, to get this vital intel to Legion Command–if they can survive that long.
THE ORDER OF THE CENTURION is an all-new series of stand-alone military science fiction thrillers set in the GALAXY’S EDGE universe, ranging from the Savage Wars to the arrival of the Black Fleet. Each book features the legendary heroes of the Legion who forgot nothing in their earning of the Legion’s highest honor.
As the blurb above states, this series is actually a bunch of stand-alone novels dealing with various heroes of the Legion over time. I’m good with some stand-alones at the moment. A good solid Mil-SF book filled with heroics aptly fits my needs.
I was kind of expecting this book, by Anspach and Cole alone, to be about the first time the Order of the Centurion was awarded. But instead they chose a time period soon after the Savage Wars had ended and as the Republic is stretching its wings. It’s also when the Republic’s House of Reason began appointing Officers to the Legion in an underhanded way to bring it under their control. So not only do the authors choose that time period, they choose 2 Points (short hand for Appointed Officer) to tell the story, as one of them is the guy who gets the award, post-humuously. It also does a fantastic job of showing how much politics goes into even something that should have been sacred from the filthy hands of the politicians.
Usually I thoroughly enjoy the characters portrayed but not so much this tme. The Point who gets the award is everything that the Legion feared a Point would be. The other is his friend but actually went through Legionnaire training and successfully become a Legionnaire on his own. The problem is that the friend kept excusing the Bad Point for the whole book and even at the end thinks well of him. Thankfully all of the supporting characters were great and really pushed the story on.
One of the side characters is an actual Leej and not only that, but a Dark Operator. He’s just biding his time per his commander’s orders so that he can retire with full benefits and get his pension, which will allow him to live with his wife and two sons and reconnect with them. He was the character I connected with and wished that he had received the medal and recognition. He showed the spirit of the Legionnaires and that was enough to carry the story, thankfully.
Like I noted before, this was by Anspach and Cole alone. After this, other authors are going to be writing the stories under the direction of A&C. I am hesitant about that. For my own sake I hope it turns out well but I’ve experienced too many instances of other authors playing in someone’s sandbox and, while not ruining things, just not getting it and so being out of step and awkward for established readers.