The series begins years after the devastating Merkiaari invasion that caused the loss of billions of lives on 80 worlds. The Merkiaari were finally forced to retreat, but the losses were staggering. Humanity survived and forged on. Now they are exploring, but the lessons of the Merkiaari have made them very cautious.
While humans are out there exploring, General Burgton has been constantly assessing everything happening in the human-occupied corner of the galaxy. Convinced the Merkiaari will return in 5 years, he is doing everything he can to make sure humans are ready.
Book 1, Hard Duty, begins with the story of first contact with the Shan. As a people, the Shan have the right balance of alien- and human-like characteristics to engage my interest. Tei’Varyk and Shima are two of several Shan characters that stood out. Shima’s story, in particular, I found to be quite touching.
While humans are first reaching out to their new allies, the Shan are attacked by the Merkiaari. So, it turns out General Burgton had good cause to be worried.
Book 2, What Price Honour, takes up General Burgton’s cause. After the first war, the number of Vipers was limited to 100 because the cyborg supersoliders were feared by the unenhanced humans. After the Merkiaari attack on the Shan, the need for Burgton’s Vipers has never been more evident. What Price Honour shows us the very human side of Vipers. The story of the transformation of Gina Fuentez to Viper and her subsequent role in defending the Shan world against the Merkiaari is riveting.
Book 3, Operation Oracle, takes General Burgton’s plan to defend humanity to new heights. Burgton will do absolutely anything to make sure the Merkiaari don’t succeed and AI is his solution. But getting an AI to the Viper base planet Snake Home will become a challenging task. Gina and Viper Eric Penleigh take on the mission. The mission is quite the adventure, but unlike other Viper missions, they are lacking a lot of critical details about the objective. They will have to wing it and the end result will not be what they were expecting.
41 hours and 32 minutes. That’s the run time for the audiobook narration of Merkiaari Wars 1-3. I listened to every minute of it. And wished there was more.
It’s kind of like a TV series with a continuing story. As the series continues, story lines are resolved, but more story lines keep going. For that reason, I recommend reading the series in order. There will be cliffhangers, so if you are reading book by book, be prepared to groan, especially at the end of book 1.
At first, I would have described the construction of this story as blocky. Chunks of seemingly unrelated story lines strung together. Interesting story lines, but still, unrelated. By the time I got to book two, the blockiness seemed to smooth out a bit. I’m through book three now, and there is still a story line from book 1 (planet Thurston) that does not seem to have anything to do with the rest of the series, but maybe it will make sense in the next book. And I am in it for at least one more book. Maybe more. It appears that there at least 5 books planned. Again, maybe more. I really enjoyed the narration by Mikael Naramore, so I will most likely stick with the audiobooks too.
Merkiaari Wars is military and space exploration scifi. There are many very likeable characters that I was drawn to. The excellent development of these characters make an enjoyable story out of what, otherwise, could have been a dry war story. Shima and Gina are very engaging heroines. Heroines is exactly what they are. They, and several others, will rise to personal greatness under very difficult situations. I look forward to seeing what happens to them in future installments.
There is a lot of action. And much of the action is very violent. I’m just warning you. Violence happens in a war though, and so it is be expected.
In Merkiaari Wars, humanity is united in the fight against the Merkiaari (mostly). So, on the good guys side, intrigue is not a big part of the story. On the Merkiarri side, however, there is some dissension in the ranks and the power structure invites intrigue. There is much more to be told of the Merkiaari. More to look forward to.
If you are looking for amazing characters, non-stop action, in a combination of military and space exploration scifi, I recommend you pick up and read or listen to Merkiarri Wars.
About the Author
Mark E. Cooper lives in a small town in the south of England, where he writes most mornings and evenings. His background is in mechanical engineering where he spent over thirty-two years working for Ford.
He loves reading books with strong female characters in dire situations and can often be found listening to a new book on his iPod.
Audio books are one of his passions, and he hopes to have his backlist in audio one day. His hobbies include driving his cobra–a V12 monster he built with his best friend–and reading the latest fantasy and sci-fi. His passion is writing, and he is now the author of more than ten titles in the genres he loves to read. He recently moved away from engineering to become a full time novelist, and is loving every minute of his new life.
Find Mark at:
His Website: http://www.impulsebooks.co.uk/