12 March 2016
Having previously read the first 3 parts of the Ark Royal series, I thought I should try the Empires Corps series, especially since I enjoyed Christopher Nuttall’s work so much, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The first novel in the Empires Corps – First to Fight, is a brilliant read, with great action, clever and articulate dialogue, and my favourite thing of all from this series, some awesome Easter Eggs in the text. What do I mean by this? Things like the Marines using a sonic screwdriver, Edward E. Smith being one Professors who does a quick spot at the start of a chapter (As in E.E. (Doc) Smith – one of my all-time favourite Sci-Fi Authors!!), there are references to Star Wars, I'm pretty sure Firefly(?), just all sorts of things. Christopher Nuttall is obviously a huge Sci-fi fan, and a purist, and to pay homage to all the geniuses that have gone before, he has ‘hidden’ little things in the book for readers to find.
But on top of all of this, there is a sensational story.
This is a story about a Unit of Marines, led by Edward Stalker. Stalker makes the mistake of telling those in authority the truth one day (haven’t we all made that mistake??) and it goes badly for him, he is exiled to the outer rims of the Galactic Empire, to a little rim world called Avalon.
It's here, that he and his unit of Marines set up, and face off against the unknown dangers to take control of the planet (well let the Government take control anyway). And it's from there that the fun really starts – sorry no Spoilers though Go and read the book, it's worth it!!
Nuttall writes with a captivating and compelling style making his work easy to read, and also very hard to put down.
He has gone to a lot of effort with his story, giving us an impressive and detailed Universe, and an outstanding back story to go with it.
The other really impressive thing I have found with this story is that there is an amount of realism to it. And yes, I understand how silly that may sound, Marines in space and all! However, a lot of the time, Authors write material, but soften up how people would act as it may be too offensive or there is too much violence, not politically correct, etc etc, so they have characters act in a way that is just not right and ruins it. Nuttall makes the effort to try and be as realistic as possible, with wounds and what stops people, with their actions, loyalties and all sorts of other aspects. It adds another layer to the story and makes it really worth getting into (even more so when you know there are another 7 books to read – it's these things that get you hooked)
His Characters are equally impressive, not just dumb grunt Marines shooting things, this is a very detailed cleverly written story with tactics and strategy, lots of details and well thought out battle plans. The interactions between the characters is creative and engaging, and highly amusing at times. There are also multiple sub-plots between the characters, including not just the Marines, but those on the Planet they join, a Professor and his family that they bring with them that are in exile, and several other parties involved throughout the story. This is the great thing about his world building, Nuttall retains everything for later, each and every encounter is generally something down the track, a new twist, or another plot, it is great trying to remember them all.
This is a truly awesome read, with everything you want from a Military Sci-Fi book with Marines.