Fans of classics like Starship Troopers and The Forever War--as well as modern masters like Ian Douglas, Jack McDevitt, B.V. Larson, and Marko Kloos—will be sucked into Mel Odom’s military science fiction series, the Markaum War, starting with Master Sergeant.
They call it The Green Hell. A maze of tangled jungle, the planet Makaum is one of the most dangerous places in the universe. And for Terran Military Master Sergeant Frank Sage, it is now home.
The war between the Terrans and the Phrenorians rages, and both sides have their sights set on Makaum. If the planet's rich resources fall into enemy hands it could mean devastation for the Terran Army. To ensure that doesn't happen, Sage is sent to assess the Makaum troops and bring them in line with Terran Military standards. But soon after arriving at his post, he realizes the Phrenorians are not the only threat. Heading up a small but fearless unit, Sage must stop a brewing civil war with the power to unleash a galactic cataclysm unlike anything ever seen.
Odom (Hellgate) kicks off a military SF series with this enjoyable far-future adventure. Master Sgt. Frank Sage has been training troops for six years, but he'd rather be on the front lines of the human war against the insectoid Phrenorians. At long last, he's assigned to the planet Makaum, the "Green Hell," whose ever-growing jungles hide hostile wildlife and distrustful natives. In a setup that recalls both the Vietnam War and more recent events in the Middle East, humans and Phrenorians struggle for control of Makaum's plentiful resources, corrupt Terran corporations are angling to ruthlessly exploit the planet, and the indigenous peoples want everyone to leave. Sage's new mission, familiar to any fan of the genre, is to put together a crack team and bring order to a situation that's one wrong move away from an explosion. The military action is brutal and vivid, the situation is tense and believable, the diverse and gender-balanced cast includes some very alien aliens, and the allegorical story moves at a fast clip. Unfortunately, a cliff-hanger ending leaves far too much unresolved.