Mankind has experienced many ages over the years, but few could have predicted the age that would come next. As the Industrial Age gave way to the Information Age the possibilities for advancement were endless but out of nowhere the Extinction Age was upon us. With the human population falling at an alarming rate humanity has only a handful of weeks remaining before going extinct unless something is done to change the trajectory. With Operation Liberty a failure it is now obvious that the military is not the answer so all eyes return to Dr. Kate Lovato in the hope that science can offer up an answer before it is too late. To make matters worse, resupply from central command is not possible so there may not even be enough food to sustain Kate and her team for the little time that remains.
By the end of book one it was revealed that Dr. Kate Lovato's bio weapon, which she designed to destroy the zombie hordes, was quite effective, but also not effective enough. Doing the math we know that 80% of the human race had turned into flesh craving zombies before her weapon was deployed, and that her weapon killed billions of them, but it also left behind a resistant strain of Variants. The real question is, how many Variants are there and what are they capable of? Do they number in the thousands or the millions? Can this new threat of intelligent, agile Variants be contained or is it actually a bigger problem than the billions of mindless zombies that were wiped out?
Ebola is one of the scariest threats to humanity that nature has to offer and we live in fear of nature morphing the disease into something that can't be contained. Of course this means that a military project to weaponize the disease can't possibly have a good outcome so when a facility working on such a project goes dark, Delta Force Team Ghost is called upon to investigate what happened. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his team into danger many times but this time he is not prepared for what they find. With the military leadership telling only half truths to keep their involvement in the project a secret, team Ghost finds itself involved in a series of events that could very will mean extinction for the human race.
If you are considering picking up book 3 of the Expeditionary Force series then you already know what to expect as the formula doesn't change at all. Facing an impossible situation Colonel Joe will come up with a clever idea that somehow eluded Skippy's vast intellect and then the crew of the Flying Dutchman will execute the plan, which in turn will lead to the next impossible situation. (Lather. Rinse. Repeat.) Of course the entire sequence of events is always laden with the typical banter between Skippy and Joe so the only real hope of this book being something unique is the progression of the larger story arc. Is that enough to make it worthy of your time?
If you enjoyed book one of the Expeditionary Force series and wanted more of the same kind of humor then Craig Alanson has you covered here; however, if you were starting to get tired of hearing "stupid monkey" insults being hurled at the human crew of the Flying Dutchman, then you should definitely steer clear of this one. The story heads back into space when Joe Bishop and an elite crew of special forces and scientists attempt to help Skippy find the Elders who created him. A mission that must be carried out in secrecy because if anyone figures out that humanity has a ship capable of traveling through wormholes then Earth will become a target once again. But there is no need to worry because nothing will go wrong with Joe Bishop and Skippy working together to lead the mission, right? lol
I have a pretty poor track record when it comes to humorous Sci-Fi books. It is not uncommon for me to get my hopes up by reading reviews that claim a book is hilarious only to be disappointed when I discover that the humor just doesn't resonate with me. In fact, I have been disappointed enough times that I usually steer clear of this sub genre, so I am glad that I took a chance on this one. Perhaps my past experiences kept my expectations low, but this book managed to not only keep me interested but it also had me laughing out loud at times. Kudos to Craig Alanson for finding a nice balance between serious sci-fi topics and irreverent humor that kept me interested for more than just the laughs.
Commander MIchael Everhart, aka Tin, isn't the first Hell Diver to be betrayed by the leadership aboard The Hive but he is determined to be the first to actually do something about it. His dive team has acquired an airship of their own, Deliverance, and they have also found strong evidence that X actually survived his fall back to Earth 10 years ago. Not only survived the fall, but apparently actually found a way to survive on the toxic surface for an extended period of time. Even if X is no longer alive the truth of what happened to him must be uncovered, so searching for that truth becomes the top priority for Tin and his team. Payback for Captain Jordan's betrayal will need to wait for the moment; however, his time will come...
Ten years have gone by and much has changed for the remnants of humanity that remain aboard The Hive. Leon Jordan is now the Captain and Tin has grown up to become the Commander of team Raptor. It is no surprise that he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and X and become a Hell Diver since X's loss is still felt to this day. X may be gone, but he is not forgotten, and his final sacrifice has turned him into a role model that still gives people hope, which is in short supply. Captain Jordan has abandoned Captain Ash's belief that humanity would one day return to Earth and he is willing to do whatever it takes to convince the rest of the crew that the surface is forever lost. However, walking away from the dreams of so many people is bound to have consequences...
"We dive so humanity survives." That is the motto of the Hell Divers, who risk their lives to keep the final remnants of humanity alive. All remaining humans now live aboard massive airships that float above a storm covered, radioactive Earth, which has not been habitable for the last 250 years. These dated airships have only managed to stay in the air by regularly sending Hell Divers down to the planet below to scavenge the parts they need to keep their reactors running. Hell Divers, who have an average life expectancy of only 15 jumps, are composed of brave men and women willing to risk their lives by parachuting down through the storms to a toxic planet where they scavenge for items created in the past by a people they no longer understand.
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle teamed up to tell this apocalyptic tale in 1977, which was a time before such stories were a dime a dozen. This is a book composed of two distinct parts with the first half following various individuals as they go about their normal, and somewhat boring lives, as well as following an un-named comet across the eons as various cosmic events affect its path. The comet is eventually named Hamner-Brown upon discovery, and it quickly becomes known as "The Hammer" as TV coverage ramps up post discovery. The odds are a billion to one that it will hit Earth, but of course that would make for a boring book, so the second part of the book starts upon "Hammer Fall" and covers the impact this devastating event has to the planet as well as the characters from the first half.