Recruit (Iron Legion Book 1)by David Ryker, Daniel Morgan Published 16 Oct 2018
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Bred to work.
Trained to fight.
Sent to die.
James Maddox is a colony rat. A tuber: born in a vat to live, work, and die on Genesis-526. The only way off a toxic dustball like Genesis is to enlist. But with a 7% three-year survival rate, the Federation's Ground Corps doesn't look too appealing...
Still, the recruiters are always looking for fresh meat. And they don't take no for an answer.
So when a Federation dropship descends from the sky, Maddox isn't given a chance to run. Hell, the damn thing nearly kills him. And that's before he's picked up, strapped to a rocket and fired at a training carrier in orbit. Ready to become cannon fodder on some alien battlefield.
Until he's offered a lifeline - the Mech Corps. They're the elite. The first in and last out of every fight, piloting twenty foot tall steel beasts of war. But no tuber has ever made it into the Corps, and they want to keep it that way. The instructors want him out, the other recruits want him gone, and they'll stop at nothing to make sure it happens.
But they've never met a tuber quite like James Maddox. Compared to working to death on Genesis, training is a piece of cake. And it's definitely better than getting shot at. After all, boot camp is a long way from the front line.
But when your ship is capable of interstellar travel, it's closer than you might think...
"Recruit (Iron Legion Book 1)" Reviews
This is s very young male oriented novel
This is s very young male novel. Childish even. The protagonist is not very approachable, makes poor impulsive decisions, and is very wishy washy
A Mediocre Read...
This isn’t a bad story, but it is a tired one. Also, although this is touted as military science fiction, it comes across as having been written by someone with little understanding of how the military actually works. I am not saying that you need to have served, but a little research would have been nice. I will probably pass on reading any other books.
This one just have to wait for the next one. The plot was Good and the cheracters wer E Well thought out
I almost stopped reading this novel after the second chapter, but I’m glad I hung in there. James Maddox is a lab grown human (called a “tuber”) designed to work in a dead-end job manufacturing atmosphere on a dingy planet in the vast Federation. He gets drafted out of his mundane existence into the Federation Ground Forces where the three year survival rate is publicly known to be 7%. This number is a big problem for the credibility of the Iron Legion universe. First off, no one seems to think that the Federation is at war, so why would it be losing 93% of all of its soldiers? Secondly, there would be riots every time the military appeared to conscript people if that figure was really common knowledge. Third, it’s difficult to imagine that the Federation could maintain any kind of real fighting machine with that casualty rate—not just because morale would be nonexistent among the troops but because it takes a certain core of experienced soldiers to pass on the traditions and experience that permits an army to function. But that’s not the end of the basic—let’s call them “world building” problems.
Maddox breaks the records in his simulation test and becomes the first tuber to be given a chance to join the Iron Legion—soldiers who pilot twenty-foot-tall mech warriors that were clearly inspired by Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. Because he’s a tuber, everyone in the program—pilots, instructors, and commanding officers—want him to fail. He has to join an already in progress class made up of academy graduates and immediately get up to speed with them in their study and performance or get kicked out. Let me repeat that. He is expected in three days to catch up academically with a class of students who have studied in military academies all their lives well enough to pass the next exam they are taking. (Failure means eviction from the program.) Astoundingly, Maddox not only passes the test, he keeps passing them, yet this doesn’t affect the feelings of a single person in the military toward him. Again, think about what this means. Not only must Maddox be an Einstein level intelligence, he must also be the Michelangelo of the mech world to accomplish this, but his success makes no impression whatsoever on any of his instructors or superiors because he is a tuber. I suspect, that in reality, within hours of his record breaking sim performance, the military would have been moving to grow ten thousand new James Maddoxes that could be properly educated from birth in the hopes of turning them into super soldiers.
So let’s pretend that that’s actually happening behind the scenes and get into what this novel is best at. Through several chapters that mostly depict hazing by Maddox’s classmates, authors Ryker and Morgan succeed in building interesting relationships between Maddox and three and a half other people in the program. These are not positive relationships as all of these people are antagonistic toward our hero, but they formed the basis of what I assumed would become a core group that Maddox would reluctantly win over by saving them repeatedly in combat. The groundwork for this actually is set in place during an extended sim exercise, but rather than build on this, the carrier the students are on is destroyed and Maddox is launched into the last phase of the novel.
This final phase is filled with action-packed adventure as Maddox basically saves the day. We pick up two new (and interesting) cast members and rescue one of the old ones. We also find out for the first time that there is a 7% survival rate because the Federation has been at war for centuries with a group referred to as “the Free” who don’t like the dictatorial policies of the Federation. (I wager that by the end of the series, Maddox has switched sides and joined the Free.) The Federation doesn’t come off looking good here and Maddox and his new friends move heaven and earth to rescue a bunch of their fellow soldiers captured by the Free before the Federation counterstrike turns them into friendly-fire casualties. Maddox’s moral sense—his willingness to put himself on the line to save others—differentiates him from most of the people we’ve met in the book and I’d have liked to understand better where this attitude came from. It’s certainly respectable, but his background didn’t seem to teach him anything but looking out for himself.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It has some major weaknesses in its background, but those weaknesses didn’t really spoil the experience for me and I suspect elements like this will get better as the authors become more comfortable in their Iron Legion universe.
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I like these kind of books where it takes a young person doing what he or she would normally do and turns them into a warrior. Only, this time it’s not done under the best of circumstances. James Alfred Maddox was born on Genesis-526, a dirt-ball of a planet with nothing going for it. He’s a terraform engineer which is a better way of saying he digs in the dirt! He also a “tuber” having been born in a test tube just for the purposes of doing what he’s doing now. He’s nineteen and going to get real old doing the same thing everyday if something doesn’t change.
And that change comes one day after he just barely save his own life from a horrendous accident caused by a Federation troop transport that lands on Genesis-526. James’ part of the galaxy is ruled by the Federation. They control everything and everyone. Now they have come to exert even further control over some of the young men from Genesis-526. He’s conscripted into the Federation military. At least that means he’ll be getting off this planet and seeing something else for a change. He doesn’t realize that the changes awaiting him are pretty dangerous.
During the in-processing, James is shoved from one place to another aboard the troop carrier, a huge Federation ship. He’s been conscripted into the Federation military. Without any kind of pedigree, James is headed for the Federation Ground Forces. Federation Ground Forces were cannon fodder, plain and simple. Out of whatever number they sent in to fight the ground battle, usually only 7 percent survived; 7 out of 100! That’s not very good odds.
But, if you qualified as a Mech Pilot, then you’d be on your way to becoming and Officer and have a much better chance of surviving a battle since you’d be safely cocooned in a steel behemoth that was about twenty feet tall. Still, the chances of James Maddox becoming a Mech pilot were about nonexistent until he was thrown into a Mech simulator like everyone else. He goes through the simulation feeling like he’s in the middle of a major battle and has no clue as to what is going on or what he’s supposed to do. He doesn’t survive! But, of course, this was just a simulation.
Once out of the sim, and still in the in-processing phase, he gets into trouble and winds up in the brig. Then a young female officer opens his cell door and asks if he would like a chance to become a Mech Pilot! It seems like his sim scores were off the charts for someone that’s never been trained to operate a Mech. Of course, James isn’t stupid so he agrees to go through Mech training knowing that all the other Mech trainees will have come from an Academy specifically meant to prepare them for this training. He’s far behind his peers and not sure he can make the grade. Then things get worse for him.
This was a pretty good story, but I’m not sure where it’s going to go. James isn’t very experience with life and seems to kind of go bonkers when a female shows any kind of interest in him, be it good interest or bad. As a “tuber” he’s not well received by his classmates who have all come through mostly elite parents solid members of the Federation. James doesn’t know what the Federation is about and doesn’t know why he would want to fight for it over some other cause. This almost seems like James is turning into a pacifist and that’s not good for someone going into battle.
I will continue reading this story, but I hope James gets a little more backbone. He seems too meek for me and gets pulled around a lot by the women he meets. Of course, he’s only 19 so that’s not much different than most 19 year olds, now is it!
I enjoyed the book, it was a fast read and kept my interest throughout. I was left wanting more but maybe too much more. The end felt a little like the author was tired and just wanted to be finished. Never the less I already bought the next in the series and look forward to more of the story.