Ok, this is another one from Authonomy. It suffers less from the lack of formal editing than some I’ve read there. The grammar and spelling are fine (some on the site have major issues in that area) though it could still use a little more polish, mainly because it has several abrupt transitions that need to be smoothed out a little.
The story starts off with a fantastic first chapter, which describes the annihilation of the human race at the hands of a mysterious race of blue-skinned aliens. The aliens were not after conquest, they had simply observed humanity, which was starting to colonize other planets in our solar sytem, and decided we were too aggressive and war-like. So they decided to strike first and exterminate humans completely, to prevent a future war.
Now skip ahead some 900 years. A small group of humans on a far outpost struggle to survive, living on an asteroid whose resources they have long since stripped. They are a small group, with numerous genetic defects from not having enough genes in the pool to start with. They are a military society that has been gentically enhanced to be bigger, faster, smarter, and stronger, and they are brutally ruthless in taking what they need from the enemy that thinks it exterminated their entire race. Individuals are classed by the job they do, with every person, even those with defects, doing work necessary to the survival of the whole. The main characters are Thompson, Argo, and Maiella, an Operator team that goes out on “collection” missions to hijack enemy ships. They operate in complete secrecy, using guerilla ambush tactics to snatch ships for needed resources. Every member of their group is entirely devoted to survival at any cost, and their only law is that one will not harm another human or allow a human to be harmed.
When the aliens they have been hijacking start fighting back with a new stealth technology, the humans, who call themselves the Cadre, have to adapt fast or risk the destruction of the last remnants of humanity.
Any more would spoil the story for you. I really enjoyed this book, particularly the main characters who are well rounded and fleshed out. It has some decent action scenes too. I also like the glimpses into the alien culture early in the book, showing the division in their society over the decision to exterminate humanity. It sets up some interesting story lines for the next book. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention this is the first book in a series. Go check it out, and explore the Authonomy site while you’re at it.