Curtis, J. L. Rimworld: Into the Green Print edition
Humans merrily expanded out from Earth, and collided with the Dragons, or Dragoons, and war erupted. A stalemate of sorts has been reached, with the emphasis on “of sorts.” Because the Dragoons and their human slaves, the Traders, won’t stop their attempts to expand and conquer. And humans won’t stop exploring and spreading out among the stars. Into those steps, or rather falls, Lt. Ethan Fargo. And the Dragoons (and a few loose bureaucrats) are in for a surprise.
After forcible medical retirement from the scouting arm of the interplanetary military (GalPat), Fargo settles on Hunter, a world originally terraformed by a big-game hunting club and then lost. He brings his demons with him, and all he wants is quiet. The native wildlife has other plans, and in the process of hunting and defending against dangerous beasts like oversize carnivorous hippos (bring artillery and a friend with artillery), he finds a few other things as well. Because Ethan Fargo has a secret, several secrets, and some unexpected cards up his sleeve.
The book is pretty straight up mil-sci-fi, tightly written with engaging characters. The world building is plausible, and anyone who has been around large and/or dangerous animals will understand exactly what Fargo is up against. Ditto bureaucrats of a certain flavor, civilian and military. The same fast action that Curtis does so well in his Grey Man series shows here, and the same realistic competence, with some sci-fi touches. There is a little sex but not graphic and it fits with the story arc and characters.
I really enjoyed the book, more so than the Grey Man series, but that has more to do with the Grey Man being a little too realistic for my comfort. I’d prefer not to know that there are people that nasty in my real world, thank you. In some ways Into the Green is aimed more at the general science fiction reader, and the additional description of setting and landscape is excellent. It ends with an open ending, something that may irk some readers, but the sequel is being written right now.
There are some typos and minor punctuation problems in the final chapters of my copy, which was a proof that had some printing flaws. I’m certain the final version has been tidied up, and they are not problems that distract from the story.
In sum, I highly recommend the book. It’s a fun, fast-paced read about a man learning to cope with a lot of problems and rebuilding his life in a new world.
FTC Disclaimer: I was given a flawed proof copy as a gift. The author did not request a review in exchange for the book, but I’m writing one anyway.