Book: Bloodstar (Star Corpsman #1)
Published: August 2012
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Science Fiction
Navy Corpsman Elliot Carlyle, also known as E-Car, or Doc, is part of the interstellar Fleet Marine Force, in Bravo Company’s Black Wizards. Trained in the latest battlefield medicine, he joined the navy to save lives and see the universe. The Black Wizards have been sent to Bloodworld, an inhospitable, volatile rock colonized by a group of religious fanatics with a Luddite philosophy. (That means they hate technology, for those who aren’t students of history.) They have chosen Bloodworld for their colony so they could suffer for humanity’s sins. They had no idea that they would fall in the sights of the Qesh, a strange, inscrutable race of warriors who have made violent first contact on Bloodworld.
Now countless lives depend on Bravo Company. They have to safeguard their home world’s location and scout the strength and capabilities of the Qesh. Doc has to safeguard the lives of those marines under his care, as well as religious fanatics who don’t hold with medicine, and enemy combatants that fate places in his charge, if only briefly.
This is a hard book to rate. Ian Douglas is obviously a master story teller. He has created a fascinating universe where nanotechnology has become the basis of medicine, science, and war. Under most circumstances, this would be a page turner. Unfortunately, the book has major weaknesses. The author continually stops the forward flow of the action to give backstory and to explain the technology being used. Some of the explanations became repetitive, rather than just explaining it once and giving an abbreviated description later. It appealed to the geek in me at first but soon became a drag as the story bogged down. This proved highly detrimental to a story that could have been interesting.