Author: Mark Bordner
Book: The Mighty First, Episode 4: Minerva Rising
Published: December 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
The Storian occupation of Earth is in its final throws. The mop-up operations are winding down. Emperor Grozet is preparing to retreat after two years of war on Earth’s surface. The First Global Marine Division, along with other human and allied forces, is preparing to take the war to Storia. Humanity has suffered and is now preparing for payback on a biblical scale.
Master Sergeant Minerva Corbin has taken her young marines through the pain, heartbreak, and triumph of war. She is no longer the small-town cheerleader that left home. She is a seasoned veteran who has more reason than most to hate Emperor Grozet.
This book is a continuation of Mark Bordner’s The Might First series, following the adventures of Minerva Corbin of the First Infantry Battalion, Eighty-Third Combat Regiment, First Global Marine Division. In the fourth episode, the Storian Empire’s attempt to invade North America is ending, thanks to the soldiers, pilots, and spacemen and women of Earth and her allies. The brunt of the battle has been born by the First Global Marine Division. Minerva has reunited with her husband, and they are now key figures in the Mighty First’s push against the Storians. The battle for Earth is ending, but the war is far from over.
Mark Bordner manages to capture the true horror of war. The book is definitely exciting. However, its breadth over only 190 pages defuses the novellas strengths. The author spends much of his time jumping between the various subplots. The better strategy would have been to focus more on Minerva and a few other characters with only brief forays into other parts of the battlefield. With the shifting points of view, the brevity of the story work’s against it.
That said, writing about a battle with so many elements and keeping everything under control is a daunting prospect. Up to this point, Mark Bordner has done it very well.