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1. Kingdom's Swords (Starfist, Book
2. OUT OF THE FIRE (Night Fighters
3. School of Fire (Starfist, Book
4. Starfist: Force Recon: Pointblank
5. Starfist: Force Recon: Recoil
6. Kingdom's Fury (Starfist, Book
7. Lazarus Rising (Starfist, Book
8. Hangfire (Starfist, Book 6)
9. Starfist: Double Jeopardy
10. Starfist: A World of Hurt
11. Technokill (Starfist, Book 5)
12. Steel Gauntlet (Starfist, Book
13. Starfist: Wings of Hell
14. Starfist: Firestorm
15. Backshot (Starfist: Force Recon,
16. Starfist: Flashfire
17. Blood Contact (Starfist, Book
18. Onslaught (Demontech, Book 1)
19. Evidence-Based Crime Prevention
20. Sherman Firefly (New Vanguard)

1. Kingdom's Swords (Starfist, Book 7)
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2002-04)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345443713
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Marines were told it was a simple peasant rebellion–
but the mission proved to be far deadlier. . . .

Gunny Charlie Bass isn’t the only Marine mystified by the order sending the entire 34th to put down a few seditious serfs on planet Kingdom. Rumors swirl of a deadly alien invasion. But few believe that such sentient beings exist. Except Gunny Bass and the Marines of the 3rd platoon, who once fought enemy aliens called Skinks–fierce, fanatical fighters with hideous weapons who attack for no other reason but to kill.

Then, while slogging through Kingdom’s fetid swamps, the Marines are attacked by awesome unseen weapons that could destroy half a platoon with one shot. Clearly they are facing no normal enemy. And if their adversaries are Skinks, one FIST isn’t enough. Third platoon’s orders are to penetrate deeper into the bloody jungle hell–and find out what happens when a few good men bite the bullet. . . . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars 4 Stars for fun!
Great book, part of a great series.I've read them all and loved them.

3-0 out of 5 stars Par for the STARFIST course
KINDOM'S SWORDS(5/2002) is the 7th book in the STARFIST series of Military SciFi stories, which follow the exploits in the 25th century of a company of Space-faring Marines.

This book has a couple of intertwining story lines... the main one involving hard fighting on the religious outpost planet "Kingdon", where the Marines meet up with the "skinks" again... the second and third story lines are somewhat lame, and involve Captain Coronado's court martial, and his wife's exploits while he is gone... this is really "part I" of two books, and you will need to read Book VIII in the series to finish what this book starts.

The technology in this first "post 9/11" offering from the STARFIST series is only slightly better than in the first books in the series, but there still is a lot to be desired in a book that supposedly takes place 400+ years in the future.I find these books enjoyable... but, I notice that nobody else has reviewed this particular book since 2002 (this review is written in 5/2008)... so, the idea that the technology in these books has gone somewhat "stale" appears to be a new concept in these reviews.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nasty Surprises All Around
In the previous volume of this series, HANGFIRE, readers were set up for some nastiness by the "skinks" without ever finding out just what they were up too. All we knew was that it would not be good for humanity or the marines. We learn more in this book and it is not good for either.

Once again, Sherman and Cragg demonstrate a liking for pursing widely variant plotlines simultaneously. They did an adequate job of this before but their skills are improving in this one.

The main plot involves the committal of the 34th FIST to action on the world of Kingdom. They think they are headed in to suppress a peasant revolt but it turns out that it is the skinks who are the cause of the problems and they are major problems. To make matters worse, Kingdom is a theocracy and the marines must face a local government that is as potentially dangerous as the real enemy. Just to keep the pot stirred up, there are also dissident elements at work within Kingdom that have a strong desire to hurt the marines, the Kingdom government, the confederacy and anyone one else who disagrees with them. To make matters worse, many do not believe in the aliens the marines are fighting and believe it all to be some sort of convoluted plot.

The second plotline concerns Captain Coronado, CO of L Company. A few volumes back he was involved in a hush-hush operation dealing with another alien sentient species. In that book, he did the right thing, against the cruel and inhumane orders of the scientific leader of the post, and is returning to earth to face court martial. This puts strains on his family situations in ways recognizable to anyone who has ever tried to serve both a family and the military. Needless to say, the gallant captain has his own adventures along the way and improvises, adapts and overcomes....just the way a good jarhead is expected to do.

This is actually probably the best book in the series so far. There are a few surprises and new twists. Its going to take at least one more book and some significant reinforcements to get the marines out of this mess.

4-0 out of 5 stars 34th FIST on deployment
I really enjoyed the book. Although, I will have to wait for the next book to conclude my opinion on this book. The cliffhanger is kind of weird since the whole story of the book doesn't seem to end.

Also, for the first time, the authors tried to do more than one storyline and it feels kind of weird. One of the storyline brings nothing to the actual story or the 34th FIST Marine. This could explain on why they did not conclude the story since they had already too much.

Overall, it is still a good StarFist book. Different from the previous one but this is what bring the joy in reading :o)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not quite up to others
More of a 2 1/2

I enjoyed this book, but did not think it was up to the previous in the series.The main problem was that it was disjointed in its plotting and pace. It felt like they had the basic book together and then created a separate plot line (or two) and wedged it in there. It broke up the main story and created a lack of cohesion that was bothersome. Sherman and Cragg have pulled off parallel plots before with great success, so I know they can do it. They just seemed all over the place in this one.

(Minor spoiler alert)This is also the first book where the major campaign was not completed.I'm not adverse to cliffhangers per se, but there wasn't really any true build up and the termination seemed arbitrary.

I still loved the characters and the writing itself is as exciting as usual. I hope these fine authors can get back on a more cohesive track with the next volume. ... Read more

2. OUT OF THE FIRE (Night Fighters Book 3) (No. 3)
by David Sherman
 Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1987-11-12)
list price: US$3.50
Isbn: 0804101043
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars GOOD SCI-FI BOOK!
Being retired, I enjoy the time reading more books. This was a good SCI-FI book by David Sherman. Enjoy. ... Read more

3. School of Fire (Starfist, Book 2)
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (1998-06-28)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345406230
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Combat, betrayal, and murder at the edge of human space . . .

Deployed to assist the oligarchs of Wanderjahr in putting down a rebellion that threatens the planet's political and economic stability, the Marines must fight two wars at the same time . . . one against the resourceful, well-led guerrillas and another with the entrenched police bureaucracy.

But who is the real enemy and who can be trusted? On Wanderjahr, nothing is as it seems--not even the animal life--and everyone has his own agenda. Inexorably, the Marines of the 34th FIST are drawn deeper and deeper into the politics of a world where murder, terror, and betrayal are the accepted methods of government . . . and everyone is ripe for an old-fashioned butt-kickin'. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars School of Fire
Overall a good introduction to this series. It's a good page-turning military sci-fi tale that kept me interested right through. I loved it. Am slowly working my way through the series. Good fun reading.

3-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining SF military actioner
A guilty pleasure this. A Marine based SF actioner where you get exactly what is says on the box. But having said that, this could have been a by the numbers space shoot-em-up, but the authors have tried to make it a little more then that while constrained by the fact this was never going to get the nobel prize for literature!

So we have Marines acting as peace keepers on a world that has terrorist activity, a world of different factions mostly based on a Germanic culture and background. While the marines train up the local police they discover there may be a less then obvious agenda to the terrorist activity.....

This does try to provide a plot and characterisation to link the action and it does work. You do get what was on the box but it is done well and if you like this sort of stuff, this is not a bad series to get into.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Potential Classic Marred by Minor Flaws
SCHOOL OF FIRE(1998) is the 2nd book in the STARFIST series of Miltary SciFi stories, set in the 25th Century... and, like the first book in the series FIRST TO FIGHT(1997), it is an overall excellent book that is marred by some minor but glaring faults.

There are certain passages that are simply outstanding, parts where I laughed out loud, like when PFC Godenov comes up with a quick explanation for his different method of training his troops; or parts that were extremely sad, like the cemetary scene at the end of the book.

However, while most of the outrageously long list of 70's Philadelphia Flyer characters that were introduced in the first book are not mentioned, there are still enough around that it continues to be a bit of a bother - and, again, none of them EVER seem to get killed off by the author... missing this time, are 'UAV operators "Cowboy" Bill Fleet' & asst., fine that two of the Philly Flyers characters are gone, but what happened to the UAVs?They would have been really useful in this story... and most extremely annoying is that "Extreme Solar Activity eliminated long-range RF comms by affecting the ionization layer" just at the right moment in the story... when, the fact is, such a situation would have been more likely to aid long-range military beyond LOS (HF) comms, not hinder it.

In any event, I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Too bad they don't give literary awards for "just plain fun to read"
A great yarn that moves out at a steady double time from start to finish.We get enough back story to set the stage, and then send in the Marines!The authors fill in the gaps as needed as the story progresses w/o making look like an "oh yeah" add in. It flows well.

The day to day humdrum scenes are brief enough so as not to bore, but still vivid and informative enough to clearly paint the necessary picture.The political workings in the background (to the main characters) are likewise short, concise and to the point. As for the combat, not surprisingly they also do a very good job capturing the "20 years of boredom punctuated by 5 minutes of abject terror."

I have seen some reviews state the characters are shallow, lack depth etc.While this may be true of the auxiliary characters (personally I could care less about the life story of the baddie + supporting staff) their main protagonists all but jump off the pages at me.This was especially true in the scenes where they are placing some of the junior Marines into leadership positions in the local forces to train them. As they describe the thoughts and actions of the trainers during their first leadership experience they hit the "oh crap" of someone young and unsure of himself right through the exhilaration an experienced soldier gets when given the chance to train others.

They explain the oddball (some say unbelievable) tactics of the local forces with the "politically appointed leadership," and while it may be a stretch it works when you remember that in every major action our own military has been in we have had to relearn what we should have remembered from the last war and then some.So 200 years of no military + political appointed leadership = volley fire.Ok.

If you can turn off your nit-pick gear and just relax and be entertained then grab this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A More Civilized World?
In the original installment of the Starfist series, the marines were sent to a backwater, neo-barbarian planet to lay down the law. In this one, they still get sent to a backwater but it is supposedly a relatively civilized place. The problem is that the upper crust, who called the marines to begin with, are as bad a lot as any of the insurgents the jarheads have been called on to fight. Fighting, however, is not their primary job description. Instead, they are to train the local forces how to do it for themselves. In short, they are advisors and we all remember how dangerous that can be.

The marines have their work cut out for them. The "elite" troops they are to train are good at the parade ground stuff but their war fighting doctrine leaves a bit to be desired. Can you imagine firing by platoon volley while standing in straight ranks while the bad guys fire at you from concealment? It's one of those situations where the powers that be are more interested in a good appearance than in effective troops. After all, the peasants who fill the ranks are pretty cheap to replace.

David Sherman and Dan Cragg do a good job of capturing the military mindset and it makes for enjoyable reading. They are never going to get literary prizes but I, for one, am glad that they would rather tell a compelling story.
... Read more

4. Starfist: Force Recon: Pointblank
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2006-08-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345460596
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

A Confederation army is besieged on the planet Ravenette, cut off by and facing destruction at the hands of a dozen Secessionist Coalition worlds arrayed against it. The outnumbered and outgunned forces cling precariously to their foothold, dubbed “Bataan” by the desperate men in their fighting bunkers. Reinforcements are on the way, but will they arrive in time? And even if they do, can they match the well-led, highly motivated enemy determined to destroy them in battle?

But the Confederation commander holds a wild card, an elite force armed only with what they carry on their backs and in their heads: a small detachment of Marines who lightly go where others fear to tread, the Fourth Force Recon Company. For anyone else this mission would be suicide, but for these Marines, it’s just another day in the maelstrom. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Military SF
Great reading from the first book to the last in this series!Makes me want to read all night!

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Point of View
Pointblank (2006) is the second combat SF novel in the StarFIST: Force Recon series, following Backshot.In the previous volume, the Fourth Force Recon company completed a mission on Atlas, taking out a nuclear weapons development facility identified by the Central Intelligence Organization.After the mission, Sergeant Jak Daly was recommended for commissioning and then sent to the Marine Officer Training College.

Anya Smiler, Quadrant Desk Officer of the CIO, obtained an appointment with the Deputy Minister for Intelligence in the War Ministry and passed on CIO data about the Atlas mission.In turn, he allowed her to see an Ultra Secret message from J. Murchison Adams -- CIO Director -- to the President of the Confederacy.She and her data were taken to the Minister of War and then to the President.Adams and his clique quietly disappeared from public view and the CIO was reorganized from top to bottom.

In this novel, Lieutenant General Jason Billie -- commander of all Confederation ground forces on Ravenette -- has a small problem with antisatellite laser guns knocking out the string of pearls surveillance devices.He orders Major General Alastair Cazombi to have the Navy take out the weapons and Cazombi calls Admiral Hoi requesting a Force Recon company.Then he asks Brigadier Ted Sturgeon -- commander of the 34th FIST -- to drop by for a little discussion and the last of his cigars.

On Halfway, the local army command is complaining about the way the Fourth Force Recon company -- actually only two squads -- had taken out the headquarters of the 525th Heavy Infantry Regiment in a training exercise.Lieutenant General Ramses Indrus -- commander of the Fourth Fleet Marines -- is meeting with the Army XI Corps commander when the mission orders are received.The Forth Force Recon Company has been ordered to Ravenette on an urgent mission.

Commander Walt Obannion is quite relieved at getting off Halfway for a while.The Fourth Force Recon company prepares to board the Fast Frigate CNSS Admiral Stoloff.By the following day, the company has departed the planet, leaving a junior officer and NCO behind to mind the store.

In this story, Jak Daly arrives at Cecil Roads enroute to Arsenault.While changing ships here, Daly takes a room at the Hotel Victoria.He eats lunch at the hotel restaurant and lounge and then spends several hours just catching up on his sleep.After that, he goes back to the lounge for supper and to listen to the music.There he meets a bargirl and retires to a private room with her for the meal.

After he wakes up in an alley, Daly thinks angry thoughts about falling for the oldest con in the business.His pocket money -- about a full day's pay -- is gone, but he has more in his room.He goes back to the hotel for a bath and change of clothes and then questions the desk clerk about the girl and the bartender who mixed the Mickey Finn.Later, he corners the pair after they roll another sucker and gets back his money plus some more for his trouble.

The next ship is full of retired veterans, but they do need a Marine to balance the mix.The voyage to Arsenault is a fun trip and he reaches the planet in a good mood.On the shuttle down, he meets another OTC candidate and they have mutual acquaintances.Daly asks the First Sergeant to allow him to bunk with Manny and the Top agrees.

This story is full of Force Recon hijinks on Ravenette.The Marines soon reduce the number of antisatellite lasers and also discover where the Coalition government is hiding.They even get permission from General Billie to conduct a raid on the town.

On Arsenault, Manny is a good companion and also proves to be a whiz with mathematical formulas.His coaching helps Daly with the problems in logistics.Daly discovers and loses a great girlfriend to a training accident, but he later finds another.Of course, Felicia is an Army graves registration type with a foul mouth, but she is still a good trooper.

The story presents another viewpoint on the Coalition War on Ravenette.Flashfire mentioned Force Recon troopers providing good intelligence to the 34th FIST.Now we learn more about the role of Force Recon in that war.

Recommended for Sherman & Cragg fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of close combat, military politics, and hasty romances.

-Arthur W. Jordin

5-0 out of 5 stars Starfist; Force Recon
As in the review I gave for Firestorm, I give here, except this a view point from the marines, who gather the intelligence. These boys have better toys then their counterparts. The story is good and is well balanced. The authors leave you with wanting more, which means you have to wait until the next book. This goes for all the books of the StarFist series. Read and enjoy.

4-0 out of 5 stars point blank starfist force recon
Liked the book better than the first one in the series,but isn't as good as the original series of star fist.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good military scifi
A little slow to start, but then gets going as with all of their books.Similar to John Ringo and David Weber. ... Read more

5. Starfist: Force Recon: Recoil
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2008-11-25)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034546060X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Swift, silent, and deadly–they strike where no one else dares.

Fear is the fastest-growing crop on Haulover, a newly colonized planet where someone–or something–is destroying isolated farmhouses. The unseen enemy strikes without warning, then disappears, leaving no stone standing, no trace of families or farm animals. When the Confederation receives a desperate plea for help, it’s time to send in the Marines.

Impossible missions are a matter of course for Fourth Force Recon’s second platoon squads, and the situation at Haulover–with no witnesses and few clues–is no exception. But this assignment turns out to be even tougher and bloodier than usual because the devastation is a ploy–to lure the nine Marines into a trap, and to force them to bust the Confederation’s terrible secret wide open.

And as for the Skinks lying in ambush on Haulover, they have no idea what trouble is . . . until they go up against a few good Marines. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Waiting For the Marines
Recoil (2008) is the third SF novel in the StarFIST Force Recon series, following Pointblank.A StarFIST novel -- Firestorm -- covers the intervening period.In the previous volume, General Lyons learns that the riot at Fort Seymour was a setup.He has Colonel Raggel interrogate the informant and then sends orders to the Seventh MP battalion for the arrest the responsible parties.

Lieutenant Colonel Cogswell cancels all scheduled activities and throws a beer bust for the troops.Puella wins a bet with her top sargeant about ingestion of chocolate covered slimies.And Charlette is rescued by the marines.

In this novel, Jak Daly is now an Ensign and has been assigned back to his old outfit.It is very unusual to assign an newly commissioned officer to the same unit where he had been a noncom.But General Indrus wanted him back in the Fourth Force Reconnaissance Company.

Jimmy Jasper is a lay preacher in Tabernacle on Kingdom.He had been abducted by the Skinks during the war, but showed up after the Skinks left.He seems to believe that the Skinks are Angels of the Lord.

Puella Queege is a corporal in the Seventh Independent Military Police Battalion.Puella had been a clerk in one of the MP companies and had been awarded a Bronze Star for warning the Coalition forces of the attack by Confederation Marines.She had also won a shootout with the Mayor and two flunkies, who were robbing a bank during that attack.

Moses is a young skink.He had been found in some bulrushs near the river, hence the name.He has been adopted by the Brattle family of New Salem on Kingdom.

Anders Aguinaldo is a General in the Confederation Marines, the only four star general in the Corps.He commands Task Force Aguinaldo, a joint command that was created in response to the Skinks.

Rene Raggel was a Colonel in the Coalition forces, an aide to General Davis Lyons.Now he has been preempted by Task Force Aguinaldo.He is given a personal interview with the general and gets temporary command of the Seventh MP battalion.

In this story, Jimmy raises a missionary fund and buys two one-way tickets to Earth.At the port, he meets Sally Consolador and gives her the other ticket.She is also a former abductee of the Skinks.

On Earth, Jimmy starts having pentecostal style revival meetings.His audience grows larger -- over a hundred thousand at one revival -- and his private meetings begin to reach the rich and influential.His message of the Angels of the Lord begins to affect public policy.

The President's staff want to arrest Jimmy as a traitor.Yet the president wants to know more about him.She has a private meeting and Jimmy walks out, deeming her too freethinking for his message.

Dr. Joseph Gobels, and his assistant Dr. Pensy Fogel, come to Kingdom to get Moses.They tell the Brattle family that the alien will be returned in a month after the noninvasive tests are completed.His foster father feels obligated to release him to the Confederation, but the scientists have no intentions of returning the young alien.

The scientists take Moses to Earth and torture him in secret to learn his limits.After the specified month has past, Zechariah Brattle sends an inquiry to Universal Labs and finds that they know nothing about Moses.So Zechariah sends a message to Charlie Bass explaining the situation.

Puella is recalled from pass and told that the battalion is departing for Arsenault.She is drunk at the time of recall, but dries out on the voyage.When they reach Camp Swampy, she finds that drinking is not allowed while on duty and only in moderation while on pass.

Colonel Raggel sits down with his new Command Sargeant Major and scans the personnel files of every person in the battalion.The worst of the lot -- the former commanding officer -- had resigned before his unit was preempted for Task Force Aguinaldo.Others are returned home from Camp Swampy.

Raggel listens to his CSM's suggestions and usually concurs.The CSM recommends sending back Puella.Yet Raggel considers Puella as a special case and he does need a good chief clerk.

He meets with Puella and explains his needs.He is willing to promote her to sargeant, with a possible second promotion to senior sargeant if she does well.He also warns her to stay off the booze.

Fourth Force Recon Company has returned from Ravenette and they have taken their two week leave.The company commander receives a mission order just before learning of the return of Ensign Daly.When Daly reports to his commander, he is assigned as assistant S-3 rather than as a platoon leader.

The commander calls a meeting of his staff -- including Daly -- and explains the situation on Haulover -- missing settlers and devastated homesteads -- and orders his staff to begin planning a mission with two squads and an officer to handle political affairs.Unknown to Daly, the commander has already decided that he will be the officer in charge.The men will come from Daly's former platoon.Some are his former subordinates and others are recent replacements.

Daly and his men get to Haulover before the news of the Skinks reaches that far.The Marines keep checking the burnt and leveled homesteads and finding little evidence.Then the Skinks decide to take a Marine as prisoner and the resulting firefight raises some eyebrows.

This tale has Daly realizing that the raiders are aliens.Somewhat earlier, Fourth Fleet Marine headquarters concluded that Skinks are on Haulover.Confederation forces converge on the planet, but the Skinks are expecting their arrival.

This story tells more about the Skinks.They appear remarkably similar to the Japanese military during World War II.Probably just sheer coincidence.

The timing is a bit distracting, with the flashbacks and parallel views of some scenes.Naturally, the shipboard sequences are shortened or the book would be three times as big.But the time lags in ships and drones cause several overlaps in messages and responses.

Notice the alteration of novels about the 34th FIST and the 4th Force Recon company.Force Recon usually goes in first to develop intel and the FISTs come afterward.So, this is the intel mission and the next book has the fire missions.

This story concludes with numerous dangling plot threads.The next installment -- Wings of Hell -- will have the 34th FIST facing Skinks again.Read and enjoy.

Recommended for Sherman & Cragg fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of armed combat, small unit tactics, and alien military.

-Arthur W. Jordin

3-0 out of 5 stars Shameful editing!
I agree with Thomas D. Michel, this installment does little to advance the overall story line beyond setting up the next major battle.The editing to put the sequences with Jimmy Jasper into the correct sequence in the book was horrible (see Chapter 20) and seems to result from some not-so-good collaboration.Overall enjoyable, but the Jasper thread seems contrived.

3-0 out of 5 stars StarFist: Force Recon: Recoil
This book was OK.I have really enjoyed the Starfist series, but this book seemed to drag a little.There wasn't really an ending. It was aimed more at setting up the next book than having it's own story.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best of the Force Recon Series to date
I have enjoyed the StarFist series since I stumbled on it 5 years ago. The Force Recon series has been decent so far but this book really put it over the top.

The story dovetails nicely with the main series without detracting from it. The characters are well written but the names can sometimes be off putting.

If you have read any of the other Force Recon series, this is a definite read for you. If you are new to the series, you could read this standalone and still be able to get what is going on.

4-0 out of 5 stars The time problem
Another solid effort from Sherman and Craig.
I am looking forward to the next book to see how this all turns out.
There are plenty of worse ways to be entertained or waste an evening.

The only problem that I am having with this series is that time doesn't make sense.We're told that a starship can take several weeks to arrive yet drones and ships and messages seem to arrive almost instantly.Other than that the book is excellent and the action exciting.

I am grateful that the authors do not hesitate to kill off characters.This allows room for others to develop.

I really enjoyed some of the commentary on pentecostal worship.A different spin in the series.

Continues to surprise.

... Read more

6. Kingdom's Fury (Starfist, Book 8)
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (2003-01-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345443721
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A few good Marines beat the fierce, fanatical aliens once before. But that was a skirmish–not a full-scale invasion.

The truth is out. No longer are the Skinks just a horrible secret haunting the Marines of Company L. Now the aliens are all-too-real invaders whose savage attacks have devastated planet Kingdom, a world of squabbling religions where the men of the 34th FIST confront a desperate situation. Cities that haven’t already been reduced to rubble are under siege, while starving refugees roam the land. And still the Skinks come, rising from stinking primordial swamps to slake their thirst for slaughter, armed with an uncanny ability to locate the enemy and with weapons so deadly that a single blast can drop a warplane or a decimate a squad.

It’s painfully evident that 34th FIST is no match for these near-invincible killers, which is why third platoon’s been ordered to whip the citizens of Kingdom into fighting shape. With their backs to the wall and time running out, there’s only one way the Marines can turn these timid, quarrelsome men into warriors: Take the battle to the enemy. It’s a brilliant strategy, sure to succeed–if it doesn’t get them killed first. . . . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Fun, Great Read!
This entire series is fun to read.The character developement and plot twists are fascinating in the extreme.Just when you think it can't get better it does!The entire Starfist series is a 'have to' read.

4-0 out of 5 stars 4 Stars for fun!
Great book part of a great series.I've read them all and loved them.

5-0 out of 5 stars BRAVO - Best yet of the STARFIST series
KINGDOM'S FURY(2002) is the eighth book from the STARFIST series of 25th Century Military SciFi stories, about a company of Space Marines, who are sent to various planets to quell uprisings, or battle aliens.

This book, is basically a continuation of Book 7, in which the Marines of the 34th FIST have been sent to a backwater world dominated by religious sects, to repulse and invasion by the merciless aliens known as the "Skinks".The Skink technology is roughly equivalent to Human 25th Century tech, although some of it is way ahead, and some of it is behind.

Amazingly, this book is a standout in the series... there is interesting dialog or action on every page, and the subplots are quite detailed and interesting.The first few books in the series were quite good, but suffered from some obvious and serious (yet easily correctable) faults.Indeed, it was somewhat frustrating reading the first STARFIST books, because I knew they could have been much better... and some of the middle books from the series were actually below par - books 3 and 6 especially so.However - KINGDOM'S FURY avoids all the faults and stupid mistakes, and "knocks it out of the park".I'm happy to give this book a rare 5 star rating.BRAVO.

4-0 out of 5 stars Kicks some alien @$$
The 34th is still embroiled in its battle against the invading aliens on the planet of Kingdom and like most militaries, it has as much trouble with the politicians as it does with the enemies. They are also still doing so with élan, spirit de corps and good old fashioned jarhead toughness.

The aliens are quite different than your normal science fiction fare. They are amphibians and instead of using fancy ray guns, they use acid. They are tough and utterly alien but they are also up against the finest military tradition on earth.

The book feels the loss of Gunnery Sgt. Bass, apparently killed in the last volume, but there is reason for hope. A character who is probably him turns up for a few pages at the very end. Now I just have to wait for the next book to come in.

It's a good story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eat plasma, Lizard-Boy!
It's the 25th Century, Humanity has settled dozens of worlds. The most dangerous species in explored space is other humans. The Confederation Marines are the descendents of the US and Royal Marines of our time. They keep order among the worlds humans have colonized. Life is good. The Religious Wars of the 21st Century resulted in Kingdom. Essentially, it is a reservation, where all the Religious Fundamentalists of all Religions have been "persuaded" to move.
It's a pesthole of constant religious war, but at least all the nutcases are in one asylum. The Confederation watches to make sure they can't escape from the planet.
And then come the Skinks - a bunch of xenocidal humaniform lizards who think that killing humans is great fun - and the survivors make good slaves.
The Marines show up, and the Skink Commander decides that he not only wants to defeat the Marines, he wants to humiliate and intimidate them. Trouble is, somebody forgot to tell him something - you can defeat Marines. It's difficult, but possible.
You can humiliate Marines. Difficult but possible.
But INTIMIDATE them? - that is a leetle bit closer to impossible...
This is a book of sweeping realistic vistas, from the Infantry "Line Animal" Grunt slogging in the mud, to Space Battle between 10 KM Starcruisers, to the internecine political wrangling on Capitol Hill.
The characters are three dimensional and highly believable.
Enjoy...and go back and get the rest of the series. It's worth it. ... Read more

7. Lazarus Rising (Starfist, Book 9)
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2004-11-23)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034544373X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The hugely popular Starfist saga featuring Marines at war in outer space is the only military science fiction series written by real combat vets: David Sherman and Dan Cragg. Now comes the explosive hardcover debut of this series–packed with hell-torn action and blazing adventure.

In their fiercest combat yet, the hard-charging Marines of 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST) have finally won their battle against a full-scale alien invasion of planet Kingdom. But victory over these savage enemies comes at a terrible price, especially for the Marines of Company L’s decimated third platoon. The leader these men would follow into hell itself–Gunnery Sergeant Charlie Bass–was consumed in a fiery ambush that obliterated everything but his dog tags and a few scraps of DNA.

On planet Kingdom, citizens try to return to some semblance of normalcy as the military conducts patrols to search out and destroy any remaining alien Skinks. The old government of squabbling religious leaders has been replaced by a ruthless new regime. All power rests with Dominic de Tomas, a depraved despot who will stoop to any means to achieve his vile ends. His reign of terror bodes ill for the fragile planet still reeling from the chaos of war.

In a cave in some forgotten Kingdom backwater, several humans slowly regain consciousness. Their minds have been probed repeatedly . . . by whom and for what reason they cannot say, for they’ve been stripped of all memories of themselves and their past lives. In time wounds will heal, but who knows if they will ever fully recover.

For now, finding food and water takes precedence. And so these half-dead outcasts begin a journey into the unknown–in search of civilization, in search of themselves. And one survivor’s journey will take him to places of overwhelming danger, where his identity will be revealed to the shock of all.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book in the series yet
This is the best novel in the series yet.The authors drop much of the military pomp and focus on a single character from the 34th FIST for nearly the entire book.You get some good character development and new and interesting supporting characters.Unlike the characters from the 34th who you are mostly sure will survive each new novel, the supporting characters from this book have no guarantee which makes for a very enjoyable read.

5-0 out of 5 stars WoW!
I just finished this one.I find the depth and complexity of the characters grabs me in every one of the Starfist books and will not let me go!

4-0 out of 5 stars 4 Stars for fun!
Great book part of a great series.I've read them all and loved them.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent followup to Book 8
LAZARUS RISING (12/2003) is the 9th book in the STARFIST series of 25th Century Military SciFi, covering the exploits of a galaxy-faring platoon of Space Marines.

This book follows book 8 - KINGDOM'S FURY - which was, hands down, the best entry from the series... and a hard act to follow.The space aliens have been defeated on Kingdom, but in the power-vacuum left after the Confederation Marines leave, a NAZI-like regime pops up to take power.The NAZI types, of course, are a loathsome bunch, and their wicked methods are described in detail.

The secondary sub-plot involves Gunnery Sgt. Bass's exploits (and his hokey "amnesia").

As is common in this series, there is a dearth of future sci-fi technology (no new tech is introduced in this book), and no aliens or future cultures are introduced.All in all, this is an average entry for the series... but still fun stuff.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of Series
The ninth book of the StarFIST has very little to do with the 34th StarFIST. Instead, it has much to do with the most celebrated marine of that unit, Gunnery Sergeant Charlie Bass. Two books ago he was ambushed while on patrol and presumed dead. Now he is back and his unit has left him behind on the planet of Kingdom. There are no credible threats from Skinks anymore but that is made up for by the threat from the bloodthirsty planetary government based on the worst of the Nazis. It's one very capable marine against a planet of neo-nazis. The bad guys are going to lose bigtime.

This is an exciting book with plenty of unexpected twists. I think it is the best of the series so far.
... Read more

8. Hangfire (Starfist, Book 6)
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (2001-04-03)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345435923
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Six agents have died hideously trying to penetrate the crime families behind a vast empire of pleasure and debauchery--
Now it's up to the Marines to break the circle.

Most people will visit Havanagas only in their dreams, for few can afford the exclusive resort planet that recreates ancient worlds and caters to every taste. Witches are burned at the stake in medieval towns while riotous hordes fill Rome's Coliseum to watch gladiators battle. Even the basest of human lusts are satiated by deadly sex acts and a thriving slave trade.

The crime bosses' control of Havanagas and its people is brutally effective. Now three Marines from Co. L's 3rd Platoon--masquerading as discharged military buddies on holiday--are going in to break the kingpins' bloody stranglehold. From bordellos and rebellious enclaves to the very pit of the Coliseum filled with deadly beasts, Corporal Pasquin and Lance Corporals Claypoole and Dean face certain death with only their wits and skills as weapons. But they're Marines, built to survive. . . . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

3-0 out of 5 stars STARFIST Series begins to run out of Gas - uses variant of John Grimes Story
HANGFIRE (4/2001) is the sixth book in the STARFIST 25th Century Military SciFi series, descibing the battles and skirmishes that a company of Space Marines gets involved with on far-flung planets.

This book introduces a new technique of jumping between two completely different storylines throughout the book... one of the storylines is simply to set up the scene for the next two books in the series... the second storyline is a retell of A. Bertram Chandler's MATILDA'S STEPCHILDREN (1979), involving a rogue playground world where Roman gladitorial battles are held in a Colosseum.

As has been the case in the first 5 books in the series, there is virtually no new technology introduced, and most of the military technology used in the books is little more advanced that what we now have in 2008, and some (like UAV technology) is actually behind the times.

4-0 out of 5 stars Vacations Gone Horribly Wrong
Even "cushy" assignments have a way of turning out harshly for the men of the 34th FIST. They can't seem to catch a break from the higher brass, their Justice Department, their politicians or even a resort world.

HANGFIRE actually consists of several plotlines, most of which will presumably be hashed out in later books.

The first plot concerns the way the normal duty rotations of the 34th out of the unit (a hardship post) seem to have come to a complete halt. The CO takes it upon himself to investigate this matter for the good of the morale of his men and no one will like the answers. The main thrust of this one is of a senior CO looking after his men. He learns the reasons but it will be left to later books to see how he handles the situation and how his men react.

The second plot concerns the alien "Skinks" first encountered in the 4th volume, BLOOD CONTACT. We see the skins gearing up for some major nastiness against humanity but this is almost entirely independent of the real story being told in this book. Again, it seems to be a matter of setting things up for stories to come. What is incredible is the amount of space dedicated to setting it up since it does nothing to advance the main plot of this book.

The third but main plotline concerns an independent assignment given to 3 marines seconded to the justice department. They are to infiltrate an exotic and expensive resort world run by the mob in order to gather evidence for the feds. Since the Justice department is calling the shots, we are guaranteed that things will be set up so as to put the 3 marines into as much hot water as possible with too little regard for the lives of the marines in question. In that respect, its pretty realistic. The marines manage, as marines do, to come through it all with physical and emotional wounds but with the mission accomplished.

All in all, this is not a bad installment. It seems a bit disjointed at times but I suspect that is less problematical for me since I am reading the series in close succession.

4-0 out of 5 stars Something new with each book of the series
This is the sixth book of the series and it still brings something new to the 34th FIST. The storyline is much different that previous books but it still keeps you on the edge of your seat.

On the opposite, there is always previous information coming from the previous books that is good to know while reading. It puts everything in perspective. Flashback from Elnear, Wandejhar, Society 436 and Diamunde reminds you of the previous missions for the marines.

What's next?? I need to wait for number 7: Kingdom;s Swords...

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the Series
Hangfire is the best so far in the series. Good action, good story, and it has a good lead in for the next book. Gives a lot more development on characters who weren't mentioned much or haven'tbeen used much in the last few books. A very good read

5-0 out of 5 stars I love these books
Great well rounded charecters who actually CHANGE(develop) from book to book.This is a much better much then the last one and I cannot wait for the next in the saga. ... Read more

9. Starfist: Double Jeopardy
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (2010-10-26)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$5.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345501020
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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It may be the twenty-fifth century, but the Marines are still looking for a few good men.

The Confederation has finally disclosed the existence of Skinks, fierce aliens bent on wiping out humankind. While the rest of the universe grapples with the news, the Skink-savvy Marines of the Confederation’s Thirty-fourth Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST) have their own worries: they’ve just learned they can’t transfer out of the unit. Who else has the skills to fight the Skinks on their home turf when the time comes?

Morale isn’t improved by a report of Skinks on the uncolonized world of Ishtar—which means that FIST must turn around and head right back into the jaws of hell with no downtime. But none of that matters to Lieutenant Charlie Bass and the third platoon of Company L. They’re Marines, they’re the best, and they’ve got a job to do.  ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read for the Military Sci-Fi fan
I have read every book in this series and none have failed to impress. Likewise with this latest addition to the Starfist series. I am anxious for the next book to come out. Keep up the great work gentelmen ... AT_TEN_HUT! ... DIS-MISSED!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not bad but not their best...
The book was well written like all of their other books of the Starfist series however much like "A World of Hurt" I found this to be a filler book.It has lots of technical and procedural background that previous books had but it is much less action and character driven like their earlier books and has too many unimportant side stories.

*Bit of a spoiler* On a rumor of Skinks, our heroes are sent to go to a distant world to find and fight them.But instead it is the native aliens fighting against human slavers. This is like those acid trees from "A World of Hurt". Sherman and Cragg seemed to had started a Skinks War Arc which was interesting in some of their previous books but then that seems to only show up sporadically now. We don't learn a lot about the Fuzzies and none of them really develop any significant character unlike the aliens and villains in "Technokill"(which I thought was one of their best ones even if it didn't have the Skinks in it either because they made all the marines, aliens and villains have a deeper character and individuality).

The short new development with Hammer is interesting but only for people who have been reading the series and had gotten to know him. No marine really sticks out in this one, not even Bass or Dean. It kinda saddens me.

It was an ok book but I'm glad I didn't buy it as soon as it came out at full price.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Sci-fi story
This was my first "Starfist" book, and I got it on my Kindle. I've long been a fan of Sci-fi, and I while I grew up on all the "masters" such as Asimov, Clark, etc., I've found a new generation of writers featuring David Weber, John Ringo, Jim Butcher, etc. This new series of Starfist I've discovered reminds me of the books and stories I read as a boy and teen. Good military basics, stories clean and simple, clearly defined good guys/bad guys, but there is not a great deal of complexity to the book. I enjoyed it and plan to read others, but two issues bothered me with this book. First, the personal crisis of one of the characters (Lt. Bass) who was involved with two different women before the deployment was well laid out. Yet when they returned, a number of other joyous reunions were described, but no mention of Bass's return. Secondly, the new found aliance with the aliens was left to completely hang, with no resolution; just a hint that it "would" get resolved. I could think of several wraps to this theme, such as turning over the mining development to the Fuzzies and paying them for the minerals, but none were offered. It seemed that once the authors had told the shoot-em-up action, they simply rushed to finish the book and left a great deal hanging.
The writing style is decent but I was expecting more after seeing five stars, but then, there were only three reviews at that point. More for the teen than an adult, in my opinion, but that's not all bad.

Five ENGROSSING Stars. Once again military veterans David Sherman and Dan Cragg crank up a winner in "Starfist: Double Jeopardy", the 14th edition of the "Starfist" military science fiction series about an elite Marine unit, the Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST), which is called on first to battle enemy aliens ("or otherwise") among the stars in the 25th Century. Giving a realistic view of military life and unit morale, mainly from the company to fire team levels, they re-introduce us to the leadership and surviving troops (President Cynthia Chang-Sturdevant, Brigadier Sturgeon, Captain Coronado, Lt Bass, Sgt Kerr, Lance Corporals "Hammer" Schultz, Claypoole, & Doyle, etc.) who are very familiar to series readers. Facing a short turnaround time since the marines' last deployment, the authors take us through barracks life, training, and personal issues, in preparation for the next deployment. Indeed, there are 8 setup chapters covering various planets and story lines, before the marines even load onto Commodore Borland's "Grandar Bay" naval starship sailing for the mysterious wastelands of a planet called Ishtar. With Starfist novels, the journey of the troops from base to battle, and their training in between, is as important as the end result.

As usual, these writers conjure up unique alien lifeforms (introduced in the prelude), conflicting circumstances, and special problems posed to the Lima Company 34th FIST 'grunts'. And the acid-wielding 'Skink' aliens are always on the minds of the military, as the writers give us a hint of future strategic operations in coming novels. Realistic hard-nosed battles, interesting story lines dealing with mercenaries, interpersonal relations, and surprise realizations culminate in multiple payoffs near the end of this superb novel of "double jeopardy" affecting marines in outer space. The final scene may leave you teary-eyed. BTW, there is also a 3-novel Starfist Force Recon series by the authors. "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful), indeed.Five IMAGINATIVE Stars.
(This review is based on a Kindle-to-iPhone download. The writers are strongly encouraged to enable "text-to-speech" mode in future Kindle version downloads to enable transitional usage for Kindle users: read at home, listen in the car or while shopping, and go back to reading at home.)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Starfist Novel Thus Far
This latest entry into the Starfist canon is by far the best so far.Having read all of them (some of them more than once), I feel the entire series is well worth the reader's investment, but Double Jeopardy puts our favorite Confederation Marine platoon, Third Platoon of Company L, 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team, into a very tough spot, along with some very engaging and exciting action.I usually try to spread my reading of a new book out over a week or so, but I became so engrossed in the story that I finished the book the day after I got it.Excellent work, and I can't wait for the next installment.But a story this good takes some serious craftmanship, and the wait is always worth it.

A major part of the story deals with the best intelligent extraterrestrial species to appear in the series thus far: the Fuzzies.Unexpectedly sophisticated and primitive at the same time, Sherman and Cragg leave one wanting to know more about these people, and hopefully future volumes will give us more!

For the sake of some matters of story continuity, new readers of the Starfist series should normally start with book one and move forward, but this book should be quite accessible for someone who hasn't yet been there.
... Read more

10. Starfist: A World of Hurt
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2005-11-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345460537
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
With its down and dirty depiction of warfare written by men who know what it’s like to be under fire, the Starfist saga is a runaway success across America. Now, in the explosive new Starfist adventure, packed with fierce action and danger, Marines at war in future space find themselves pitted against a faceless, insatiable foe bent on destroying them. And that’s just for starters.

How bad is the upcoming mission facing the battle-hardened Marines of 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST), the military’s unofficial alien first-contact force? Bad enough to make the brass take the unprecedented step of issuing 34th FIST replacements for combat losses before the Marines even leave their home base.

In response to a series of unexplained deaths on a lonely outpost on the frontiers of human space, 34th FIST has been dispatched to investigate–and eradicate– the problem. Beyond that, the information available to Gunnery Sergeant Charlie Bass and his men is meager even by Marine standards. No one knows what awaits them, for the newly colonized world remains largely unexplored. That means 34th FIST can expect creatures they have never seen, or even heard of, much less trained for. It could be Skink acid shooters, could be anything, for the barren station has several secrets–all of them deadly.

But the last thing these Marines expect to find is themselves in the middle of an invasion and a mysterious war–with none other than 34th FIST as Enemy #1. Whatever happens, they’ll deal with it, because they’re Marines, determined to be ready . . . and to give worse than they get.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not much new
A WORLD OF HURT (2004) is the tenth book in the STARFIST series of Military SciFi stories, covering the exploits of a company of Space Marines, who are sent to various planets to put down local rebellions, alien invasions, etc.

This book avoids a lot of the absurdities of the first books, but it also is missing much of the nonstop action... additionally, the off-duty life of the Marines get overly re-hashed in this book.

There are some new twists inserted, involving the Skinks... and the silly "We're Here!" military is worth a few laughs - but, other than that, there is little new in this story, that we haven't already seen in the previous books in the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must read for Military SF fans
Wow.This series has culminated (so far) in the best plot line yet.Not only do the authors give the reader a genuine feel for war, but they also give the reader a professional analysis of current strategies in current wars we could name. Since both are Military vets, their opinions count for much more than pogues whose ideas of strategy originated the term "cluster-fu*k", which is what is going on right now (in real life). A damning accessment, and an accurate one, not to mention an action packed, edge of the seat adventure with our favorate characters, and new ones that deserve what they get. I have every book in this series, and will buy any new ones as soon as they are published, they are really that good! Meanwhile, anyone who is currently overseas must read this whole series! Then Vote!

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring. Poor writing. Skip it
On a whole I really liked the Starfist series but I guess every series has its clunkers, this is one.There are times when reading the series I find that one of the characters figure out part of the plot and they just ignore it in the context of the story. Example is the Skinks don't show up on well Infrared scans. Well, that info just sits around and none of the marines seem to tell any of the other marines that very important info. Leaving them to discover it on there own.Also along that line with the presumed technology why not use ultra violet or some other light wave sensors? This plot point ignorance come to a peak in this tenth installment of the Starfist series.Near the beginning of this story about a quarter the way in they tell you what they suspect might be the cause of the "Skink" like attacks.But the authors have the charters never revisit or do anything about it until much later in the book, even when it is extremely obvious to the read what the cause is.It seems the authors just want us to have blinders on to the plot point they revealed early on in the story and act like the obvious reason should be ignored.
Bottom-line this book was a bore and the only reason to read it is that it continues on the series story line. A very poor effort, poor plot, poor editing. One that you can skip.

4-0 out of 5 stars And Now for Completely Different...
It seems like the skinks are back and the men of the 34th will have to face them again so they ship out ready to rock and roll. Things are not, however, as they seem. If I said any more, I'd be giving away vitals so I won't. There is, however, an additional enemy.

We are introduced to Admiral of the Starry Heavens Orange, the supreme naval commander of the We're Here! Navy. We're Here! is a bush league planet settled early on by a bunch of hippies. His supporting characters include Admirals Toke, Head and Crashpad. Captain Happiness is also along for the ride. Admiral Orange gets it into his head that he needs to go to war with another planet and, not incidentally, the Confederation Marines. It's a comic opera that is hilarious in its ludicrous nature.

It's a relaxation break in the series.

2-0 out of 5 stars It could have been a contender!
Overall this series is quite good.As a former Marine, I've found that the authors do a bang-up job of recalling long-forgotten memories of service and sacrifice.They've managed to combine snappy action and plotting with well-realized characters.Characters (such as Charlie Bass) who's fate we deeply care about.

That being said, "A World of Hurt," the tenth and latest in the "Starfist"series is a distinct disappointment.After the last two books in the series, "Kingdom's Fury" and "Lazarus Rising," we had the chance to really get to know several of the main characters: Charlie Bass, Lew Conorado, Brigadier Sturgeon, Cpl. Doyle, etc.They really came alive and of course there was the entire subplot with the supposed death and disappearance of Bass on Kingdom.

This was a major story arc, with the Marines grieving terribly at his "loss."However, his return from the dead is barely mentioned or explored in this novel.His promotion to officer status was similarly glossed over.It would have been quite interesting to have seen the reaction of the Marines to his return, rather than the matter of fact acceptance of his miraculous, "Lazarus" like revival.Or failing that, I would have enjoyed seeing the internal conflicts that Bass experienced as he assumed his new role of officer rather than enlisted man. They were hinted at in some of the throwaway lines in the book but nothing more. The Bass storyline is but one example of many that could have been fleshed out in this book.

Overall, it seems that the authors simply phoned this one in.Especially telling is the excruciating detail with which everyday activities are described.For Heaven's sake!If readers have been with the Marines of the 34th FIST to this point then they don't need to read the line "fast ride on a rough road" one more time.Ugh.

Here's hoping that the next installment serves to advance the overall story rather than serving as a placeholder. ... Read more

11. Technokill (Starfist, Book 5)
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (2000-08)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345435915
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A terrifying secret, an evil coterie of ruthless masterminds, a murderous battle of cunning and deadly skill--it's time to send in the Marines!

After the Confederation makes a shocking discovery on an alien world, a nefarious band of opportunists from the highest echelons of power plot to steal the vast riches for themselves. Along with the ability to crush any resistance, these moguls possess spacecraft, unlimited resources, and a deadly arsenal of cutting-edge weapons.

The only one without a price tag is the Confederation president. Now she is sending Gunnery Sergeant Bass, the men of third platoon, and a single special agent to expose the shadowy figures behind the corruption. And so, on an obscure planet, home to unimaginable treasure and an unsettling species, the toughest fighters in Human Space confront their fiercest battle. For there will be no losers in this war, only the triumphant, the dead, and the vanished . . .
... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

2-0 out of 5 stars not as good as earlier efforts
skip this one ... the puns are ok but the plot is labored and the pseudo language of the birds is cloying rather than amusing

4-0 out of 5 stars Great SF Series
This is a great SF war story about the continuing saga of the future marines.I just wish Amazon sold it at less than full price!

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent STARFIST Entry, but with more than the usual flaws
TECHNOKILL(Aug/2000) is the fifth entry in the STARFIST "Space Marines" military SciFi series, about a Company of 25th Century Marine Infantry, who get into numerous battles, skirmishes, and "police actions".

This is another fun story, which involves the Marines having to put down a group of pirates/poachers who are selling arms to alien beings who have the equivalent of 15th-century technology, which threatens to completely disrupt the cultural development of the, as yet undisturbed, alien world.

Unfortunately, the book suffers from the usual two main problems: 1) Uncreative character names, and 2) Uncreative technology.

1) The 70's Philadelphia Flyers characters are all back (despite numerous dead Marines, the Flyers characters are NEVER killed off).Additionally, there are other absurd character names: Piggot Thigpen (Fat Senator), and Tweed (Boss).

2) Well, in this story, the UAVs are called UAVs again... the authors having bought into the fad in 1999 to call UAVs RPVs in the last few books in the series.Again, the authors have very little creativeness, when it comes to invisioning new weapons technology - their stories become archaice(tech-wise) just a few years after they get published.For example, our current 2008-era UAV technology is way ahead of the UAV tech described in these older books from the series.

Other than the character names and tech, the stories are usually great fun, and I will continue on with the series... I noticed the authors have ramped up production of the books in this series to once every 6 months, from once a year - lets hope the quality doesn't take a downturn with the increased output requirement.

4-0 out of 5 stars More Aliens
After reading the first four books of the series and encountering a universe where humanity is the only sentience, until the last volume, it was surprising to find more aliens in the very next installment from a completely new planet. It was surprising but nicely handled.

This time the jarheads are sent to an ultra secret planet to fight smugglers. The existence of this planet is known to only a few at the highest levels of government because the natives there are intelligent but very far behind humanity in terms of development. Think in terms of nomadic hoards. There is a sort of "Prime Directive" at work in which the decision has been made to let the culture develop naturally. There are a few problems with this. The natives produce some extremely valuable gemstones which makes smuggling worthwhile and the head scientist is doing nasty experiments on the natives. When the marines are sent in to stop things, they have their hands full.

Instead of being action packed, this book spends more time on story development. That didn't bother me but those who don't want the shooting to cease may be a bit disappointed.

I would have given this book a fifth start where it not for one thing. It seems in many places to be temporally disjointed. There is a perception that some of the narrative is out of order. Sometimes it was a minor matter of the difficulty of telling two simultaneous stories. Other times it was more distracting in that I thought I was reading of subsequent events when actually I was reading of prior ones.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not effective adventure
I love good military sci-fi as much as the next starship trooper, but this isn't it.Part of my problem may stem from the fact that I started with this book in the series and there are many parts that I found difficult since I had no prior knowledge of what had happened in the first 4 books. But my real problem came from the style of the writing and characterizations.I thought that the people were more like cut-outs borrowed from "Tour of Duty" than real characters.None of them really resonated.The alien species were particularly humerous in how far I had to suspend my disbelief to accept them. The constant changes in the time-frame of the narration made it very hard to know what was supposed to be happening before what.Add to that the constant political lectures and the book quickly lost my attention.I found the diatribe about the evils of the Japanese and their empires particulrly disturbing in a book written after the 1950's. While the marines were interesting in potential, and the story about the evils of interfereing with indiginous cultures well taken, I fear that I will not be reading another book in this series. ... Read more

12. Steel Gauntlet (Starfist, Book 3)
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (1998-12-26)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034542526X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"Marines ain't supposed to sit. We're supposed to kill."

After the resource-rich planet Diamunde is seized by the armed forces of industrialist Marston St. Cyr, the Confederation Marines face their most desperate battles yet against the mechanized forces of the bloody usurper. Promised a walkover by military planners, instead the Marines must run a gauntlet of steel, with weaponry three hundred years out of date.

For the Confederation's invasion army to seize the planet, the Marine FISTs first have to secure a planethead against St. Cyr's much larger forces which are equipped with superior weapons. Together with their outgunned comrades, the Marines of 34th FIST must do the impossible--or die . . .
... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good read
I love the Starfist books, but not this one.It just seemed the whole story was about how great the Marine's are and how not great everyone else is.They defeated the bad guys to easily and the good guys did not have any struggles.This book made me feel as if the bad guys were no big deal, even though there was a full scale war. I recomend the Starfist books, but not his one!

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
STEEL GAUNTLET (1999) is the third book in the STARFIST far future military SciFi series.The first two books in the series were quite good, but this entry falls flat - mainly due to the anachronistic military technology desribed in the book, which doesn't hold up well, now that 9 years have passed since it was first published.

Supposedly this story takes place in the 25th century, yet the Confederation (Star-faring Earth-centric Alliance) doesn't even have UAV attack technology... something that has ALREADY existed for at least 5 years, and a technology that is rapidily advancing... all of the attack aircraft in the story are MANNED and as such are extremely limited in the G-Forces they can pull.And then there is the need to actually verbally and cumbersomely call in Artillary and Close Air Support strikes - 400 years in the future, computers STILL won't be able to wirelessly and immediately communicate this information, once it is entered into a soldier's handheld computer?Another idiosynchrocy is that the 25th century Tanks don't have any DU (Depleted Uranium) enhanced Armor... something that was widely available in the 2nd Gulf War just a few years after the book was written... yes, the Tank Penatrating weapons in the book use DU technology - but not the tanks themselves?!It is as if we are stuck with year 2000 technology, in a book that is supposed to be about 25th century technology.

The first two stories in the series involved smalltime skirmishes involving company or battalian sized Marine groups involved in peacekeeping activities on other planets, but this story involves an actual small-scale war... and that is probably why the technology becomes so glaringly bad in the this story... in small-scale skirmishes, the advanced technology isn't as important as in a wide scale war.

Another reason this book is so dissapointing to me is that I'm a big fan of Armor, and this book tries to infer Infantry's "long-term superiority" over Armor, leading to Armor's demise - when Armor's recent demise in importance is really due to the USA/UK Armor's success over USSR Armor (there is nobody left to fight an Armored battle with!), not because of Infantry's superiority over Armor (although infantry certainly has an advantage in urban environments - but that is not what the book infers, just that handheld bazooka like weapons of the future would lead to Armor's demise in importance).

We also have the silly 70's Philadelphia Flyer character names back in force in this book (after getting a bit of a rest from them in the 2nd book), and this just adds to the absurdity.

But, the bottom line is that this particular book has become unreadable, directly due to all the poor military technology predictions that show up page after page.

Like others have stated in past reviews, I'm now less impressed with this series after having read this entry... but I'm still going to move on to the next book in the series, and hope things improve again - the first two books were so good, that it is worth giving the series a chance to get back on track.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good escapist fare
One thing I like about this series is how each book is different from the others. The portrayals of military life are good, and the foibles of the high brass are well played out. Good sense of humor where needed.
Books are rather gorey, so not for the faint of heart.
But lots of fun. Good for a quick weekend read.

3-0 out of 5 stars SNAFU
I enjoyed the first two installments of the Starfist series. They were not my very favorites but they did keep my attention. I guess that's why I'm a bit disappointed with this installment. It seemed a "situation normal" type of read. It was a fair story and kept my attention but did not do so to the degree that the earlier two did. Since there are many more left to go in the series, there is still hope.

In this story, the 34th FIST is deployed as part of a larger force in a full scale war against a planet led by a maniacal sadist who has reinvented the doctrine of armored warfare. These jarheads are going to fight tanks, something they have not trained to do in several centuries. The marines are to make an opposed landing, establish a "planethead" and hold for relief by the army. The overall commander is a political admiral who has a talent for making bad choices. A major bad choice is the site of the landing. Things just get worse when the army fails to reinforce the marines on schedule. That's bad enough but, when corrupt politicians get their oars in the water, things really go to hell. As I said to begin with, Situation Normal, All Fouled Up or SNAFU.

I still plan on reading the rest of the series but it is not as high on my priority list as it was.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great Series, Mediocre Entry.
As much as I like the Starfist Series, Steel Gauntlet is probably the worse book in the series, for the reason mentioned by nzjohn in his review.After Sherman and Cragg go to great lengths to prove that MBTs are obsolete, their villain has to make an elementary mistake (one that the very research into military history that led him to build tanks in the first place would almost certainly have prevented) to keep the "useless" panzers from wiping out our heroes.Feels like the authors got two-thirds of the way through the story and then realized that they'd screwed up.Read through this one quickly. ... Read more

13. Starfist: Wings of Hell
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2009-12-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345501004
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Planet Haulover has been invaded by Skinks. Until now, the aliens' existence has been hushed up. But Force Recon's shocking report leaves the Confederation no choice but to mount a military campaign against these alien predators bent on human destruction. Meanwhile, back home, the Confederation's president is being denounced as a warmonger out to exterminate "harmless" aliens. If she loses the upcoming elections, the Confederation will have a lot more Skinks to worry about than the ones on Haulover.

Newly promoted Lieutenant Charlie Bass and his third platoon have more pressing concerns, such as staying alive. But what would be a suicide mission for most—whether it's raiding a hidden Skinks base or destroying the enemy's most lethal weapons during a desperate firefight—is just another job for the Thirty-fourth FIST.
  ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than expected.
Unlike some of the other reviewers that I have read here I found this book to be an excellent addition to the Starfist series.While it does tend to jump back and forth from perspectives somewhat I found that that closed off some loose ends from the previous books and added another level of dimension to existing characters.The battle sequences were well written especially the air battles that occur at several points. You also begin to have a better understanding of the workings of the skink society as well as the modern political landscape of the Terran society.With that being said if you like the small side stories that pop up in Starfist series you will undoubtedly enjoy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Skink War
Wings of Hell (2008) is the thirteenth SF novel in the StarFIST series, following Firestorm.In the previous volume, the President of the Confederation announced the existence of the Skinks.Then she rescinded the quarantine on the personnel who have faced the Skinks in combat.This news slowly spread throughout the member worlds.

The whole Confederacy was ordered to supply troops to the Aguinaldo Taskforce.The Coalition worlds were heavily tasked since they are within the region and their troops have recent combat experience.Of course, most worlds sent their worst troops.

In this novel, Jak Daly is an Ensign in Force Recon for the Fourth Fleet Marine Force.He was sent to Haulover with two squads to solve some disappearances in the colony.They found Skinks causing the problems.

Anders Aguinaldo is a General in the Confederation Marines, the only four star general in the Corps.He commands Task Force Aguinaldo, a joint command that was created in response to the Skinks.

Alistair Cazombi is a Lieutenant General in the Confederation Marine Corps.He is also Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Patrice Carano is a Lieutenant General in the Confederation Army.Pat commands XVIII Corps.

Theodosius Sturgeon is a Brigadier in the Confederation Marine Corps.Ted is commander of the 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team.

Rene Raggel was a Colonel in the Coalition forces, an aide to General Davis Lyons.Now he has been preempted by Task Force Aguinaldo.He commands the Seventh Independent Military Police battalion.

Charles Bass is an Ensign in the Confederation Marines.Charlie commands the Third Platoon, Lima Company, Infantry battalion of the Thirty-fourth FIST.

Puella Queege is a senior sargeant in the Seventh MP Battalion.Puella works as clerk for Colonel Raggel.She may be the best shot in the Confederation forces.

Moses is a young skink.He had been found in some bulrushs near the river, hence the name.He was taken from the Brattle family of New Salem on Kingdom by two scientists and never returned to his family.Zechariah Brattle writes a letter to Charlie Bass explaining the situation.

In this story, the President of the Confederacy is being challenged in the upcoming elections.It looks very much like she will lose. Then her War Minister calls in a favor.

Zechariah's letter reaches Charlie on Thorfinni.He is very concerned and takes it to his company commander.The letter travels up the chain of command to Cazombi.Then he takes it to the War Minister and thus to the President.The Attorney General starts a search for Moses and the two scientists.

The 34th FIST gets orders to join the Aguinaldo Taskforce at Haulover.Before their departure, Brigadier Sturgeon promotes Charlie Bass to Lieutenant.Then the troopers store all excess baggage and prepare to leave.Corporal Dean gets an embarrassing surprise in the departure formation when Jenti runs out to intercepts him and express her love.

The 34th leaves Thorfinni on the CNSS Grandar Bay.When they arrive off Haulover, their ship joins the rest of the gator fleet in orbit.General Carano summons Daly to his flagship and they have a conference with all the major commanders.Although scheduled to leave with his marines, Daly asks to stay onplanet and Carano accepts him as an aide.

General Carano meets with the civilian government heads and declares martial law.Then Colonel Raggel, his battalion CSM, and Puella give them a short introduction on the laws that will apply.Raggel has to threaten Smelt Miner with indefinite confinement, but the civilians settle down for a while.

The Skink Grand Master has been waiting for the Confederation forces.The Skinks soon attack with aircraft to the great surprise of the Confederation troops.But the Grand Master is disappointed that few of the newcomers are Marines.

Then Aguinaldo arrives with the XXX Corps and takes the war to the Skinks.The 34th FIST gets more than their share of fighting.After all, they are the most experienced Skink fighters in the Confederation.

This tale contains numerous surprises from the Skinks.The Marines save Army troopers on many occasions.The Army starts learning to expect the unexpected.

This novel concludes the Haulover storyline.But the 34th finds new troubles in Double Jeopardy.Read and enjoy.

Recommended for Sherman & Cragg fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of armed combat, political maneuvers, and personal courage.

-Arthur W. Jordin

1-0 out of 5 stars WTF - You have to be kidding
$3.50 more for the Kindle edition rather than the the paperback edition?This is incredulous.A Kindle edition should be LESS than a paperback edition.Shame on this publisher.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great reading
Get the entire series and plan on a longterm involvement with the characters in these books!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not their best Effort
I have read all (13) Starfist First to Fight (Starfist, Book 1) and (3) Starfist:Force Recon books Starfist: Force Recon: Recoil . I am disappointed with this one. It lacks the development of previously introduced characters and plots. I was hoping to get more progression/development of the aliens. Who have been the main antagonist of the Marines since the early books. Where do they come from? what are there goals? It is well past time for this series to get into these issues. The story is stale and running out of steam without it. This is like reading a long simple short story. If you are new to the series start at the beginning (which are excellent) and work your way to this one.Two Stars for me - Buy this one USED! ... Read more

14. Starfist: Firestorm
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2008-04-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034546057X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Combat vets David Sherman and Dan Cragg know firsthand the courage, sacrifice, and hell of war–and their experiences have made the popular Starfist novels thrill rides of the highest order. Now the explosive action continues on the remote planet Ravenette, where the Marines of the Confederation’s 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST) find themselves up against a full-fledged rebellion–and a lethally loose cannon of a commanding officer.

Desperate to thwart unrelenting aliens and their quest to obliterate humankind, The Confederation has beefed up its defenses. But to the citizens on the outer edges of Human Space around Ravenette–unaware that a deadly enemy even exists–the government’s move seems oppressive, and ten planets have responded with a war of secession.

In touch-and-go battles with the seceding planets, the 34th FIST has emerged battered but unbowed, refusing to give up . . . even while under the command of a fanatical general. The enemy determined to strike, a new mission must be carried out, though the troops will likely return in body bags.

Should Ensign Charlie Bass and his Marines somehow survive the nightmarishly difficult amphibious landing, they can expect to be outmanned, outgunned, and out-armored in a fierce duel against fresh soldiers. But like any Marine worth his salt, Bass knows there’s only one way to go when facing impossible odds: on the offense with all guns firing. There’s no other choice–because if life was easy, there’d be no need to send in the Marines.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Full Scale Combat with a Plot!!
This is, I believe, the 12th book in this series and it might be my favorite. Most of the books in this series have focused on enemy alien life, or Skinks, as they have become affectionately named. This book concludes a "mini-series" within the larger series itself and while there were some sagging spots in the other books leading up to this one, Firestorm really never suffers from a dull moment.

First, it was refreshing to have Gun-, er, Ensign Bass and his troops in a human conflict. As Sherman and Cragg had done in a prior book in the series, they have brought to life very authentic and familiar human characters with very human conflicts. The rebel Coalition in this book feels very real and the authors do a good job of making their cause feel valid. Of course, the Coalition is filled with characters with both good and bad intent but as you read, you realize that the Confederation has its own bad intentioned citizens.

The next thing I loved about this book was all of the action. If you are reading this review, I am assuming you have read some of the other books in the series. By now you might feel, as I do, that the action in the series has gotten dangerously thin. With all due respect to the authors, while I want plot and depth in my books, the reason I am reading a book series called Starfist (worst name ever) is for some low impact, fun, and easy reading. I was beginning to believe that the authors, to some degree, had begun to get away from their "bread and butter." However, Firestorm brings the action non-stop. I would guess that 75% of this book is combat and combat is where Sherman and Cragg are at their best.

To conclude, I guess I would suggest not starting here if you are thinking of just getting this book cold. Go back to book one and get to know the cast of characters. The authors have done a great job of creating a long series that still appears to have plenty of runway. With 14 Starfist books completed to date, you give yourself plenty of long term entertainment that way. As you read through the series, you will love some books more than others. This book will likely land near the top of your list.

2-0 out of 5 stars Weak 'middle book'
You need to read the first book in this trilogy before this second one.But an entertaining series seems to have run out of ideas as the authors start to rehash plots and substance from previous books.There is a lot of Marine love here, perhaps a little too much, and very superficial characterisation.

No aliens in this one as the Marines get involved in stopping a civil war - cue the Marines being brave and more clever then anyone as they fight their way through a number of battles and incidents.

Sorry but nothing new and nothing interesting here......

1-0 out of 5 stars The Book is great - the way it arrived not so much...!
The place that sent me the book should have paid more attention the book is seperating from the spine and they shipped it this way!

5-0 out of 5 stars Starfist firestorm
As always, a great story by Cragg & Sherman
I read any thing they write and I can get my hands on.

4-0 out of 5 stars Breaking Out of Bataan
Firestorm (2007) is the twelfth SF novel in the StarFIST series, following Flashfire.In the previous volume, the Coalition of Worlds had seceded from the Confederacy.Coalition troops drove the Confederate troops into Bataan, a hastily fortified storage area near Fort Seymour.

General Billie was sent to Ravenette to defeat the Coalition troops.But he has not yet started a counteroffensive.Aside from raids by the marines and defense of the peninsula, the Confederation troops are only marking time.

In this novel, Jason Billie is a General in the Confederation Army.He has been a staff officer during his entire career.Now he was promoted and placed in charge of the defense of Ravenette.He doesn't listen to advice and doesn't like Marines.

Alistair Cazombi is a Lieutenant General in the Confederation Army.He had been commander of Fort Seymour.Now he is Deputy Commander of the Confederation forces on Ravenette.

Balca Sorca is a Major General in the Confederation Army.He is now Chief of Staff for General Billie.

Kyr Godalgonz is a Lieutenant General in the Confederation Marine Corps.He has been recently promoted and is now being shipped to Ravenette in provisional command of two Army divisions and two Marine FISTs.

Theodosius Sturgeon is a Brigadier in the Confederation Marine Corps.Ted is commander of the 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team.

Lewis Conorado is a Captain in the Confederation Marine Corps.He commands L company within the 34th FIST infantry battalion.

In this story, General Billie decides to breakout of Bataan.He chooses the 34th FIST to attack the center of the Coalition position.Captain Conorado announces the mission and tells his marines to get ready.Naturally, most know that their mission is sure to result in widespread casualties.

As they assemble for the assault, the operation is delayed and then canceled.General Godalgonz has arrived earlier than expected and his Corps is orbiting Ravenette.When the General reports to the Supreme Commander, General Billie mentions that they are early.

Soon after his arrival, Godalgonz meets the deputy commander and gains some insight into General Billie.It isn't so much what Cazombi says than what he doesn't say.Then Godalgonz speaks with Brigadier Sturgeon, who doesn't mince words.

Godalgonz learns about General Billie's incompetence, procrastination and dislike of marines.So he decides to show Billie what marines can do.He gains permission for another raid on Gilberty's Corners.

General Godalgonz leads the mission himself.It is rare that a man of his rank can go on such an operation.Unfortunately, he is killed in action.

After the news reaches Billie, the general calls Sorca into his office and lets him read the message.Billie is highly amused at the news, laughing so hard that he almost falls out of his chair.Sorca is so disturbed at this behavior that he tells Brigadier Sturgeon and warns him that Billie has plans for the remaining marines.

This tale takes the 34th FIST into heavy fighting.They and the 27th Division are faced with a Coalition reinforced division and other troops.Then General Billie closes his trap.

Obviously General Billie is not fully sane.He acts like a psychopath, with little regard for others.His forces soon begin to realize their situation.

This volume concludes the Ravenette duology.The next novel -- Wings of Hell -- confronts the 34th FIST with more skinks.Read and enjoy!

Recommended for Sherman & Cragg fans and for anyone who enjoys tales of armed combat, military intrigue, and personal courage.If anyone has not previously read this series, the initial volume is First to Fight.

-Arthur W. Jordin ... Read more

15. Backshot (Starfist: Force Recon, Book 1)
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2005-07-26)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345460588
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
An exciting new special-ops adventure from the battle-tested vets who created the popular Starfist series

Jorge Lavager, charismatic leader of the mysterious Union of Margelan, ferociously guards an agricultural research facility on the planet Atlas. What that facility conceals will prove whether Lavager is an idealist seeking to unify Atlas under a banner of freedom and prosperity–or a tyrant aiming to control all of Human Space.

The Marines of Fourth Force Recon’s second platoon are dispatched to Atlas to uncover the truth. They will have to sneak past state-of-the-art surveillance equipment barring unlawful entry to the planet and land in a desolate area miles from their target. And if they discover lethal new weapons instead of legitimate research, the thirty-six Marines are to seize the compound–guarded by merciless, armed-to-the-teeth soldiers–and destroy it. But what the recon team finds on Atlas sets off a chain of events that will force some hard decisions on the Marines . . . and end in a deadly surprise. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Additon to the StarFist Universe!!!
I just recently got into the StaFist universe after discovering them at the local bookstore. I have obtained and read all the books in the serie's and they all are well written, fast paced, and fun reads.

Backshot is a a great read, because your start right off in a mission with the Marine Force Recon helping the Confed Army. Your introduced immediatly to what their all about, what they do, how they do it, and how well they do it.

This opening scene really sets the rest of the book up, your immediatly at home with the 4th Force recon and cant wait to turn the page and meet the rest of them as the story unfolds.

New weapons, new craft, new worlds, new well developed characters, thrown into a multi-threaded mission of the highest security nature!! The story moves along as two teams from 4th Force Recon beset upon the Agricutural World of Atlas. You meet the President of the most powerful Nation State on this world, Jorge Lavager.

The two teams of Marine Force Recon go about their missions in the fast past nature of the other Starfist books. Never a dull moment as they move toward achieving their separate objectives, and the authors treat you to some new twists and turns they hadnt done in the other books in the series.

From the "Queen of Killers: Bella Dwan, to LT Tevedas and his team, to President Lavager, and the Central Intelligence Organization's vile, agenda driven, leaders, the story moves along, grabs ya by the collar and just wont let go.

This is a welcome addition to the StarFist Universe and highly reccomended.

Be Well,

4-0 out of 5 stars Where's Errol Flynn?
This is a fast moving futuristic Marine Force Recon tale where poor politics puts people in positions that they shouldn't be in.We have corrupt political people trying to take down minor planetary heads of state for some reason (we're never really told why, all we know is that the head of the Intelligence section believes that Atlas if unified may try to take control of it's sector but not real proof is given).Fortunately the writers moved from their poor political piece to their strong suite, the military (for those not familiar both writers have a good military background).In this case, their foil is a Force Recon platoon that goes to find out if the Cucumber Patch is set up for military operations and if the leader needs to be killed.

Rating wise, this is a 3.5 star book.It's fun and fast, but there's to much that isn't believable.First that the Force Recon troops are so much better than the regular Army troops.Will our Force Recon troops are very good at what they do, our Army also has some units that are very good at doing what they do.Having said that, all things remaining equal, the same should be true.Second, when the Force Recon troops hit the Cucumber Patch they're wearing their chameleon suites to enable them to blend into the background and not be seen.However since they have a nice big firefight with the local troops, the local troops should be able to figure out that they're not fighting troops from their world since the uniforms and weapons don't match anything from the other governments.Very poor job Mr.'s Sherman and Cragg.The final telling part is when the writers tell us that the Force Recon troops didn't do a decontamination prior to landing when the local authorities always require it.This is critical since it totally shows that the big government wasn't really concerned on hiding that they'd been there.Given that, why send in the Marines on a stealth mission....Enough said.It's light, it's fun, since I said 3.5 stars and Amazon says only whole stars, I'll round it up because I was in the mood for a light fun book.That having been said, it could have just as easily been a 3 star book (maybe lower) if I wasn't in the mood for a light fun book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Assassination and Politics
Backshot (2005) is the first military SF novel in the StarFIST: Force Recon series.Second Platoon, Fourth Force Recon Company, Fourth Fleet Marines, is tasked with the penetration of enemy positions to perform special missions.Recon platoons are smaller than initial strike force platoons, consisting of two sections, each with four squads with four men each.The Force Recon units are also equipped differently, having chameleon suits that provide virtual invisibility.

In this novel,Sergeant Jak Daly and his squad are sent to the 104th Mobile Infantry Division, Confederation Army, on Silvasia to find and fix the headquarters of the Silvasian Liberation Army.The 104th had been seeking this headquarters for seven months, without success.

The SLA is maneuvering within deep forest, but the Navy does not have any warships or sensors overhead to locate the enemy.Army recon units can locate the enemy, but always have to break contact or be defeated in place while the rest of the 104th is deploying to their position.By the time the main force arrives, the SLA headquarters has moved elsewhere.

The commanding general calls for help from the marines.Although he doesn't expect the marines to be any more successful than his own troops, their failure will take some heat off his shoulders.He is totally surprised when the marine recon squad successfully completes its mission.

In this story, after the return of Sergeant Daly and his troopers, the Second Platoon is tasked with an Ultra Secret Eyes Only operation by presidential special order.Something unusual is happening in the Union of Margelan on Atlas.The Central Intelligence Organization has reported signs of a secret weapons project being conducted at the "Cabbage Patch" facility and suggests an assassination of the President of the Union of Margelan.

Later, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommends the drop of a full corps on the site.President Cynthia Chang-Sturdevant soon discards that suggestion with a little assistance from General Anders Aguinaldo, Chief of Staff of the Marine Corps, who had been involved in the disastrous Diamunde operation.The President decides to send in the marines-- i.e., the Second Platoon -- in a covert sneak and peek with a sniper backup plan.

This story depicts J. Murchison Adams, CIO Director, as an aristocratic buffoon with a patrician attitude and a self-serving agenda.He promotes sycophants into the higher CIO ranks and demotes or retires dedicated professionals -- such as Anya Smiler -- from critical positions.He isn't interested in the truth, but in the power that well manipulated information can bring him.

In contrast, President Jorge Liberec Lavager -- target in this assassination plan -- comes across as an honorable man.A former general who has raised the Union of Margelan to political prominence on Atlas, Lavager is concerned with the well being of the citizens of his nation as well as the future of his daughter.He has enemies, both within his own nation and among the other countries on the planet, especially South Solanum, but he is fairly patient until his troops and citizens begin dying.

Like the original StarFIST series, this novel conveys some sense of the political processes that generate the orders for these troops.It tells of maneuvering among higher levels of the Confederation and particularly examines the degeneration of the Confederation CIO under a series of selfish and maladroit directors.It emphasizes the adverse effects of this incompetency upon the armed forces.

Recommended for Sherman & Cragg fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of corrupt officials, political maneuvering and special operations.

-Arthur W. Jordin

3-0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as the Star Fist Series
The book is a good read, though it does seem to lack some of the quality of the main StarFist series.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not so much plot twists as slow plot curves with ample signage.
While Sherman none of Shermans books that I have read could be noted for complex or overly shprising plots, this one reaches a new low.It starts with a survey of all the political charcters being introduced by way of annoying gluttous epicurean metaphors and just goes down hill. From there it is a pretty strightforward unfolding of what is described on the back cover. ... Read more

16. Starfist: Flashfire
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2007-03-27)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345460553
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Packed with hard-core action written by battle-savvy combat veterans, the explosive Starfist series has become hugely popular across America. Now the saga of the courageous Marines continues in Flashfire, as the 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST) ventures to the edge of Human Space to fight a number of enemies . . . some on their own side.

Tensions erupt between the Confederation and several frontier worlds when civilians are shot dead at an army base on the planet Ravenette. Enraged, the Ravenette government and nine neighboring planets form a coalition, and their first act of secession is to overrun Ravenette’s Confederation garrison. With the armed forces of ten worlds seizing the brutal upper hand, the embattled troops need help–now–and they need it bad.

Enter the Marines of the 34th FIST. As the nearest ready-to-deploy unit, the team is sent to Ravenette with orders to hold the line until reinforcements arrive. The upcoming operation promises to be no picnic, for while sophisticates may ridicule the backward ways of the uncouth frontier folk, no one scoffs at their fighting ability.

Charlie Bass doesn’t mince words for his men in Company L’s third platoon. Two army divisions–perhaps thirty thousand soldiers–are being overwhelmed, and somebody expects a thousand Marines to save the day. As pompous Confederation generals wreak even more havoc than the enemy, there are those who call the mission suicide . . . but not the Marines.

Of course it sounds hopeless, but for Marines like Charlie Bass and the rest of the 34th FIST, accomplishing the impossible comes with the territory.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome...
Awesome series...too bad I've gone to the end, but definitely a re-read when I need something quick...Can't wait until the next in the series...

2-0 out of 5 stars Incomplete
This book is incomplete.The story just ends. Very disappointing.
The work also seems to be put together in a disjointed manner, as if the authors were working to a deadline and didn't have time to edit their contributions to make them flow together.
I've read other books in the Starfist group and did not expect this.
I should have read the reviews more closely; I will in the future before purchasing works by these authors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Flash Fire (Starfist)
As always a a great store cragg & sherman
I read any thing they write and I can get my hands on.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great book
This is another great book in the STARFIST series. You dont have to start with the first book but I would recomend you do. Well worth your money.

2-0 out of 5 stars HoHum
First of all I am a fan of this series. This entry is the weakest submission. I realize that in writing a multi book series there are going to be the odd stinker. It is difficult to always be at the same creative level. Who know this may have been a rush book because of pressure from an editor/publisher. I am sure that David Sherman and Dan Cragg will be back in fine form in the next book which I am looking forward to. ... Read more

17. Blood Contact (Starfist, Book 4)
by David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (1999-12-07)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345425278
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Through three centuries of interstellar travel, intelligent alien life- forms had never been encountered . . . until now.

When a scientific team exploring an obscure planet fails to make its regular communications check, the Marines of third platoon are sent to investigate. They prepare for a routine rescue operation, but what they find on Society 437 is a horror beyond description. Only a handful of ragtag pirates who were in the wrong place at the very worst time have survived, and there is little trace of the scientists.

What happened to the scientists? Why have the pirates been spared?
Gunnery Sergeant Bass and the men of third platoon are about to find out,
and the answer carries a terrifying implication for the Marines--and the entire human race. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun Entry in the STARFIST Military SciFi series
BLOOD CONTACT(12/1999) is the fourth entry in the STARFIST series of Far Future Military "Space Marines" stories.This story involves the Space Marines of 34th FIST being sent to a remote and uninhabited world to discover what happened to a scientific colony of 1000 humans.When they get there, all heck breaks loose.

While there is still the over-abundance and silliness of the 70's Philadelphia Flyers character names, and there are a lot of over-exaggerated character personalities (always seeming to involve "officers", who the authors seem to have a bit of an aversion to), there is enough action and redemption to make this story an overall winner.It is a fun and fast read, and I'll definitely be moving on to the fifth book in the series.

I'd also like to mention that this story returns to the successful theme of "small scale skirmishes" of books I & II of the series.Book III involved a "large scale skirmish" that was short on technology and believability, and was hopelessly out of date 9 years after it was published.

3-0 out of 5 stars First Contact the Hard Way
In this, the fourth of the StarFIST series, the story improves once again in terms of interest. The last book was alright but nothing too memorable. This one is.

The marines are recuperating from their hard fought campaign when they get work of a scientific outpost which has fallen silent. A single platoon is sent to investigate. What they find is what no one expected. Hostile aliens have taken over the place and killed everybody. These are the first intelligent aliens to be encountered in these writer's universe and they are strange. There is no negotiating with them. They are fanatics who fight to the end and immolate themselves rather than let the jarheads take any prisoners, dead or alive. The marines have their work cut out for them and are not helped by the glory hound naval officer who accompanies them.

It is a good read from start to finish. It is not as well polished as some series but it keeps the interest and it portrays the men and their leaders as they should be portrayed. SemperFi!

4-0 out of 5 stars Still pending on the outcome
The story is pretty good and does brings something new against Charlie Bass and his men. It is different than the tribal on Elneal or the tank of Diamunde and its brings some action for the marines.

I was unable to put down the book as I was reading since I was waiting for a grande finale. However, once the book was fully read I had some questions about missing links.

Anyway, I am still very pleased with the outcome of the book. I will finish reading HangFire and buy the seventh book Kingsdom's Sword once it is out.


5-0 out of 5 stars Who you gonna call?
When the book opens the Confederation is facing a new military invasion, only this time it is aliens.What will happen? Who will win? Dean and the 34st FIST or the bad guys.I could tell you but Amazon wouldn't let me, you have to read it to find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment!
In the first Starfist novel, the 34th FIST went up against a bunch of nomadic, "low-tech" tribes.Next, they trained a puppet-police force to stand against rebels.Then, they spearheaded an invasion against an entire mechanized army.What's left for the fourth book, you ask? Heck, ALIENS!

A remote research outpost on a planet a bit too far gone tobe accurately called "remote" suddenly disappears.True to form,the bureacracy (sp?) diddles around before deciding to send a single FISTplatoon and the Navy's most embarrassing rejects to investigate.Ofcourse, L platoon, 34th FIST, draws the short straw...probably the bestthing the powers-that-be could've done.*g*So, how do you makes headsand tails of a planet covered by swamps and impassable mountains, litteredwith corpses, full of gigantic lizards (some of which want to melt you),and all the while encumbered with the only human survivors, a rag-tag bandof pirates?Just put Charlie Bass in charge!

This novel was non-stopfrom the beginning!Old comrades, new friends, mysterious pasts, enigmaticgenocides, and a diabolically sentient race that's next to impossible totrack, mindless in its persuit of the destruction of all things human, andsimply ingenious in its tactics all add together to make a truely originalread!Not your typical "slimey alien drooling on floor grunts a fewgutteral noises then whips out a super-advanced weapon and blows the sunup" cookie-cutter beastie, these are coldly calculating commanderswith hordes of mindless minions to do their bidding.

This is a veryhighly recommended book!I couldn't find anything to tick on it for,except maybe Dan Cragg and David Sherman's continual downplay of the Navyforces...which, as an ex-Navy man myself, I can totally understand.All inall, I can't wait for book five and six to come out! ... Read more

18. Onslaught (Demontech, Book 1)
by David Sherman
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (2002-01-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345443748
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The diabolic armies appear invincible–
but they haven’t met the Marines.

The Dark Prince’s power to summon demons has made his forces second to none, and ensured his place as one of the invasion’s leaders. Not content to merely seize his father’s throne, the renegade royal dreams of world conquest–and with his army and his black arts, there is little to stop him.

So unexpected, so well planned is the invasion of the free port New Bally that out of hundreds in the city, only two escape capture. Haft and Spinner will need all their courage and cunning to retrieve their weapons from their enemy-held ship, cross the open meadows surrounding the city walls, and escape into the forest beyond–where they hope to regroup and drive back the invaders. Luckily, Haft and Spinner are no ordinary men. They are Marines . . .

... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars Like it a lot
I have tremendously enjoyed this series. I highly recommend it to anyone enjoying sci-fi fantasy with a true military twist.

5-0 out of 5 stars First Book of a great Swords and Sorcery meets military sci fi series
I am not going to put a synopsis of the book here, others have already done it and probably done it better than I ever could. I just want to say that I own all 3 books in the series and was very disappointed to see that that last 3 books will NOT be published. It seems sales are low even though reviews are rating this series very highly. I urge you to buy this book is you like Sword and Sorcery and/or Military SF, this series seamlessly combines both. The book is entertaining, well written, with great fully realized characters. Recommend this book to others you think would like it and take a moment to write the publishers and ask them to please release the rest of the books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooked
I stumbled across a copy of this book recently and was instantly hooked. I can't believe I missed this gem when it was released. Then again I was late discovering the authors works all around. Having said that the blending of fantasy and USMC experience in this series is totally entertaining. A must read for any scifi, fantasy or military enthusiast. Its a little late but I am hoping the series will be resurrected.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very hard to put down...
The Demontech books are as addictive as anything I've read in the military/sci-fi genre.These books are entertaining and extremely well-written, with characters that rival those of any other author in the field.Warning: you may lose sleep!The books keep you very, very interested in finding out what happens next, so you may find yourself turning to the next page or starting the next chapter when you should be turning out the light and closing your eyes...but it's worth it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lord Gunny Says " Buy this Book!"
VEEDMEE!!!! Lord Gunny Says "Del Ray this is a darn fine tome, what are you thinking keeping my marines stuck far away from Frangeria???"

A Great story, with Great Characters on a running trek that keeps you turning the pages fast as you can read!

Lord Gunny is summoned to Dave Sherman's fantasy setting, and creates a corps of sea solders called "Marines". The story opens right up when two junior Marines land in the port city of New Bali and discover it has been overun by evil doers. They are forced to escape the city and seek aid from others. This small chore sets them on an adventure across the lands of Bostia, Skragland, and beyond. They encounter magics, mayhem, demonsand destruction.

Dave Sherman's Demontech has an interesting twist on Magic. Demons are subdued, conjured, and summoned to be used in various magical tasks. Healing, Warding, Hiding, Destroying, Laboring, and more are some of the tasks they do.The way he employes them is very fun, along with the "demonspeak" they use.

"Veedmee" a demonspeak request, or even demand in some cases that the demons stop their tasks, asking to be fed before they continue.

Haft and Spinners adventures grow as they trek along avoiding the Dark Prince and his minions that are rampaging across the continent.

The Lands, the characters, the battles are all well defined and developed, you move thru the story fast and furious, left wanting.

As Lord Gunny says,"BUY THIS BOOK" you cant disobey orders!! and you wont be disappointed!

... Read more

19. Evidence-Based Crime Prevention
Paperback: 456 Pages (2006-05-25)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$44.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 041540102X
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Crime prevention policy and practice is often far from objective. Instead of being based on scientific evidence, the crime policy agenda is sometimes driven by political ideology, anecdotal evidence and program favorites of the month. Evidence-Based Crime Prevention seeks to change this by comprehensively and rigorously assessing the existing scientific knowledge on the effectiveness of crime prevention programs internationally.

Reviewing more than 600 scientific evaluations of programs intended to prevent crime in settings such as families, schools, labor markets, places and communities, this book grades programs on their validity using "the scientific methods scale." This collection, which brings together contributions from leading researchers in the field of crime prevention, will provide policy makers, researchers and community leaders with an understandable source of information about what works, what does not work and what is promising in preventing crime.

The revised edition of this internationally renown and highly influential book contains an entirely new and up-to-date introductory chapter. This new chapter takes stock of important new developments that are helping to make crime prevention more rational and also sets out the contribution of this book to evidence-based crime prevention.

... Read more

20. Sherman Firefly (New Vanguard)
by David Fletcher
Paperback: 48 Pages (2008-02-19)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$8.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1846032776
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The most powerfully gunned tank fielded by the Allies during World War II was the Sherman Firefly. An ordinary American-built Sherman modified by the British, the Firefly had the firepower that could finally match the awesome German tanks that had dominated Europe. David Fletcher examines the controversy that dogged the Firefly and the psychological boost the tank provided to Allied forces. Exploring its successes and failures on the battlefield and providing a realistic assessment of the tank's worth, this is essential reading for anyone wanting to know the facts about a tank variant that quickly developed its own mythology. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good broad overview of the Firefly's development
Osprey Publishing has sent me a copy of one of their latest releases, this one on the Sherman Firefly tank. The British army took delivery on hundreds of U.S.-built Sherman tanks and outfitted them with a massive 17-pound gun. This innovation finally allowed British forces to match up with the imposing german firepower that had dominated the Western European Theater of Operations for so long. Veteran author David Fletcher, the historian at the Tank Museum in Bovington, UK, had penned an interesting and detailed account of the history of this conversion, exploring the people and methodology behind the development of the Firefly.

Fletcher's writing style is perhaps unusual and a bit too folksy for my American taste, but his content is outstanding. He offers a thorough look at the history of the Firefly. As with all Osprey books, this one is profusely illistrated with period photographs (from the collection of the museum the author works for) and lavish full-color (colour for my British friends!) drawings and sketches.

Number 141 of the New Vanguard collection, this newly released book is certainly an authoritative look at this powerful weapon of war. At only 48 pages, it is a short and easy read, but is chock full of interesting information of value to the wargamer, WWII buff, or tank enthusiast. Fletcher examines the successes (and failures) of this tank destroyer, which was in high demand and short supply. They were allocated among various units, usually no more than 1 or 2 per unit.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good on development info;lacking on combat info
I purchased this book right away when it became available, a couple of months after buying Stephen Hart's book "Sherman Firefly vs. Tiger" (Normandy 1944).

The chapters are as follows:

The 17-Pounder
Developments at Lulworth
Designing the Firefly
The Conversion Programme
Concrete Busters
The Firefly in Action
The American Angle
Supply and Demand
What's in a Name?

The strengths of this book by David Fletcher are the detailed information on the development, design, and conversion of the Sherman Firefly. If you like detailed specifications on the Firefly, Fletcher does a good job of providing this info. All the different variants of the Firefly are briefly described. Tony Bryan does an excellent job in his colored illustrations.

However, the main deficiency in this book is the sparse info provided about the combat performance of the Firely in the European theatre.Fletcher does not even mention the pivotal battle in St. - Aignan (Aug. 8, 1944) where the British Fireflies destroy the Tiger tank and the legendary career of notable Tiger tank ace Michael Wittman.I can't believe the author would make no mention of some of these pivotal battles.

Therefore, I liked Stephen Hart's book much more.It provides the essential development and design info on the Firefly but it describes the combat performance in much more satisfying detail.Hart describes briefly each pivotal battle against the Germans, and gives the reader a detailed synopsis of how the tankers on each side operated in battle.Hart even describes the notable tank aces on both the Axis and Allied sides.

If I were to pick one "Sherman Firefly" book, I would pick Hart's book instead of this one.Hart's book has the added bonus in providing the design, development, and combat info on the legendary Tiger Tank.It's like getting two books for the price of one.Hart's book contains 79 pages of script while this book only contains 48 pages.

If you buy this book, consider purchasing the Hart book as well, to augment the section on the combat performance. ... Read more

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