Sungrazer by Jay Posey

The DNA of Jay Posey’s Outriders is all 007 – from the catchy name (GoldenEye, anyone?) to the cloak and dagger spy plot, this is Bond for the modern age and with an ensemble cast. Though some would label this military sci fi, the operations that the Outriders perform are often planetside and involve infiltration rather than ‘pew pew’ action. In essense, this is Spy Fi. But it’s very easy to follow, has an interesting cast of characters, and each book ends on a complete subarc.

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Synopsis: An AI-driven ‘deep cover’ military assault ship has gone rogue and the Outriders are brought in track down who took it over and from where. Their mission will take them from contraband haulers in space to a remote Martian science station. And what they find is that someone is very invested in destroying the peace between the Martians and the Earth Coalition.

Although Sungrazer had a different story arc than Outriders, the two stories are connected loosely by the end. I always appreciate with there is a larger mystery to be solved over multiple books in the series – a bigger picture amidst all the small battles that the Outriders face. Because this read like a World War II Occupied France spy novel, it was a bit slower than the previous book. Not terrible but also missing a lot of the action that kept the first book so riveting.

Posey likes to introduce a side character whose path will converge later in the story. It’s always interesting to see how such a random series of events/person eventually collides with an Outriders mission. But until that happens, it can be baffling reading about a spy wine-ing and dining a target and then the next chapter having exploding airlocks and finding horrific hidden cargo.

In all, I am enjoying Posey’s series mostly because it really isn’t Military Sci Fi so much as Spy Fi. That’s not a bad thing but I’m admittedly not a big fan of spy books or the James Bond series in particular. As well, this is very American jingoistic that grates a bit in a sci fi.  Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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