Sometimes you read something that is so good that you can hardly believe it.  It reaches right in and just yanks every raw emotion.

That doesn’t happen a lot for me.  I mean, I love a good space marine romp.  Maybe there are MECH suits, maybe there are fancy plasma weapons.  (I just finished Halo: The Fall of Reach, which was exactly like that and interspersed with some spaceship battles too.)

And then there are books which are a cut above:

  • Grunt Life by Weston Ochse
  • All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

When I read Grunt Life: A Task Force Ombra Novel by Weston Ochse, I was drawn in to the intense emotion of the characters.

We meet the protagonist, Benjamin Mason as he is trying to end his life.  Instead, he is recruited to a secret task force to fight an alien invasion.  During his wild journey, we experience his suffering, the PTSD that he and his fellow squad members are all tormented by.

It’s heavy.

It’s such a powerful read. I loved it.

The aliens are complicated and they are winning.  Humans being the underdog is definitely the trope that all these wonderful alien invasion books have to deliver.  This particular alien has the power of mind control over humans.

The 3rd book in the series, Grunt Hero (Task Force Ombra) just launched  and so you know as a reader that you get at least 3 books of this visceral action packed space marine reading.

Weston Ochse is a prolific writer and I have been slowly working my way through his works, some I would classify as “dark fantasy” or horror, even.  But the exciting thing is that his SEAL Team 666: A Novel has been optioned by The Rock for a movie!

I found Grunt Life intense, but then when I read All You Need Is Kill, I was completely blown away.  The writing is gritty and punches you right in the gut. What’s amazing is that this is a translation too (an excellent one!).  Also a treat, a nice foreword by John Scalzi.

Now some of you may have seen the movie Edge of Tomorrow.  However, it’s as different from the book as Starship Troopers the movie is from Heinlein’s classic novel.

Our protagonist is a young enlisted man from Japan in a joint mission with US forces.  He’s fighting terrifying aliens who are devouring the lands and oceans of earth.  However, when Keiji kills the wrong alien, a “server” alien, he gets stuck in a time loop.

He fights the same battle over and over and only when he works with US super soldier, the Full Metal Bitch, or Red Wargarita, does he have hope of breaking the loop because she has done it herself.

This book was so good I read it two times through back to back.  I hardly ever do things like that.  (The last time was watching Fight Club two nights in a row).  Run, don’t walk to get your copy of All you Need is Kill.