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"Check Six"

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The Guns of August
Barbara W. Tuchman, Robert K. Massie
Armor - John Steakley Oh man, if only the whole book was a good as the last 100 pages, it would get 5 Stars not just 3. Alas, there are two or three great stories here, but none are fully fleshed out. The first story is about Felix, a survior of uncounted "drops" on Banshee, home of the enemy "Ants". Felix is the ultimate soldier in his Armor, wreaking havoc on the hordes of enemy 1,000# "ants" that attack any military landing on the planet.

The second story revolves around Jack Crow, a famous brigand and scoundrel, and his bid for freedom and a ship to carry him to wherever. The Armor of the title connects them but I can't tell you without a major spoiler foul.

I think a third story could have been fashioned out of the colony and the underground freedom fighters. Some interesting characters there, unfortunately never given a chance to shine.

In the end, the "Antwar" was boring. The enemy reminded me of the stupid threads in Dragonflight, unthinking, stupid enemies. The controlling intelligence for the ants was never addressed or even why we wanted to fight on the planet. The action is good military stuff but against a pointless foe. And the "Fleet" personnel are portrayed beyond dumb, just not believable.

The Jack Crow story is more fun but so disjointed and just lacking background in key areas. The denouement is nice and leaves you wanting so much more. A decent read but not the slam dunk I was expecting.