Originally posted at Colonel Carl Butler the bald and angry hero of Michael Mammay s debut milSF thriller Planetside arrives at Space Command he is approached by an aide of General Serata whom he once served under and is there to meet While observing the aide Colonel Butler privately notes that Serata inspires a fanatical loyalty in his underlings Butler s awareness of this comes from personal experience but it doesn t inoculate him from its effects he did after all travel a long way to meet his friend General Serata on official business despite being semi retired with a cushy teaching gig and under no obligation to do so Loyalty is a concept that is often taken for granted in military fiction a character s virtue or lack thereof is often tied to it but rarely is it put under the microscope the way it is in Planetside Butler spends a lot of time dealing with the various loyalties of others as the novel progresses His own loyalties are never called into uestion and this turns out to be a curse as much as a blessingSerata s reuest of Butler is a simple one a powerful politician s son one Lieutenant Mallot has gone missing on the colony planet Cappa Three where they are still fighting of an insurgency among the native population Serata needs Butler to find the kid or at least find out what happened to him before said politician stirs up too much trouble The investigation needs to be uick clean and tight according to Serata That could also describe the novel excepting the clean part There s nothing clean about what Butler uncovers on Cappa Three The echoes of Conrad s Heart of Darkness are plain and Mammay is confident enough to reward our recognition of this as well as use it against us One of the things that endeared me to this novel was the author s skill at setting up the reader s expectations and then knocking them down without breaking the trust necessary for such a relationship to work It uickly becomes clear why Serata needs Butler for this task Butler is skeptical enough to approach everyone as if they have something to hide and can t be trusted but observant enough to recognize honesty and trustworthiness when he sees it and foster relationships with people he needs to help him achieve his objective This is no easy feat when there s a conspiracy afoot and the uestion of where people s loyalties lie can get you killed if you read someone wrong What impressed me the most about how the plot of Planetside unfolds is the fact that Butler s competence and intelligence are never faulted for his inability to put the pieces together from the startAs those pieces finally start falling into place Planetside builds to a shocking climax one made even disturbing by the air of inevitability that accompanies it The reader is ust a as aware as Butler of all the red flags that rise along the way and like Butler we are slow to accept the ramifications until it is clear there are no other options I found myself wishing the novel had dedicated a little space to its world building particularly the socialpoliticalcultural circumstances of human civilization outside of the military context doing so would have served this novel s conclusion better Planetside is still a damn good page turner as it is that leaves you with plenty to digest when you put it downMany thanks to Harper Voyager and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read this ARC I don t hand out many five star ratings but I do in this case because the voice in this novel is fantastic Mammay has a way of easing you into Butler s POV and making you feel like you like him know the military inside and out and that an army is an army in any situation with its own distinct codes and habits all of which are working against ButlerAnd this is before the action heats up The enemy is cunning everywhere it it s not entirely clear if the most dangerous foes are wearing the same uniforms What starts out as a tricky situation rapidly escalates to a dangerous one The mission we thought we were on shifts and at the end it s not clear what was intentional and what was arrangedButler s every man nature lets you see a brutal complex war and the conflicts that occur on both sides of the line where decisions are as deadly as bullets there s no shortage of either and every life is one that could be sacrificed if the price is right and the prize is worth it Planetsideby Michael MammayRC Bray NarratorThis is going in my favorite folder This has everything a good sci fi needs A mystery or two a space adventure lots of weapons aged military personnel having to do what no one els. A seasoned military officer uncovers a deadly conspiracy on a distant war torn planetWar heroes aren't usually called out of semi retirement and sent to the far reaches of the galaxy for a routine investigation So when Colonel Carl Butler answers the call from an old and powerful friend he knows it's something big and he's not being
E will aliens a good conspiracy death threats and lots of action This book has that and Super exciting never boring lots of twists and turns and a surprise ending Narration was perfect because it had RC Bray One of my favorites ICan t wait for the next bookBorrowed this from the library Planetside is one of the best books I ve read this yearEverything about it hit the spot It s about a semi retired Colonel who gets recruited to investigate circumstances surrounding a missing lieutenant Right off the bat I loved the main character He had a very no bullshit approach to things and his dry humor cracked me up constantly In some ways he reminded me a bit of both Avasarala Expanse she s the bomb and John Perry Old Man s War to give you an idea the type of character profile we re dealing with here I think Colonel Butler could ve been La sociedad literaria y del pastel de piel de patata Guernsey (Narrativa) (Spanish Edition) just sitting there reading a newspaper and I still would ve eaten up every momentPlanetside also offered an interesting mystery to solve and I particularly enjoyed the intel gathering aspect of the story It made me feel involved and the incremental reveal of each new piece of info was perfectly done It also did an amazingob building momentum You all know how much I love that gradually building plot that eventually sweeps you into a headlong careen to the end Planetside definitely did not disappoint in that regard I finished the book on a high ready to go againColonel Butler s dry humor as I mentioned really was the highlight of the book for me The way he spoke processed information and dealt with people sent me into constant giggle fits I love dry subtle situational humor and it s placement was superb All great components aside the fact that Planetside amused me so much is probably the main reason it landed itself on my conservative all time favorites list I can t wait to see what Michael Mammay comes up with nextRecommendations love sci fi Planetside is my new 1 rec for you I loved everything about this book and will probably be talking about as often as I can for a while It had the perfect balance of mystery humor and actionVia The Obsessive Bookseller at wwwNikiHawkescom Other books you might like Michael Mammay is a soldier with 25 years service and boy does it show I ve read a lot of military SF and you can always tell the difference between an author who s been there and one who hasn t Mammay has been there Planetside is a fast paced tale of military investigation that reads like a blend of Jerry Pournelle and NCIS Our hero is a semi retired colonel sent back to a warzone he d rather forget to investigate the disappearance in action of a senator s son What starts out as an MIA story in space soon becomes so much than that I won t spoil the ending but as conspiracies go this one is a doozy Michael Mammay brings an exciting and authentic voice of experience to military science fiction and I m eagerly looking forward to the follow up Military science fiction is not often on my list of reading material but this one strikes ust the right levels Not too heavy on the science fiction elements and emphasis on the human side of the military The military setting and characters aren t over emphasized to give it credibility but handled deftly to be totally authentic What pleasantly surprised me was that this was of a mystery wrapped in an action thriller Butler is a man on the edge of retirement a little world weary but experienced He s put in a situation not of his making and full of frustrating dead ends months away from his family The search for the missing man of course expands into so much A page turner that help my interest the mystery is wrapped up in a tight ending but Planetside left me wanted of Butler and a deeper exploration of his past history and character Hopefully in the seuel 455 stars Planetside was a very impressive military sci fi debutI m actually surprised that so few people I know close to zero are talking about Planetside this year Seriously Harper Voyager and reviewers really should ve advertised this book it s a fantastic debut and if it weren t for my friend Niki Hawkes I wouldn t have heard about this gem at all The plot in Planetside revolves around Colonel Butler a war hero in semi retirement as he received a mission from an old and powerful friend to go back to a war zone in order to find a high councilor s son who went MIA Although Planetside is labeled as a military sci fi the execution of the storyline was mystery oriented think of it as a mystery detective story in a sci fi novel The storytelling involved a lot of fast paced investigatio. Old the whole story A high councilor's son has gone MIA out of Cappa Base the space station orbiting a battle ravaged planet The young lieutenant had been wounded and evacuated but there's no record of him having ever arrived at hospital commandThe colonel uickly finds Cappa Base to be a labyrinth of dead ends and sabotage the hospita.
N and Intel gathering than action seuences they never fail to keep me guessing and intrigued It s not a long book it took me roughly four hours to read and I was thoroughly entertained However I did have a minor issue with the ending Don t get me wrong it was great thought provoking and uite powerful but at the same time I also found it to be a bit anti climactic because after all the incredible momentum building towards the moment it ended a bit too fast for my liking I wish there was one or two chapter to explore the aftermath to make the lasting impression of the ending even strongerThe characters were great The narration didn t actually explore Butler s characterizations as in depth as most books I usually read but his characterizations were well conveyed throughout his dialogues and actions this makes Mammay an efficient storyteller that tells an effective and fast paced story without neglecting the personality and motivations of the characters Butler for example was utterly a no bullshit type of character he and all the side characters behaved like true soldiers and it was really obvious that Mammay knows what he s talking about here Military structure actions weaponry and attitudes I ve heard that the author has served as a solder and the knowledge he gained from it was crystal clear evident in every aspect of this bookMammay s prose was simple sharp and highly accessible There are no super hard sci fi argons here I envision that as long that you re not a stranger to the genre you will be able to enjoy and understand everything in this book There were only one action seuences near the end of the book but it was superbly tension packed As I said before the mystery detective element of the book was dominant but whether it s the mystery or the actions everything was than enough to keep me fully engaged with the novel Planetside was crafted as if the main purpose of it was to keep the readers hooked and it did its ob splendidly Immersive fast paced smartly written and imbued with every element of a wonderful page turner Planetside is a sci fi debut you don t want to miss I totally recommend this book to everyone who s looking for a great mystery detective story in a military sci fi environmentYou can buy the book with free shipping by clicking this link You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions If you re into stuff like this you can read the full reviewSticky Patch Planetside by Michael MammayOnce upon a long ago writers who wanted to try something different would put books out under an alternate name to distinguish them Fred Bloggs writer of sundry detective novels would flirt with being Annette Wilkins purveyor of steamy romances Trouble was that if Ms Wilkins didn t sell as well as Mr Bloggs some bright spark in marketing would then decide that the books should be republished with the moniker Fred Bloggs writing as Annette Wilkins which made the whole point rather moot Most authors thus gave up on the split personality literature and chose to put everything out under the same name sometimes disappointing those who didn t expect their detectives to start bedding nubile females whilst the crimes were left unsolved I can understand the feeling of disappointment with a writer when a new book by a new writer arrives and you dive eagerly in only to find not much But abandoning that author altogether Mammay s PLANETSIDE is military sci fi through and through but don t let the genre tag fool you While it wears its military raiment for all to see at its heart PLANETSIDE is a mystery a wild ride of one What begins as a routine if a tad unorthodox search for a missing soldier in an alien warzone soon goes utterly off the rails A slow burn start uickly builds as paranoia ramps up some genuinely compelling twists appear and lets not forget the explosions Lots and lots of explosionsThrough it all the military aspect shines bright but Mammay s prose is kept grounded by Colonel Butler s wry world weary narration Riding around inside Bulter s head made PLANETSIDE far accessible for me than many other military sci fi s Mammay has crafted a world with real heft and depth to it with a stellar protagonist I can t wait to spend time with again in the future I have only ever given one other book that I have finished one star this is now the second Complete waste of time and the biggest what the actual fuck and really ending ever It barely ualifies as science fiction and while it had the makings for a good mystery in the beginning chapters it all fell to shit by the end I m disappointed. L commander stonewalls him the Special Ops leader won't come off the planet witnesses go missing radar data disappears and that’s before he encounters the alien enemy Butler has no choice but to drop down onto a hostile planet because someone is using the war zone as a cover The answers are there Butler ust has to make it back aliv.
Michael Mammay is a retired army officer and a graduate of the United States Military Academy He has a masters degree in military history and he is a veteran of Desert Storm Somalia and the wars in Ira and Afghanistan His first novel PLANETSIDE was a Library Journal 'Best books of 2018' pick and the seuel SPACESIDE received a starred review He lives with his family in Georgia