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Floribeth Salinas O’Shea Dalisay is an Off-Planet Worker, employed as an exploration pilot by the giant corporation, Hamdani Brothers. Sent on a routine mission to analyze one of the millions of systems in the galaxy, she stumbles across something that could threaten humanity’s very existence. She barely escapes with her life, but in the process, has to shut down her scout’s AI.

As with all OPWs, she has few rights, and instead of being lauded as a hero, the corporation thinks she is lying. Her managers believe she found something valuable and shut down her AI in an attempt to hide that fact, hoping she can sell that information to the highest bidder. Grounded, and with a huge debt now over her head, Beth has to convince the powers that be that a very real danger to humanity is lying in wait out there in deep space.

154 pages, Kindle Edition

Published March 22, 2018

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About the author

Jonathan P. Brazee

152 books156 followers
I am a retired Marine colonel and now a full-time writer living in Colorado Springs with my wife, Kiwi, and infant twin daughters, Danika Dawn and Darika Marie.

I published my first work back in 1978, a so-so short story titled "Secession." Since then, I have been published in newspapers, magazines, and in book format in fiction, political science, business, military, sports, race relations, and personal relations fields. I returned to writing fiction in 2009, and I currently have over 85 titles published, 52 being novels. My novelette, "Weaponized Math," was a finalist for the 2017 Nebula Award, and my novella, "Fire Ant," was a 2018 Nebula finalist. My novel "Integration" was a 2018 Dragon Award finalist, and my novel "Sentenced to War" was a 2021 finalist. I am a USA Today Bestelling writer.

My undergraduate degree was earned at the U. S. Naval Academy (Class of 1979), and I have attended graduate school at U. S. International University and the University of California, San Diego, earning a masters and doctorate. I am a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the US. Naval Academy Alumni Association, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

I have rather eclectic tastes. I have won awards in photography, cooking, wrting, and several sports, earning national championships in rugby and equestrian events. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, cooking, going to the gym, or traveling. I attend quite a few cons over the course of a year, and love meeting other people who love books.

I write because I love it. I only hope that others might read my work and get a bit of enjoyment or useful information out of my efforts.

As an author, I don't think it is fair for me to rate any other author's books here on Goodreads if that rating is less than five stars. I have certainly read many books that do not deserve five (or four, three, or even two). However, I will not rate any of those here while I am a Goodreads author. Consequently, I will only be listing books that I really like and feel deserve five stars.

If you would like to join my email list and find out about new books or promotions, please sign up at http://eepurl.com/bnFSHH. My website is http://jonathanbrazee.com.

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5 stars
494 (46%)
4 stars
386 (36%)
3 stars
147 (13%)
2 stars
28 (2%)
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10 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 130 reviews
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
April 23, 2019
A soft 3 stars for this military SF novella, free to download here at this link. Full review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Four-foot six-inch tall, 72 lb. Floribeth (Beth) Dalisay, who makes up in determination what she’s lacking in size, has risen from the underclass on the planet New Cebu to become a pilot for a megacorporation. Flying a tiny, one-person ship called a Hummingbird, she’s on a routine mission to explore new solar systems and planets when she runs into alien spaceships. Unfortunately, they’re hostile aliens who promptly start shooting at her ship. Using some tricky flying that involves nullifying her ship’s AI and taking the controls, Beth manages to escape through the stargate she had set up, blowing it up behind her.

This action, though by the book, runs Beth into deep trouble with her employer, which acts like the typical Evil!Corporation and inexplicably (except that they're eeevvilll) severely punishes her rather than rewarding her. Luckily for Beth, the Directorate Navy hears of her adventure and is now interested in our hotshot pilot, especially since she’s the only human that has ever come in contact with a spacefaring alien race, hostile or otherwise. But can she make the grade as a Navy fighter pilot?

Fire Ant is a quintessential MilSF novella, long on action and intrepid main characters and space battles and rather short on memorable characterization, depth and imagination. It’s readable, and fine if what you’re mostly interested in is space battles and a standard “rising through the military ranks through skill and bravery” type of SF story. It’s the first in a series, so it feels like an origin story, and there are some major hanging plot threads (mostly: what are these aliens and why did they start shooting before taking the time to find out more about humans?).

Fire Ant is a Nebula nominee, but (I think it’s safe to say) only because of some gaming of the Nebula voting system, and I would have given it a pass if I hadn’t found the free copy through File 770. I also think it’s safe to assume that their link to a free copy is temporary during the Nebula voting period, so grab it now if you’re a fan of traditional MilSF and are interested.

Content notes: scattered F-bombs
Profile Image for Jenny Thompson.
1,178 reviews35 followers
April 9, 2019
Okay, so here's the thing: I was not in the best mood when I picked up this book, but I thought a Nebula nominated novella would be just the thing to cheer me up. I've read three of the other nominees so far and enjoyed them all. To my surprise, this one was not of their caliber. It wasn't terrible, but the writing felt amateurish and in need of an editor. The protagonist was a character I'd met a million times already, and the plotline itself was pretty basic military SF. There was nothing in the way of character development or larger themes.

So of course, I did some googling to figure out what I was missing that this mediocre novella could find itself on the Nebula shortlist. Was the writer doing something particularly innovative that I had not been clever enough to notice? Nope. Turns out this author is a member of some group called 20Booksto50k that put out a slate trying to game the system. Apparently they hope to prove that indy publishing can produce just as high-quality content as traditional publishing. That may be true for some works, but this book makes the opposite point.

On top of that nonsense, this novella currently holds a 4.25 rating here on Goodreads. Having read it, that struck me as... odd. I did some more digging. I visited the profiles of the first ten reviewers in the default view of the Community Reviews section. A quick look at their rating history showed something unusual - all but one of them gave an average rating of 4.0 or higher to the books they'd read, and eight of the ten averaged above a 4.5 (see below):
324 ratings (4.77 avg)
185 ratings (4.86 avg)
30 ratings (4.83 avg)
212 ratings (4.96 avg)
46 ratings (4.83 avg)
135 ratings (4.57 avg)
3 ratings (4.00 avg)
132 ratings (4.79 avg)
504 ratings (3.81 avg)
7 ratings (5.00 avg)

Even my Dad, who has made a commitment to himself to read only books he has reason to believe are excellent, averages at 3.79. Personally, I'm a bit less discerning in my selections and average about a 3.54. An un-scientific sampling of my friends shows most of us in the mid to high 3s, which is what I would expect. I just can't see how a large group of people could average in the high 4s naturally. Anyone who reads enough books will occasionally pick up things that turn out to be less than awesome.

I can only conclude that in addition to gaming the SFWA nomination system, these authors also artificially inflate each other's ratings with strongly positive bogus reviews. The group appears to be committed to increasing sales, which I understand. We've all got to make a living somehow. Where they lose me is their choice to do so not by striving to hone their craft and increase the quality of their work, but instead by increasing the quantity of self-published projects they put out paired with deceptive advertising tactics.

I don't like being played for a fool, and I don't like having my time wasted.
Profile Image for Oleksandr Zholud.
1,121 reviews112 followers
March 19, 2019
This is a SF novella, which was nominated for Nebula 2019 Award

The story follows a female protagonist, Floribeth Salinas O’Shea Dalisay or Beth for short, is a scout/explorer of new solar systems. Faster than light travel (via gates) is commonplace and corporations are searching for suitable systems for mining and habitation. This is done by a fleet of small one-person ships, which are so cheap and Spartan that small pilots are preferred, like our heroine, who is 4’6” (137 cm) and weighed 72 pounds (32.6 kg). The ships are quite a deal: they can reach half light speed and compensate for acceleration (how in this case the size of pilot may matter is beyond me, but it’s author’s universe and his rules).

No alien species have been found so far. This is about to change as Beth appears in a new system and meets and object that sends supposedly torpedoes to her. Only artful maneuvering saves the day. Using of large planets for gravity slings or braking isn’t new in SF, but I doubt I’ll be needed at speeds described – looks that the author liked the idea, but in other books it was done with much slower ships. Beth gets back but no one believes her… I won’t spoiler further

Overall the story has a strong start and interesting descriptions but it goes rapidly downhill to just another mil SF without deep idea behind it.
Profile Image for Michael Burnam-Fink.
1,507 reviews230 followers
December 14, 2021
Looking at the cover of this book, you'd think that this is milSF trash (even with the Nebula nomination), and you know what, you'd be right. Fire Ant is solidly middle of the road in every way.

Beth is a scout pilot for an interstellar corporation, spending long days in the coffin-cockpit of her solo starship scanning systems for heavy metal asteroids and the jackpot of habitable planets. She's very short, because small people need less life support which means a cheaper scout, and she's also a Filipina contract worker, because in the future capitalism somehow sucks even worse.

Beth's latest mission brings her into contact with an unknown bogey which launches near-lightspeed torpedos at her. She escapes with a daring gravity assist, is dropped into corporate purgatory, and then rescued by the Navy. As the only person who's made contact with what the Navy believes are aliens and survived, Beth is a vital addition to a secret first contact unit. Which is a US Navy carrier fighter squadron.

Yeah, with the same personnel structure, a VF number, same pilot problems, flying FA-18X Super Space Hornets with Maverick and Iceman. Okay, in fairness in the book the fighters are Wasps, and other pilots are Red Devil and Bull, but tomato tomahto. I checked and the author was Marine infantry, not aviation, so while the military culture is spot on (write what you know), the space fighters are more tropey than grounded. Beth meets the squadron, goes through training, gets sent out to investigate an anomaly with the squadron and there's a dogfight around a binary star. The Navy gets the crap kicked out it by similar but slightly superior alien technology, but Beth goes in hard and comes home a hero.

On the plus side, this book is competent and quickly paced. On the minus side... if you read military scifi, you've read this book already, and there's not much new here. Beth's background could make for some interesting conflict, but it doesn't really come up. For the price of free, I'm not disappointed, but I'm not sure it's worth more than that.
305 reviews2 followers
April 14, 2018
Much to my surprise I found that I really liked this book. Brazee is a new author to me, and I had my doubts (I don't normally enjoy military based plot-lines). This one reminded me of "The White Dragon" by McCaffrey. Mostly by the main character's physical being (smallish), and the point that she had to fit in by proving herself. All the characters are believable, with a fullness so fine that you could see them as well as read about them.

Michael Anderle introduced me to what I call soft military and war tactics. But you Sir, have taken it to an all time high. Thank You, and I look forward to seeing more of this series.

(I'm finding so many more gifted authors, so I had to enlarge my "Top List of Authors". You Sir, are on my top 15 authors list. :)
Profile Image for Beth Cato.
Author 114 books563 followers
December 6, 2018
This smart, action-packed space opera follows a savvy Filipina named Beth who transitions from private piloting in space to the Navy. She's the first to meet--and survive--an encounter with aliens, and the Navy knows a good asset when they see one.

I found this to be a highly enjoyable, fast read. It follows some of the tropes of the genre, but I genuinely enjoyed the cozy feel and the inventive twists that Brazee brought to his characters and worldbuilding. On a selfish note, I love getting to read about a main character who shares my name--that doesn't happen often!
Profile Image for David.
Author 103 books88 followers
March 30, 2019
A "hero's journey" story about Beth Dalisay, who starts as an exploration pilot who has a first encounter with aliens and is then recruited as a Navy Pilot. The story is entertaining with some neat twists and turns and some great characters. I was somewhat disappointed that we learned nothing about the aliens themselves, nor do we really get inside Beth's head to learn what she thinks about the aliens. Aside from that issue, a good yarn.
April 11, 2018
All Jonathon P. Brazee books are well written and very entertaining. Could not put any of his books down.

As a AF combat vet I found his stories very entertaining with out being overly graphic.
Well worth your time, I have never regretted reading his works and found the books very honorable in their portrayals.
1,421 reviews1 follower
April 12, 2018

This is one of the best military science fiction novels that I've ever read. The universe he creates is incredibly real and the humanity far in the future is full of both familiar and new elements put together in unexpected ways.

The main character is splendidly drawn and gives a nice gradual insight into the Navy of Mankind. All the characters work and none of the interactions felt forced. The tech seems logical and feels real, though I admit that I don't know much science.

I hope that another volume is due soon and I will look at this writer's other series.
Profile Image for wayne ingram.
18 reviews2 followers
October 15, 2018
Not just a good read, it's a positively Great read

I picked five stars because of three things
1. The pace, not only is it consistent, but it flows in a even way.
2. The people, there are a lot of people that you soon learn to care about, and root for.
3. Deep wishes for many more books to continue this series
Profile Image for Annikky.
472 reviews235 followers
May 24, 2019
3- A decent, but entirely unremarkable military SF story. Too many details of flight trajectories and helmet design for my liking, but if reading about pilots doing pilot-y stuff is your thing, you will probably enjoy it more than I did.

(Read it as part of my plan to get through the Nebula nominees.)
Profile Image for Curt.
259 reviews11 followers
August 7, 2021
I listened to the audiobook version with Angela Dawe providing the voice talent - and what a talent she has. She has a great skill in making the characters all sound unique and truly brings the book to life.

This is a sci-fi military book in which a space pilot Floribeth Salinas O’Shae Dalisay is recruited to fly in the US Space Navy. As a prospector for a conglomerate, she had located a planet where aliens reside - until now man was thought to be the only sentient race in space. Demonstrating the ability to pilot her craft away from an alien attack, she is recruited by the US Space Navy to fly for them. At first, being resented by the other pilots because of her fast induction into the Navy, she must prove herself worthy.

This is a short book but was well executed. It is very seldom that I take a real interest in the characters of a military action book, but Brazee snuck right in there and got me hooked and actually caring if the characters lived or died. The science is realistic as are the different weapons with which each ship is equipped. This book is the sci-fi equivalent aerial dog fights but set in space.

The book is fast-paced with a good ending that wraps up the book, but we are now set up for future battles with a new enemy in subsequent books.
Profile Image for Metaphorosis.
756 reviews55 followers
April 28, 2019
3.5 stars, Metaphorosis Reviews

Floribeth, an Off-Planet Worker and pilot, finds something on an ordinary exploratory trip – something big. She barely escapes danger, and finds her whole life transformed.

This had the distinct feel of an excerpt to it – maybe the middle third of a longer novel. While it’s interesting to see Filipino culture in space – complete with an updated Overseas Employment Administration, there are quickly enough acronyms that they’re hard to keep track of. Still, it’s a solidly developed world, and the characters are credible and engaging.

The story moves fast, and it’s exciting. Some of the motivations are thin, and the lines and tropes are standard military SF, but they’re delivered well, and with enough innovation that it feels fairly fresh. The tenses get sloppy here and there, and the explanations can sometimes be murky.

The story has a clear standalone arc, but there’s no escaping the feel that this is only an introduction – that there are further stories to follow. I hope so, because the larger story has promise, and I’d be interested to read it – ideally in a more complete form

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
200 reviews1 follower
December 31, 2018
Good story

When I reviewed his book list, I knew I'd read quite a few of them, and entire series to boot.
This book continues to show the author's awareness of civilian vs military differences, how esprit can and does make a difference to servicemen, how "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, rather the size of the fight in the dog" and the ramifications that has for any military or individual.
Nicely paced story, appreciate the way he handled all the issues of Bull (and is this from an academy ringknocker?) Showing that we all can grow, no we are all charged to grow, to learn new things, to adapt to changing conditions and persons, and yes, to look beyond the external, be they height, hair, piercings, tattoos, and try to honor the person inside all that external image. May we all continue to learn this lesson throughout our lives.
Found this character and series via Bob's Bar #2 and the Pumpkin Pilot story. I'm sure that book will have me returning trying several more authors, so I'd encourage more from Bob's Bar. Just saying.
Heading outward towards book 2.
Profile Image for Lee Schlesinger.
240 reviews4 followers
February 28, 2019
Unoriginal, predictable military space story. I don't think this book was edited, so be prepared for errors in spelling and grammar. Also be prepared for errors like fliers pulling an aerodynamic "180" in space, and torpedoes "honing in" on targets. The science isn't well-thought-out - pilots have implanted ocular displays but wear wrist comps. The weapons sound as if their strengths and weaknesses were constructed by rolling D&D dice. And the enemies have a weapon that our team can detect but has no clue what it is - hmm, how exactly does that work. Not recommended.
34 reviews
April 4, 2018
Great change of pace!

Colonel Brazee's novels are all great. His space dramas are so realistic. This novel is no exception. Are you waiting at an airport or doctor's office. Read this enovel. The time will pass quickly, and you will be in a positive frame of mind. It is not fluff rather an exhilarating ride with protagonists with realistic problems. And solutions.
Profile Image for Deaken Ehlers.
79 reviews
February 21, 2020
Had the pleasure of meeting the author and his family at MileHiCon in Denver last year and purchased Fire Ant from him after a chat. I'm glad I did, because I really enjoyed this book. This is great military science fiction that is fun and engaging to read. There is three more books in this series for me to read now and much more of the author's work for me to check out. Recommend.
Profile Image for Kath Ibbotson.
20 reviews
April 8, 2018
Brilliant start to hopefully a long series of adventures

Really enjoyed this action packed introduction to the Navy of Humanity. Looking forward to the next one - hope it comes out soon! Hint! Hint!
Profile Image for William Webb.
Author 94 books96 followers
March 3, 2019
If the author of this story was Robert A. Heinlein I would not have been surprised. This is old school, kick-butt military Sci-Fi that is addictive. You won't want to stop reading until you're done. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
March 31, 2018
Great story

Every bit as good as all of his Marine books. I look forward to reading future installments of this new storyline.
51 reviews1 follower
April 3, 2018
Interesting readable book.

A book showing that size doesn't matter it's what's inside each of us that makes a great human being, or a great soldier.
April 8, 2018
Awesome read

Enjoyed the story, read in one sitting. Can't wait for the next book in series. The series will be the next on my list of books to look out for.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
17 reviews18 followers
May 18, 2019
Fire Ant is both the last of my Nebula Award reads for this year and the least accomplished. It’s readable and there’s nothing glaringly wrong with it, but Fire Ant is your garden-variety military sci-fi tale of a plucky underdog who is selected to join an elite squad and must prove herself to her superiors and to her fellow pilots. Generic and predictable, Fire Ant is the novella equivalent of a popcorn movie; enjoyable enough while you’re reading/watching it (if you don’t think too hard, that is) but difficult to remember as soon as it’s over.

Floribeth “Beth” Dalisay is a member of the Off-Planet Worker underclass who has, by virtue of her 4″6 height, become a pilot for a mega-corporation that sends tiny one-person ships on missions of exploration. On a routine contract to search new solar systems for natural resources and/or habitable planets, Beth encounters a hostile alien presence who begin firing on her. Some fancy flying saves Beth’s life, but when she reports her encounter to the company, they ground her ship and impose financial penalties for equipment losses. Luckily the Directorate Navy is interested in Beth’s skillset and enlists her as a Navy fighter pilot.

I suspected Fire Ant wouldn’t be something I’d enjoy. There’s the rare exception (Yoon Ha Lee’s Ninefox Gambit is a clever, complicated, and well-characterized example of the genre), but military science-fiction holds very little appeal for me. Like many examples of its genre, Fire Ant offers an abundance of action, military procedure, and space battles, but is woefully short on characterization. By half-way through the novella I had started to skim, the extended training exercise descriptions and battle scenes making my eyes glaze over.

How, I wondered, does such a mediocre novella make it into an otherwise impressive slate of Nebula Award nominees? The answer seems to be through playing the voting system. Undoubtedly a nomination will increase the visibility of a work, but I wonder if this approach doesn’t do as much harm as it does good. Sure I wouldn’t have picked up Fire Ant at all if it hadn’t been nominated for Best Novella, but when a work isn’t at the caliber of writing demonstrated by the other nominees in its category, it suffers by comparison.

Unfortunately, Fire Ant feels amateurish. Published under self-publishing imprint Semper Fi Press, I caught multiple spelling and grammar errors in Fire Ant that suggested it could use a more comprehensive edit. I don’t want to take away from anyone’s passion. I certainly haven’t written and published a book, so I have a great respect for those who follow their dreams and become a writer, but when you not only put your book out into the world, but then push to have it recognized by one of the most prestigious awards for science-fiction and fantasy authors, you open yourself up to criticism.
Profile Image for Harold Ogle.
318 reviews43 followers
October 31, 2022
Recommendation: A solid military SF novella about a Filipina worker who is recruited into the human space navy and discovers the first hostile aliens.

Critique: Fire Ant is the first in a series of books about a young Filipina, Flor Dalisay, who is so talented as a pilot that she gets recruited into the space Navy of Humankind. The writing is solid and matter-of-fact: there's no poetry here. There's also nothing unexpected in the plot. The character dialogue is fun; Brazee understandably has an ear for how soldiers banter with each other. But it's clear that this is sort of a prologue to the further missions of Pilot Dalisay, given that the reason for the title of the book - Flor's callsign - is revealed only in the falling action of the story. The mechanics of the universe are interesting: a gate has to be set up to allow accurate FTL travel between worlds, and prospectors are constantly looking for profitable/habitable systems. Without a gate, travel is haphazard and random: you're rolling the die to see where you end up. But prospectors lay down gates when they arrive, and then everyone who visits the system after that uses the gate they established. This is a cool set-up, but it doesn't make sense later when the ships are fleeing the aliens and they act like nobody can escape without using the gate. They should be able to escape, just not necessarily to a known system.

Review: Plot summary:
Profile Image for Terry Marine.
92 reviews1 follower
August 23, 2021
I've read the one-star reviews. I don't understand the issue these detractors have with the author. I found this to be a delightful short novel. I like stories with female protagonists. Consequently, I encounter a whole lotta Mary Sues. Our heroine in Fire Ant has a long, long name; and a short, short body. And she is very humble, unlike the overblown Mary Sues I often find in novels. It is true, there are a few editing errors in Fire Ant. And the author and his friends may have gamed some award process, to gain him some nebulous award. But the story is well worth reading, if you like sci-fi. If you don't like sci-fi, Semper Fi.
Profile Image for M.H. Thaung.
Author 7 books29 followers
July 27, 2022
This military SF novella is first in a series, and it has the feel of an introduction. I liked learning about the world Beth inhabits. The social setup is an interesting starting point, although a bit short on concrete detail, but I’m happy enough to run with it. Beth comes across as well-intentioned but naive, but other than that her character didn’t really stand out for me.

The plot is pretty straightforward. After the first mission, Beth is whisked off for training, and there’s very much a flavour of “outsider kid arrives at a new school and has to establish her place by proving herself to her detractors.”

Entertaining light read.
Profile Image for Howard Brazee.
735 reviews10 followers
April 2, 2018
The author is starting a new series here, this time with an interstellar Navy pilot. Unlike his last series, humanity isn't already in contact with aliens - but that has changed.

Like his last series, big corporations run worlds, and the protagonist is happy to get away from them into the navy where she will fight the aliens that she discovered.

And the Navy will be her family.
Profile Image for Lukasz.
1,386 reviews223 followers
March 31, 2019

I plan to read all novellas picked as Nebula finalists to satisfy my curiosity. Fire Ant follows a minuscule corporate exploration pilot Floribeth Salinas O’Shea Dalisay (abbreviated to Beth).

She doesn’t love her work, but she needs money and her job pays well. While returning from a profitable mission, she gets attacked by aliens. She barely escapes them, but it’s just a start of her problems. 

I liked Beth’s story. It’s simple and straightforward, and it doesn’t redefine the genre. Instead, it presents a relatable and likeable heroine, good team dynamics and exciting actions scenes. With lasers. And spaceships. And stuff.

Frequent infodumps explaining the mechanics of the universe knocked the pacing off the rhythm and, especially at the beginning of the story, we got more telling than showing. Fortunately, Beth has enough charm to make me overlook those minor issues.

A good entertainment, folks.
Profile Image for james wells.
69 reviews1 follower
February 26, 2019
So far, this is the best thing I read for the nebula nominees in 2018. In fact, the other nominees are so bad and preachy, that I upped this to a 4 star. For me, I don't rate any higher than that unless it is "Crime and Punishment" good.

The story itself is good but the main character is a Mary Sue. She is good at everything, and has her path made way for her. She did take action twice in the story which made her a hero. Specifically:

She is a perfect pilot without training
She is a small pilot which got her into the program
She is particularly smart
She stays thin regardless of what she eats
Everyone but one person was nice to her
She skated by even though she was supposed to be punished and honestly, who gets punished with paid time off?
Knows multiple languages
Can fly any ship, even though the only thing she does with her time off is watch TV

Her bad qualities, that did not seem to affect anything in the story:
She's lazy.
Has no issues with abandoning her friends for cash, aka a sellout.

The cover is cool, and I bought it because of the cover and it won a nebula nom. I was waiting for her to land on a planet, and she never did.

I also thought it was strange the knee jerk reaction of the aliens was to shoot first. Isn't that like shooting at random cars driving thought your neighborhood? I guess it would be more like shooting every car that drives through your neighborhood. Sounds exhausting.

Lastly, there is no way an economy can function where the people are serfs, or serfdom in general. Even in medieval times people often revolted if they felt they were being dealt with unjustly. Surfs frequently ran away to other masters, and then those masters would start wars with one another when they attempted to collect restitution. eh, i could go on about it but why? The "EVIL CORPORATION" sci fi stuff doesn't work like how people imagine it, or it couldn't work that way.

Profile Image for Tristan.
1,115 reviews15 followers
October 9, 2019
This is a short, breezy, very jolly romp in the military sci-fi genre.

This novella is written in a direct, to the point, and clear style, eschewing the usual gumpf of the genre although there’s plenty of exposition scattered everywhere. The narration gives only enough technobabble to build a strong sense of coherent worldbuilding with plenty of plausibility, and a genuine experience of military talk and procedures. Thankfully, the narration is in the third person past tense and does not attempt to force the reader inside the protagonist’s head to squeeze out the thrills. No unnecessary posturing here, no toxic jingoism: this is business-like. Military activities are professional activities carried out without theatrics, professionally. Even the featured arseholes have their reasons, and are the more human for it.

There’s no particular depth here, no introspection or message, no real suspense or twists, and no originality (although it’s a nice touch that the protagonist started out as a Filipino housekeeper), but all the familiar tropes are bolted together with style and pizzazz. The Hollywood happy ending doesn’t grate as there’s no attempt to make this bouncy tale gritty or edgy at any point. It’s a comic in prose.

This is basic, no-nonsense, straightforward space opera fun. And it makes for a solid good read. I’ll gladly follow up the series.
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