The AI-piloted ship SUNGRAZER has been taken over by malevolent forces. Who better to make things right and prevent interplanetary war than the Outriders? Jay Posey introduced the Outriders in his 2016 novel Outriders. Their adventures continue in his new novel Sungrazer.
Think of the Outriders as a future version of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, an elite, secretive special forces unit that is called on when an impossible mission needs to be done and no one can know about it. The Clancy reference makes sense, as Posey has written for the Clancy video game series. In Sungrazer, the Outriders's mission is to figure out who has hijacked SUNGRAZER and how they can stop it. The rogue ship, a "kinetic orbital strike vehicle," is capable of obliterating a city. It seems that someone wants to do exactly that in order to start a war between Earth and Mars.
The Outriders are smart, skilled, loyal, and patriotic. Posey writes in great detail about their tactics and missions. At times, I lost sight of the fact that they were operating in space or on another planet, so naturally does he weave in the technology and realities of Martian colonies and zero-g operation. Like any good sci-fi, he doesn't let the tech get in the way of the action or the plot.
Fans of military special ops fiction will enjoy Sungrazer, even they're not into sci-fi. Sci-fi fans will enjoy the political and technological elements of the novel. While both are present, Sungrazer is really, on balance, more military fiction than science fiction. It's enjoyable, action-packed, and readable. Sungrazer stands alone from Outriders, but will make you want to go back and read Outriders. On the other end, it wraps up with a satisfying ending, but leaves the door open for another mission. I'll look forward to that one.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!