Okay, the story line is hardly new: green recruit impresses everyone, gets promoted, and saves the day. But, Alarm of War by Kennedy Hudner does have some freshness, and most of the spelling and all of the grammar is correct. That’s saying quite a great deal in this day of self-published ebooks available for the Kindle.
Our main character is Emily Tuttle. Yep, that does not sound like a heroine’s name, now does it? Especially not a military fiction heroine, who should have a big name, like, oh, say, “Honor Harrington.” But, our heroine is Emily Tuttle, and she doesn’t look particularly heroic, being rather small. Oh, and she has a master’s degree—in history. Her best bud in training is a tall Hispanic chick named Maria, who goes by “Cookie.” And the smartest dude in the training group is a geeky guy named Hiram. And what is really odd is that the leadership of the training facility actually recognizes who is smart and acts accordingly. Maybe the government will do stuff like that in the future.
Anyway, the novel begins with background and political intrigue; actually, too much of that. Oh, it helps to know all that as the story moves along, but it might be better dished out in the middle of the story. To be honest, I did not get interested in this novel until a royal despot kills a lawyer and uses him for decor. Then, I got interested, and I stayed interested. Just when the reader believes that he or she knows exactly what is going to happen, something comes along to shake things up a bit and keep the reader turning the pages.
This one ends with a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I went back to Amazon, intent on purchasing the sequel. Unfortunately, Alarm of War was published in August, and there is (as yet) no sequel. Darn.
I hope that Mr. Hudner is busy working on part ii of this yarn. Maybe it will be out by Christmas. Gosh, I hope so.