Quick View: A futuristic Spec Ops thriller featuring like-able characters and set in an interesting universe.
Publisher's summary: Three times the height of an ordinary man and ten times wider, the ATLAS mech represents the peak of combat engineering. Rade Galaal will become a one-man army…if he can survive the training.
The MOTHs: elite warriors, products of the most arduous military training known to man. Only the MOTHs can master the devastating, atomic-powered battle suits dubbed ATLAS, massive weapons-laden mechs that constitute an unstoppable ground force when piloted by the consummate soldiers of the MOTH teams. Can Rade make the grade, ascending from raw recruit to ATLAS war machine?
Careful what you wish for: when Special Warfare Command sets a mission beyond the limits of explored space, all of the conditioning, sacrifice, and hard-won skill—and the awesome might of the ATLAS technology—may not be enough to confront the unforeseen horrors found there. Rade’s dream of military glory might just turn out to be the ultimate nightmare.
Full Review: I picked up Atlas after reading one of Isaac Hooke's newer works, Flag Ship, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
That book was centered around a captain of a Navy spaceship, and while it takes place in the same universe as Atlas, it's a half century into the future.
In this novel we follow Rade Galaal, a pale skinned North American who grew up abandoned on the streets in South America.
He and his best friend Alejandro decide to immigrate to the north to escape the poverty of the south, with the for knowledge that illegally sneaking into any of the weathly United Countries results in mandatory service in the UC military with the promise of citizenship after said service is complete.
But not only does Rade talk his best friend into joining up, he also talks him and another immigrant and instant friend into joining him in signing up for the hardest military training available, MOTH Spec Ops.
And in that training they will learn to control the ultimate weapon wielded by any human factions spec ops team, the Atlas single person Mech, reminiscent of the Mechs found in the recent video game hit, Titanfall.
But before you can pilot a multi-billion dollar Atlas, you first have to survive MOTH training, and this is when a huge portion of the book is focused.
The training reminded me of those Navy Seals documentaries, where recruits are pushed to the limits of human endurance, and encouraged to “tap out” if they can't cope.
While the training is brutal, Rade and his friends struggle through it together, making a pack to keep each other going and agree to stick together until the end.
At this point I have to mention how much I came to like Rade, Alejandro, Tahoe, and Shaw among others. These characters are very like-able, and it can be hard sometimes putting the book down as you want to know what happens to them as each new challenge presents itself.
That said, once training ends, Rade and company are assigned to a Moth Team and shortly there after are sent off on a mission that could be pivotal to the survival of humanity.
Not only did the story have me intrigued right up to the end, the uniqueness of the political situation and tech also kept it interesting.
But the best part was following Rade, Alejandro, and Tahoe from their meager beginnings, through spec ops training, and finally to a far away off place to fight against the odds with their brother MOTHs.
If you enjoy futuristic military stories, and don't mind some subtle similarities to Starship Troopers, I can highly recommend Isaac Hooke's Atlas to you.