This is a military sci-fi novel that follows a combat programmer named Kerry Sevvers. Sevvers is an elite technical specialist, who controls multiple AIs at once, including one that is illegally modified to remove normal safety restrictions. This one he keeps secret from his superiors, since revealing it would result in his discharge.
In order to keep his secret, Sevvers volunteers for a high-risk mission with a Marine unit fighting “raiders”; which are alien beings that attack human colonies. Although he is a master of AI drones, Sevvers has not faced front-line combat before; though he does have personal trauma from his childhood that drives him to hate the aliens they are fighting.
Sevvers struggles to get along with some members of the unit, and also to keep his unrestricted AI secret. As the mission grows increasingly dire, he is forced to take more and more risks, putting both his job and his life in jeopardy.
The book is well-written and fast-paced. At times, I struggled to conceptualize clearly how Sevvers’ AIs work. This, though, is probably an accurate depiction of how such a strange mixture of man and machine would feel. It’s more than a little creepy, but I think it’s supposed to be.
The book made me think of Halo, Mass Effect, and the Star Wars: Republic Commando series. Anyone who enjoys military sci-fi should check it out.