Book Review: A Soldier’s Duty by Jean Johnson (Three Stars)


Book Review: A Soldier’s Duty (Theirs is Not to Reason Why #1) by Jean Johnson

(Three Stars)

“… is to place his or her skills, weapons, body and life between all that can harm and all that could be harmed.”

A space opera centered on a superhuman heavy-world half-breed of a super race. Think: all the Avengers in one body, and she’s a Jedi who sees the future. And most of the book she’s still a teen. Good fun, if you ignore the blood and guts, but too easy.

“You are a pawn, little half-child. You are a Game piece we have set in motion.” “Sometimes the pieces direct where the players must play.”

Her prescience is acknowledged to be fuzzy many times, yet she manipulates the actions of others as if she has precise knowledge of their actions and consequences. Not credible. Her god-like adversaries/partners/relatives are a tease for future stories.

“They tried to behave like miniature gods, unknowable, inscrutable, and annoying as hell–particularly when their usually subtle effects exploded into blatant manipulations.”

Engaging storytelling, though the boot camp section dragged. Johnson poured in too many backstory data dumps.

“Beware the Blood of Mary. You have been warned.”

Cover art quibble: The female looks nothing like Ia is described, and she is never mentioned wearing a tank top. Nude a couple times, but not tank top.

“I am damned for what I must do. I accepted that a long time ago. I had to.”