Friday, August 10, 2012
Review: The Cobra Trilogy
The Cobra Trilogy by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Info: Genre: Military Sci-fi Reading Level: Adult
Disclosure: I received an ARC of the final book in the Cobra War trilogy from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review; in order to fully appreciate it, I have gathered this first trilogy (in omnibus format) and the first two books in the Cobra War trilogy, for all of which I will happily also provide an honest review.
Synopsis: The colony worlds Adirondack and Silvern fell to the Troft forces almost without a struggle. Outnumbered and on the defensive, Earth made a desperate decision. It would attack the aliens not from space, but on the ground-with forces the Trofts did not even suspect. Thus were created the Cobras, a guerilla force whose weapons were surgically implanted, invisible to the unsuspecting eye, yet undeniably deadly. But power brings temptation . . . and not all the Cobras could be trusted to fight for Earth alone. Jonny Moreau would learn the uses-and abuses-of his special abilities, and what it truly meant to be a Cobra.
My Thoughts: This is am omnibus edition that contains the books Cobra (originally published in 1985), Cobra Strike (1986) and Cobra Bargain (1988). I have read a number of books by Timothy Zahn in the past, which have varied from brilliant to so-so. Military science-fiction is a relatively new addition to my list of books I will read – my husband introduced me to the genre with the fun The Rats, The Bats, and the Vats something like eight years ago and then I graduated on to the Honor Harrington books and never really looked back. There are some I haven’t cared much for, but overall, military science-fiction is an underrated genre and one that I quite enjoy. It probably seems a bit excessive to buy the equivalent of five books in order to be able to review a single book, but since I’ve generally enjoyed both the genre and the author, I figured they would fit well together. Then when I learned this were originally published while I was still in high school, I was even more interested to see what I thought, since at the time I was mostly reading fantasy – a very different mindset!
The set-up for this is a very interesting one – the Cobra soldiers are basically turned into a sort of cyborg and used for guerrilla warfare. Like many books of military science-fiction, this book goes beyond the war and into the reactions of the people to war, victory, defeat, and the military itself. The sort of men who win wars are not the sort of men who are usually welcomed back into society with open arms – they are usually viewed with at the best suspicion and at the worst overt hostility, as people tend to fear that these same men, that saved their homes and their freedom, might possibly decide that maybe these people don’t deserve their freedom. They then turn on the soldiers, forcing them into untenable positions – well, if you’ve ever read any military science-fiction, you’ll recognize the plot device.
This series is a multi-generational thing. We follow down from Jonny Moreau and through his family lines to his granddaughter, Jin, as the Cobras first are created and then later form a place for themselves within society.
I found this to be an enjoyable piece of military science-fiction – perhaps a bit belated with its late acknowledgment of women in the military, but a solid piece of the genre fiction. You can find individual reviews for each of the books in the usual places. Highly recommended.
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