Peace Warrior by Steven L. Hawk
Genre: Military Sci-Fi
Rating: **** Four stars
Approximate word count: 76,000 words
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About the Author:
“Steve spent six years as a Military Intelligence Specialist with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division before joining the ranks of corporate America. He has a B.S. in Business Management from Western Governor’s University and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He has traveled extensively across the United States and, at various times, has lived in Georgia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Massachusetts, California and Idaho. Steve Hawk currently resides in Boise, Idaho with his wife, Juanita. Together, they have a blended family of five sons… and two chihuahuas.
“It’s the mid-21st century when Sergeant First Class Grant Justice is killed during an ambush on an enemy tank column.
Six hundred years later, his body is retrieved from the frozen, arctic lake where he perished. Re-animated by a team of scientists, Grant awakens to a civilization that has abolished war. A civilization that has outlawed violence and cherishes Peace above all else. A civilization that has been enslaved by an alien race called the Minith.
Grant is humankind’s final hope against the alien menace. He must be the… Peace Warrior.”
My Two Cents:
On the surface, the central hero character, SFC Grant Justice, is just as much a gung-ho, space cowboy as that awesome name suggests. However, the author does a pretty good job bringing him back down to earth through oscillating bouts of overconfidence and self-pity. Creating a bad-ass hero is easy. Building one regular people can realistically identify with is a harder task.
The essence of Mr. Hawk’s story is fairly unique and intentionally funny. A time traveling soldier from the “barbaric times” is awoken by a “socially deviant” scientist over 600 years later. Against all odds, the author is able to pass this off as plausible. At least to us non-biologists. From there, our self-loathing John Wayne forces a sheepish world into a high-stakes battle against wild injuns… I mean aliens.
This is where the story becomes overly formulaic. There were several big twists that just lack the impact because they were a bit too predictable. Still, that’s an ancient complaint for most stories. The only real weakness of this tale is the length. Mr. Hawk wraps up the story arc and all just fine, but you’re still left unsatisfied. Belly not quite full and aching for seconds. Of course, isn’t that a hallmark of a good author?
Well-polished novel. Especially for an Indie. The author mentions his second edition being “professionally edited.” I think it’s safe to say he got his money’s worth and so will the reader.