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on Aug. 20, 2013 :
The old west comes to the asteroid belt.
Okay, Marshal Walker is actually an ex-Star Marine who’s gone into enforcing the law. Apparently U. F. Marshals (United Federation) travel from assignment to assignment, much like many federal agents do today. It’s just that their area of authority is a LOT bigger.
Walker is fresh out of the Academy and full of youthful vigor and enthusiasm. He’s gonna enforce the law and right all wrongs. No problem. Right?
Wrong. Lots of problems and that what makes this a great story. He’s got a lot of growing up to do and this little hell hole is just the place to grow up fast — or die trying.
Nick totes a gee-whiz futuristic gun (like we’ve come to expect in science fiction stories), but also a .44 magnum replica. Not a good thing to be firing off inside a pressure space with nothing but vacuum outside. Fortunately, he doesn’t blow out anything major, resulting in mass asphyxiation. Still, I suspect it’s something he should have left in his duffel bag until he gets stationed on a planet.
The plot had enough twists and surprises to keep me guessing and fighting the urge to read “just one more chapter” even though my recreational reading time was over (usually just before I hit the hay).
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Aug. 19, 2013 :
Jul 10, 2013 Al Philipson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Nick's first assignment out of the Marshal's Academy. What could go wrong for this ex-Star Marine? Well, just about everything.
Our hero has to deal with bad guys, allies, the legal system, and the problem of not knowing which is which.
This is the strangest "space western" I've ever read -- and the most entertaining. It's all believable once you get past Nick's propensity to carry an antique slug-throwing weapon inside a pressure dome (not the brightest move anyone without a death wish could make).
Twists and turns abound in this action adventure. I loved the story and hated putting it down at the end of the day (I'm not a speed reader).
A great "first book" (chronologically) for the series (even though it was written after 2 others were published).
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Jan. 03, 2013 :
Prepare for a wild ride when you take on John Bowers' Asteroid Outpost. This tale is a fast paced novel where anarchic high-tech organized crime slams head-on into former Star Marine and hard-charging rookie UF Marshall Nick Walker. Asteroid Outpost is a high intensity who-dunit that grips the reader from beginning to end, with Walker in a self-appointed mission to save the people of the lawless ice-asteroid Ceres from the depredations of the over-whelming crime syndicate.
Walker lives by a Star Marine motto: Leave no man behind. In the face of pervasive rapes, murders, kidnappings, bullies, brawlers, religious zealots, official apathy and political corruption, Walker is up against a nearly insurmountable challenge to save the common people. But he refuses to leave anyone behind.
Asteroid Outpost a fast-paced yarn featuring the spirit and personal integrity of a hard core Marine, combined with a laser pistol, a .44 Magnum Ru Hawk and the demands of a far-flung rough and tumble mining society.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)