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Subterrene War Trilogy #01: Germline

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Subterrene War Trilogy #01: Germline Cover

ISBN13: 9780316128186
ISBN10: 031612818x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Germline (n.) the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation. Also: secret military program to develop genetically engineered super-soldiers (slang).

War is Oscar Wendell's ticket to greatness. A reporter for The Stars and Stripes, he has the only one way pass to the front lines of a brutal war over natural resources buried underneath the icy, mineral rich mountains of Kazakhstan.

But war is nothing like he expected. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the surface. The genetics-the germline soldiers-are the key to winning this war, but some inventions can't be un-done. Some technologies can't be put back in the box.

Kaz will change everything, not least Oscar himself. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of adrenaline and drugs, Oscar doesn't find the war, the war finds him.

Review:

"McCarthy's compelling debut introduces Oscar 'Scout' Wendell, a journalist and self-destructive adrenaline junkie who embeds with the Marines when Russia and the United States go to war over rich mineral deposits discovered in Kazakhstan. Plunged into a nightmarish world of subterranean combat and random death, Scout feels his identity slipping away as he and his fellows are reduced to faceless cogs in an infernal war machine. He finds an unexpected emotional anchor in Sophie, a genetically engineered super-soldier. Though Sophie soon begins to deteriorate, their romance never turns either mawkish or faux tragic. McCarthy, a geologist and former CIA analyst, crafts a portrait of the effects of battlefield stress that is difficult to bear but impossible to put down. Recalling the work of Remarque, Willi Heinrich, and especially Michael Herr, McCarthy's delirious narrative avoids cliché and raises intriguing questions about what it means to be human. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

T.C. McCarthy earned a B.A. from the University of Virginia, and a PhD from the University of Georgia, before embarking on a career that gave him a unique perspective as a science fiction author. From his time as a patent examiner in complex biotechnology, to his tenure with the Central Intelligence Agency, T.C. has studied and analyzed foreign militaries and weapons systems. T.C. was at the CIA during the September 11 terrorist attacks, and was still there when US forces invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, allowing him to experience warfare from the perspective of an analyst.

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SomewhatBent, September 3, 2011 (view all comments by SomewhatBent)
Germline (Subterrene War Trilogy, Book 1)
T. C. McCarthy
Orbit Mass Market Paperback. (2011), Edition: ARC

This is an intense book. Intense enough that I had to read it twice before I could begin to fairly review it. It is set in a near future war-that-could-be. It is a strange sort of coming-of-age story about a Stars & Stripes reporter who has the assignment because his drug addiction and related screw-ups have effectively excluded him from any 'polite' reporting of the shiny upper echelons stationed in and around his home of Washington, DC.

It is an extremely gritty story with some very evocative descriptions of war. The protagonist, Oscar Wendell, remains a civilian throughout, but finds himself thinking and acting more and more like a soldier for survival and in support of the collection of companions he acquires in his journey. Along the way he loses his drug addiction and gains more than maturity.

The author was a CIA analyst when the American entered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. He clearly used that experience to create an extremely complex and believable landscape through which our complement travel. It challenges survival, perseverance, adaptability and strength of spirit. None of the principal characters come out at the far end bearing any resemblance to who they were in our first encounters.

The 'ringer' troops that the multi-national forces are fielding are "genetically engineered supersoldiers" -- who always take the appearance of beautiful young ladies aged 15-18. At age 18 they begin to degenerate and are generally 'discharged' from service by way of a well aimed flechette. The 'Gs' are emotionally indifferent to the 'normals' with whom they deploy, except in terms of purely practical deployment discipline. There are a few who are more curious about humanity and a couple spend time getting to know Oscar very well -- including in the biblical sense.

This seems to be part of a much bigger story. I would not be surprised to learn that the author finished the whole trilogy and only upon editorial consideration did it become the three books it's expected to be. I look forward to books two and three because I know there's got to be more to this striking realistic near future scenario. It is a book that leaves me with very strong impressions, but very few words.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316128186
Author:
Mccarthy, T C
Publisher:
Orbit
Author:
McCarthy, T.C.
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-A to Z
Subject:
General-General
Subject:
Genetic engineering; War; Secrets; Drugs; Technological innovations; Military life; Soldiers
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
The Subterrene War
Series Volume:
1
Publication Date:
20110801
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
7 x 4.25 x 1.25 in 0.4 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Adventure

Subterrene War Trilogy #01: Germline Used Mass Market
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$4.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Orbit - English 9780316128186 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "McCarthy's compelling debut introduces Oscar 'Scout' Wendell, a journalist and self-destructive adrenaline junkie who embeds with the Marines when Russia and the United States go to war over rich mineral deposits discovered in Kazakhstan. Plunged into a nightmarish world of subterranean combat and random death, Scout feels his identity slipping away as he and his fellows are reduced to faceless cogs in an infernal war machine. He finds an unexpected emotional anchor in Sophie, a genetically engineered super-soldier. Though Sophie soon begins to deteriorate, their romance never turns either mawkish or faux tragic. McCarthy, a geologist and former CIA analyst, crafts a portrait of the effects of battlefield stress that is difficult to bear but impossible to put down. Recalling the work of Remarque, Willi Heinrich, and especially Michael Herr, McCarthy's delirious narrative avoids cliché and raises intriguing questions about what it means to be human. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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