Book Review – Grunt Life by Weston Ochse

Grunt Life
by Weston Ochse
Courtesy of Solaris Books
Release Date: April 29, 2014

grunt life

I thought it couldn’t happen. I just knew it in my bones. There was no way, no how an author could think up something new in the alien invasion fiction genre. Everything had been done, my mind told me. But boy, was it wrong! Just when I thought there was nothing new under the sun, author Weston Ochse shows up to prove me wrong. And I’m so glad he did! GRUNT LIFE, the first book in his Task Force Ombra series, is a heck of a ride, and it showcases the talents of a wildly imaginative author.

If you are not familiar with GRUNT LIFE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Solaris Books:

This is a brand new Military SF series from Weston Ochse, an experienced military man and author.

Benjamin Carter Mason died last night. Maybe he threw himself off a bridge into Los Angeles Harbor, or maybe he burned to death in a house fire in San Pedro; it doesn’t really matter. Today, Mason’s starting a new life. He’s back in boot camp, training for the only war left that matters a damn.

For years, their spies have been coming to Earth, mapping our cities, learning our weaknesses, leaving tragedy in their wake. Our governments knew, but they did nothing—the prospect was too awful, the costs too high—and now, the horrifying and utterly alien Cray are invading, laying waste to our cities. The human race is a heartbeat away from extinction.

That is, unless Mason, and the other men and women of Task Force OMBRA, can do anything about it. This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts.

Man, this book amped me up! It shakes up the genre and gives it a much-needed shot in the arm. I cannot wait to jump into book two, GRUNT TRAITOR.

GRUNT LIFE is written well and flows at a nice clip. The story progresses quickly, yet the rapid progression does not leave you with questions. Rather, Ochse does a great job of giving the reader just enough info to stay intrigued. As a result, the story unfolds nicely, offering fast-paced thrills and hardcore battle action.

The characters are all damaged and believable. Each is fleshed out well, and each offers numerous reasons for the reader to either love or hate them.

GRUNT LIFE also has its characters do something I’ve never read about before: in preparation for the invasion, the grunts are all forced to watch and read an extensive list of alien invasion movies and books. This is a very interesting concept, as it cultivates the mind to think in terms of ‘what if’, and I can see how it would greatly benefit a soldier fighting such a war.

GRUNT LIFE is a huge win for me, and I highly recommend it. Author Weston Ochse is ex-military, and his extensive knowledge of the armed forces shines through in this novel, resulting in a high energy, high entertainment read. I can’t wait to see where book two takes the story. GRUNT LIFE is available now in a variety of formats, so give it a look.


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