Skyler Luiken and his ragtag crew of scavengers, scientists, and brawlers have a new mission: a long journey to a distant planet where a race of benevolent aliens are held captive behind a cloud of destructive ships known as the Swarm Blockade. No human ships have ever made it past this impenetrable wall, and Skyler knows not what to anticipate when they reach their destination.
Safe to say that the last thing he expects to find there is a second human ship led by the tough-as-nails captain, Gloria Tsandi. These two crews—and their respective captains—initially clash, but they will have to learn to work together when their mutual foe closes in around them and begins the outright destruction of their vessels—along with any hope of a return to Earth.
So let’s start this review out by asking a very simple question to those reading this.
Did you read the prior Dire Earth Cycle books in the series?
If not, WHY NOT? (but seriously they are fun, engaging fly by the seat of your pants books that are definitely worth a read!).
Assuming you have not read the previous books in the series, let’s assume for the sake of argument that you want to start with this book, Injection Burn, without having read the other books in the Dire Earth Cycle. You want to know, is this a bad idea. The answer is mixed. Could you read Injection Burn without having read the previous books in the series. Yes, you could. In fact, enough of the story is summarized and new characters introduced that you could probably catch the drift of the previous books and still thoroughly enjoy Injection Burn. HOWEVER, if you wanted to FULLY enjoy the Dire Earth Cycle, then I’d recommend reading all of the books in the series in order, purely from a character development standpoint (ok… and because they are awesome books that are fun to read, and I’d hate to see them ruined because you skipped ahead).
In fact, the best way to think of Injection Burn, is an accelerated on-ramp for new readers, which also moves the plot along a few thousand years for the main characters in the previous Dire Earth Cycle books, thus moving the ball along for older fans of the series.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s discuss the book, Injection Burn, itself.
As mentioned above, the primary advantage of reading the previous Dire Earth Cycle books before Injection Burn, is the character development that has occurred up to this point in the series. While Hough does summarize the relationships between the older characters in the series, he does not spend a lot of time building on these relationships. Instead Hough has focused his character development prowess on the other newer characters in the Dire Earth Cycle, such as Gloria, Beth and Xavi. Speaking of new characters, I can’t wait until Beth meets the main crew of Eve, as her obsession and fanboy tendencies with the crew of Eve will lead to particularly hilarious results. In fact, between Skyler’s awkwardness, Prumble’s reveling in it, to Sam’s annoyance and probably threats of bodily harm if it isn’t stopped, this scenes almost rights itself in its hilarity.
That said, readers of the Dire Earth Cycle are really in it for the action, and while Hough spent a decent amount of time setting the stage for the big events, the resulting action scenes in the final third of the book are more than worth the wait. In fact, all of the Dire Earth Cycle are great book for anyone looking for massive adrenaline shots from their books (think the equivalent of six cappuccinos in book form). And in Injection Burn, Hough has done an absolutely fantastic job of creating tense, enthralling situations that keep even the most easily distracted reader glued to their seats.
Of course, the other two thirds of Injection Burn do not leave readers bored waiting for the action and suspense. As mentioned above, Hough uses this time to set the stage so that interactions of every kind are ripe with tension and mistrust. Therefore, not only do you have chaos from the battles with the enemy (the Scipios) but there are massive amounts of confusion, suspicion and even violence and threats between the new characters, old characters, and even characters who readers thought were allies.
All in all, Injection is a fun book that is a perfect on-ramp for new readers as well as a great continuation for fans of the previous books in the series. As a fan of the previous books in the series I enjoyed the new character and found the mistrust that emanated from all of the parties very organic and enthralling to read. Further, while Hough certainly has not scrimped on the amount of action in Injection Burn, it also feels like just he prelude to the real event in the next book in the series, Escape Velocity, which makes Escape Velocity my next can’t wait to read book , ESPECIALLY since it comes out in less than a month!
Publisher: Del Rey
Published: May 30, 2017
Link to Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Injection-Burn-Earth-Novel-Cycle-ebook/dp/B01LK9H94E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497021469&sr=8-1&keywords=jason+hough