Mecha Corps: A Novel of the Armor Wars
by Brett Patton
Review by Mel Jacob
Roc Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451464316
Date: 06 December 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Brett Patton begins his Armor Wars series with Mecha Corps, a military science fiction novel set in the future where the Universal Union is engaged in a struggle with the Corsair Confederacy, a loose collection of rebel groups. Matt Lowell, blessed or cursed with total recall, has been invited to join Mecha Corps, the elite Universal Union fighting force. His father was killed by a HuMax (a genemod superhuman) Corsair twenty years ago and Matt has vowed to find and kill the man.
He soon finds himself undergoing field tests and an evaluation almost akin to a brain rape that forces him to relive his fathers death. Some cadets fail the physical field trials, others the brain probe. Matt, Miichelle Kind (the first Earther Mecha invitee), Kyle, Ash, Pael, and a few others make it through. However, when it comes time to mesh (form a biomechanical linkage) more fail and some die. Training doesn't get easier, but Matt has a talent and attains a higher mesh level than any of the others.
Kyle and Matt both want Michelle, but she is focused on their training. Gradually she turns to Kyle disappointing Matt. While Matt excels so easily, the others fight to keep up. They manage to conquer the Hellion Mechas, but the new Demons demand more. Each time, he meshes, Matt feels viscous claws tear at him. Meshing saps energy, but also generates a high that all want to experience and becomes almost a drug. When cadets mesh successfully they feel all-powerful.
Cadets are forced into accelerated training and unanticipated effects occur. When new battles with the Corsairs destroys major cities, the cadets, ready or not are forced into battle. The untested Demons are used.
Patton brings the transformer games to life to create superweapons using the brains of cadets to manage them. He provides plenty of action as Matt pursues his quest to locate the HuMax who killed his father, but let him live. He provides interesting descriptions and enough planetary destruction to satisfy most game players. He has a website, but Mecha Corps is his debut novel.
Other authors have covered biomechanical links with weapons, including Paul McAuley in the Quiet Wars, T.C. McCarthy's Germline, cyborgs, many war games, and news releases from the military. With a series title, other novels are sure to follow.