I very nearly skipped reading Mecha Rogue: A Novel of the Armor Wars by Brett Patton. I’d already ignored its predecessor, Mecha Corps, the first in the Armor Wars series, so the idea that I’d read the second one seemed far fetched to say the least. Then, on a whim, I began to flip through it and found myself reading.
After 40 pages or so I stopped.
The reason I stopped is that I went back to my bookshelves and picked up the review copy I’d been sent of Mecha Corps – the one I’d ignored – and began reading it. Two days later, after devouring the story hook line and sinker, I once again picked up Mecha Rogue.
Where I’d enjoyed and had been intrigued by Mecha Corps and how I thought this was setting up to be the standard endless series that would find one central character, in this case Matt Lowell and his teammates going up against various interstellar bad guys in their amazing mecha weapons, Mecha Rogue threw me for a loop.
Sure, the word rogue is right there in the title so I should have figured that there would be a willingness to play loose and go, well, rogue with the reader’s expectations but it still caught me unprepared.
In the first novel Matt joins the Mecha Corps and ends up squaring off against Rayder, a genetically engineered “HuMax” who murdered his father. Mecha Corps uses that ending to set up a nice set-up for Mecha Rogue, which finds Matt and his team on a mission to destroy a secret lab.
To Matt’s shock, during the mission he discovers that the Union is both behind the lab as well as the HuMax, which means he was sent to kill genetic creations that the Union itself created and which were basically helpless creatures. That’s where the “Rogue” in the title comes from, as he rebels and disobeys orders to the point of his team being commanded to take him in or take him down.
From there Matt finds himself running to the very Corsairs he once battled, a move which becomes the first in a series of surprises and choices that cause Matt to question everything he has been told as well as everything he thought he believed.
Actually, stepping back and reading what I just wrote I can’t tell you how afraid I am that I’m summarizing it so much that you don’t get a proper sense of the massive speed and excitement the narrative moves at.
It took me about 12 hours of reading to roar through these books and I’ve enjoyed both of them immensely, with Mecha Rogue being my favorite of the two.
Full of action and tons of heart enwrapped in a story-line involving morphing robotic machines of immense power, Brett Patton’s got a winner in this book and in the series it comes from.
Wow. I can’t wait for the next book and the ones after that as I feel this is a story that has the potential to open up into a hugely successful series that will ultimately end up spanning one of our home’s bookshelves.
Buy it. That’s an order.