Poor Man's Fight (Poor Man's Fight #1) by Elliott Kay
"This test completes your compulsory education. Congratulations! You have graduated high school. Your financial obligation is 67,879 credits. Please visit our loan officer as you exit."
Tanner Malone never bought into military myths of honor and glory. He never wanted to wear a uniform or medals. Yet when family upheaval brings his otherwise stellar performance in school to a disastrous end, Tanner's plans for university lie in ruins. Facing homelessness and a mountain of debt, Tanner enlists in his home planet's tiny navy.
It’s a hell of a time to sign up. Vicious pirates stalk the space lanes, claiming to fight an oppressive economic system even as they shed innocent blood. Civil war looms beyond the borders of Tanner’s home star system of Archangel. Corporate security fleets are nowhere to be found when trouble arises.
In response, Archangel begins ambitious military expansion. Basic training becomes six months of daily bare knuckle brawls, demanding cross-training and constant stress. Brutal as it is, Tanner will need the preparation. The pirates grow more audacious with every attack. As if that’s not enough, Tanner is assigned to a small ship whose disgruntled crew has no patience for cerebral new recruits, and they’re on the front lines of all of Archangel’s woes.
Tanner soon learns there is only one way to deal with his bullying comrades, their ruthless foes and the unforgiving void of space, and that’s to get up close and personal.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I wanted to like this one, I really did. Military space action sounds great on paper but there was just too much training and not enough action. Until like 70% through the book, it felt like nothing happened. There was a lot of training, which was well thought out and executed, but there was just too much of it. It bogged down the story and made it kind of boring. The ending was great but it was also unrealistic and didn't make the story that much better. I know a lot of people have enjoyed the book because of the ending but it wasn't enough for me to like the overall book. It didn't seem as though there was the connection between all of Tanner's training and what he was capable of doing. We could have had maybe 20% of the book be training and 20% be smaller missions that got him ready for the big leagues, but just dropping him into the fray and having the ending that occurred? Didn't seem to fit for me.
As much as I like the idea that everyone is in debt and the big companies and government are out to get us, I thought that the idea that failing the Test as poorly as Tanner did would put him in that much debt was a little farfetched. Based on how well he had previously been doing in school, there is no way they would only consider the Test score and not bell curve it because then people as smart as Tanner would do what Tanner did - join the military. And if they wanted to continue making money, they would need minds like Tanner's to help with that.
I did like Tanner's transformation from timid to badass. I thought it was pretty plausible that it would happen that way. And he had a very strong character and a big personality. I thought he was a good focus for the story. Although I did like the pirates, I just thought they went about their business incorrectly. I am pretty excited to see more pirates in the next one!
Overall: 2.5/5 stars for me. I don't even care that the ending was so unbelievable as much as I care that up until that point literally nothing happened.