Conscript by Pamela Stewart
Publisher/date: Independently published (November 10, 2019)
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Series: Star Defenders
Vega Volante was almost done with her mandatory service to the Axis government. Until her squad was attacked by aliens. Only...she is the only survivor, and many don't believe her story.
The attack on her squad caused the government to extend all of the active military contracts, including her conscription. Now she's stuck on a far out post training for war when she should be helping her family with the harvest.
As if most of the other soldiers disbelief of her story didn't make her enough of a pariah, she's also a "grounder," someone who was born on a world instead of in space. She's shorter and stronger than her space born counterparts.
So when an accident on her first day at her new post results in her saving the life of a fellow cadet with her strength should have given her some credit, instead she finds suspicion aimed at her, not only from her fellow soldiers but also from command.
Not to mention the fact that she knows she didn't make up the story about the aliens. And she knows how little good their human weapons are against them.
WOW WOW WOW.
Do you ever read a book and get mad that it isn't more popular, that you've never heard of it? Well, here I am, pissed off that people know about Brian Sanderson's Skyward series but they've never heard of Pamela Stewart. As an avid sci-fi fan I'm always excited to see women writing the non-romance version of sci-fi, something I so rarely see. That's why I picked it up.
But I didn't expect it to be THIS good. If it was THIS good why haven't I heard of it? Maybe because it's independently published, maybe because the author is female. Either way I intend to rectify this situation by telling every sci-fi reader I know about this series and this author.
Vega is just the right amount of vulnerable and just the right amount of strong. She makes a few bad choices - it is YA after all and she's only 17 - to further the plot without being annoying. Her new squad is full of misfits like her, people who don't fit the mold, and they are all so interesting and fun. I've got such a "thing" for a squad of misfits. What can I say, it's a trope I love!
The only criticism I have of this book is that I want MORE. I wanted it to be longer, I wanted more everything - more world building, more training, more mystery and people acting weird and not knowing why - twists and turns and the unpredictability! Yes yes yes, I want more!
5 Stars, I can't wait to read the second book! (And if you're wondering - yes, I did follow Pamela Stewart on Amazon so that I can binge read everything she's published! She's an indie writer to watch folks!)