The Siege of Titan – Michael G Thomas (2011)
At a time when Humanity has spread out into the galaxy, the Centauran planets are united in an Alliance which is threatened by The Zealots, a fundamentalist group of suicidal maniacs.
Spartan, as his name may suggest, is a wrestler/fighter in a deadly and illegal fight ring. When the games are raided, Spartan, attempting to escape, accidentally kills a policeman and is sentenced to either ten years in prison or ten years in the army, training as a marine to fight the zealots.
It’s competently written and maintains the interest but the narrative is a little one-sided. There is no attempt to humanise the zealots or – at this stage – to explain why officers within the Navy would wish to side with them.
Thomas is very good when he is in space. The description of ships and their structure does much to add some verisimilitude. It is presumably no coincidence that Post 9/11 there have been a succession of works which feature religious maniacs, suicide bombers, and a level headed rational crew to sort them out.
Keith Brooks ‘Keepers of the Peace‘ turns the idea on its head to a certain extent, but its genes have their origins in the same pool.