A New Hope (A Troop, 2/4 Cavalry) by Eric Johnson [Book Review]

This is a good example on ‘fan fiction’ and I hope Eric don’t take offence at that. Eric writes about life in a military unit inside David Drake’s Hammer Slammers’ universe with permission from David. Eric’s own experiences from Afghanistan shines through and add realism to the story.

This is an anthology of short stories that almost works as a complete novel telling the story of an counter insurgency campaign in the Pollo Mountains from the point of view of the people in Troop A, 2/4 Cavalry. First Lieutenant Karen Juniper leads her unit as a professional soldier through the mission that also involves testing out a new tactical transport vehicle.

I am usually not fond of short stories but for me it works quite well here since they tell parts of the same story even if the main story gets a bit unconnected at times but Karen as a character keeps it well together. What appealed to me most with the stories is that they are told by someone with real experience. It was an easy read; I plowed through it in one day.

You know I am a character reader and I found the characters and their interaction believable and sometimes intriguing. They feel like human beings most of the time even if they lack some dept (Mind you this is short stories, not a novel). Karen is no super soldier and she has her doubts and makes mistakes too.

It is not David Drake quality but it is quite decent fan fiction with a core of real experience in it. I will probably read more by Eric Johnson in the future.

Title: A New Hope
Series: A Troop, 2/4 Cavalry
Universe: David Drake’s Hammer Slammers (with permission)
Author: Eric Johnson
Genre: Military Science Fiction
Kindle e-book:  413 kb
Publisher: Self published (2010)
Copy: Review copy from the author

Order from: Amazon US

Based in the universe created by David Drake (with his permission) A New Hope chronicles, in anthology format the exploits of A Troop, 2/4 Cavalry. Designed to solely test out a new type (though of old ideas) of vehicles and tactics, the troopers are challenged by an insurgency campaign set in the mountainous Pollo Mountains.

Based off of some experiences from past conflicts, to include my tour in Afghanistan.

NOTE: This is in no way connected to Star Wars, even though it has the same title as the first movie. IT IS used in the Hammers Slammers universe. .

Eric’s Blurb on Goodreads: First off, it’s an extrapolation of my tour in Afghanistan set in a futuristic setting, set on the planetary colony of New Hope. A criminal gang, resorted to an insurgency campaign in order to fight the government. Naturally most national militaries aren’t as trained as the more numerous and capable mercenary units, what we call PMCs today. Some of the events covered are experiences that I experienced during my tour there, as well as some from other units, events in history that I felt would make a good adaptation, as well as some situations that were completely made up, but that is rare. A short abstract starts off the event, and then the story follows. So it has some personal views, experiences that I did my best to transcribe in a different way, given the universe that David Drake started with Hammer’s Slammers, in which my stories are set, just in a different way.The basic gist is a set of chronicles of short stories that are done in chronilogical order, unlike a novel format. I prefer this format compared to the novel format, as it to me, “highlights” the more important events over a nine month period. Towards the end are other “independent” events that came to mind after I completed the main campaign.And including the other editors, thanks to Karen Paulaskis and Chester Moore in their help with this e-book