The Misfit Soldier

Harper Voyager. Feb. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780062981004. pap. $8.99. SF
Sgt. “Gas” Gastrovsky is the kind of entrepreneurial, well-connected NCO who appears in lots of military-fiction, whether sf or not. Gas knows everyone, everyone owes him favors, and he seems more interested in his side hustles than being a soldier. But he’s all in for the soldiers in his squad, and when a man is left behind on a planet he’s just as devoted to getting him back. But Gas always has a plan inside a plan so the only true thing about Gas’s clandestine mission to save his soldier is that said soldier is stuck behind enemy lines. Everything else, Gas is making up as he goes along. Lovers of military sf, or military fiction in general, will find Gas and his squad to be familiar characters, a dirty not-quite-dozen that could be part of any army, anytime, anywhere. But his scheming, wheeling and dealing conceals a keen mind and a much bigger plan than anyone, including the reader, ever expected.
VERDICT Highly recommended for readers of military sf who love stories where just as it seems the grunts are utterly FUBAR’d, they pull another half-baked plan out of the fire, screw the brass, and save the day.
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