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In the rousing 13th novel (after 2007's Firestorm) featuring the 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST), the interstellar marines have returned to their garrison on Thorsfinni's World, where they catch up on R&R and get ready for the next round against the mysterious alien Skinks. The rest of the Confederation is now aware of the Skinks' existence, but some Earth politicians deny that the aliens are dangerous. When the Skinks establish a beachhead on Haulover (tying into the StarFist: Force Recon series), the 34th must battle interservice rivalries and parochial interests as well as the alien threat. Former senior NCOs Sherman and Cragg display their encyclopedic knowledge of the sociology of a military unit and draw intriguing interstellar parallels to the Pacific campaigns of WWII. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.