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  • Writer's pictureJason Dias

Plot takes a back seat to story in this military sci-fi with literary aspirations.

Updated: Dec 16, 2018

The Hands We’re Given

A new commander takes over a failing special ops unit in the desert. His insecurities threaten to overturn the whole operation until he learns his understated, introverted leadership style is exactly what the Wild Cards need to return to maximum efficiency.

A rag-tag band of paramilitary mercenaries, the Wild Cards represent all the diversity the new Corporate governments refuse to tolerate. That diversity, like the Commander’s introversion, is the unit’s greatest strength; they’re just too grief-stricken and worried to pull together.

My favorite character in this tale is Tweak, a kid from off the Grid whose time in jail gave her serious attitude. Her attitude gets people hurt… but she’s the one with the skills to shake up the war against the corporations.

This is smoothly written and interesting. There are alt sex scenes; I don’t normally care to read them, but they were necessary to the plot – an insider view of anxieties and acceptance. The plot is stop-and-go, as if the authors put it together as they went along (they wouldn’t be the only writers in the world to fly by the seats of their pants) but the story is much stronger than the plot anyway. This is where the literary aspirations come in: Most of the action is internal to the two main characters. They must grow and change to overcome the political and leadership challenges that face them, and to find and accept their families-by-choice in the dust.

Great story. Read it right now. Video review:


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