Thursday, September 1, 2011

Redliners by David Drake

Redliners is my favorite David Drake novel, though I don't recommend it for everyone.  If you lack the proper background or perspective, you will not understand, or worse misunderstand the central theme of this exceptional novel.

I unreservedly recommend it to Combat Vets, EMT's, LEO, ER Doctors & Nurses, Firefighters, & others that have had to deal with trauma, death, and sacrifice.  If you have a friend, family member, or other loved one that fits the above list, then you might gain some insight into parts of their lives they can't share with you, or don't want to burden you with.

It follows a group of battle weary vetrans that are so burned out & emotionally traumatized that they have lost their effectiveness as a military unit.  They have been "redlined", they are to traumatived by their time in war to be truly combat effective anymore.

Yet they are far to dangerous to simply allow back among civilians, without more pain and suffering for both the vets and the civilians.  The Chief of Administration, the top civilian leader in this novel, he is referred to as "John Smith", also feels they deserve better than to be treated as disposable, no longer useful, assets.

Lead personally by John Smith, someone who understands sacrifice all to well, on a  perilous expedition to colonize a completely wild and dangerous planet.  Mr. Smith is attempting to reintegrate these veterans and civilians.  He wants the civilians to appreciate the veterans, and the sacrifices they have made. in addition to reintegrating the veterans with society.

Mr. Smith fully realizes this expedition will probably cost some lives, perhaps even his own, but he doesn't flinch from his decision.

Despite the all the dark and horrible events in this novel, it is truly a story about hope.  About hope, atonement, and possibly redemption.

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