W. C. Bauers
Unbreakable Cover



Based on the synopsis, I had high hopes for this novel

First, the Good:
• This is a creditable debut novel.
• It's fairly good MilSF (though I'm far from an expert).
• The main character is fairly well-developed.
• It's a reasonably enjoyable book.

Now, the Not-So-Good:
• It's rife with typos and editing mistakes in the second half, disrupting the reading flow.
• It is quite similar to David Weber's excellent Honor Harrington books, and suffers a fair bit under that comparison.
• All other character development is pretty sketchy.
• An uber-competent, young-but-battle-hardened, strategically- and tactically-brilliant, busy space Marine takes the time and cares enough to "shave her legs twice a week". Seriously? In a universe which has developed technology to regenerate body parts and quick-heal wounds, they've not developed a simple depil tech? With everything she's got going on, she actually worries about shaving her legs? Um, no. Just... no.
• After shaving her legs, said Marine then shows them off in a meeting while flirting with a planetary leader? Whose look and touch then on numerous subsequent occasions in the rest of the book "turn her to goo"? I despair.

I've read plenty of books where a male author does a great job with a female character. I strongly suspect that the author here unfortunately followed the extremely misguided advice to "make sure you're not just writing a man with boobs", to the detriment of the book. There is a lot to like about the main character - but I would recommend that this author get a couple of additional beta readers who are highly-ranked professional and/or military women.

I don't feel that this book was a waste of time - but I'm not sure I'll be interested enough to read the sequel which has clearly been set up in the end.