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Luna Marine: The Heritage Trilogy    by Ian Douglas order for
Luna Marine
by Ian Douglas
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 1999 (1999)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Semper Mars, the Marines took back the Mars base from the U.N. contingent led by the French and discovered half-million year old relics of the space-faring Builders along with the remains of early humans. This sets the scene for Luna Marine. News of the finds on Mars caused riots, cults worshipping the aliens as gods, and an increase in world conflict, with the U.N. launching an attack on NORAD. David Alexander gets in trouble for unauthorized contacts with U.N. scientists, who have discovered a recent extraterrestrial presence on Luna and are making weapons from alien technology. Kaitlin, now a marine Lieutenant is on center stage in the fight to take back the Moon. She is joined by David and his nephew Jack, whom we follow through boot-camp. And Jack brings with him an intriguing new character, a charming A.I. net agent named Sam, who may or may not be sentient.

Which brings me to the Heinlein connection. The author has fun with names - Cave of Wonders, Picard Base etc. - and there is also Heinlein Station. Douglas's characters refer to the Heinlein book Red Planet . Net agent Sam has something in common with sentient computer Mike in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (Sam is also the name by which we get to know the hero in The Puppet Masters). Of course the gung ho military aspect of Heritage Trilogy brings Starship Troopers immediately to mind - and surely the Marines will encounter the alien Hunters of the Dawn in book three.

If you are a Heinlein fan or simply enjoy an SF adventure in the mode of the early classics, try this series. It's a darn good read and I look forward to seeing where Douglas takes Jack, Sam and the Marines in book three.

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