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Mecha Samurai Empire    by Peter Tieryas order for
Mecha Samurai Empire
by Peter Tieryas
Order:  USA  Can
Ace, 2018 (2018)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Peter Tieryas's Mecha Samurai Empire is the sequel to United States of Japan, which introduced an alternate history, in which Japan and Germany rule as uneasy allies.

Our hero is Makoto Fujimoto, orphaned in California after both his parents died fighting American terrorists, George Washingtonians. Both worked with mechas, giant war machines operated by humans. Makoto is sent to boarding school. There, he practices at every opportunity on mecha simulations, dreaming of being accepted in the prestigious mecha pilot training program at Berkeley Military Academy. His average grades don't make it likely, but he and his friend Hideki still dream of becoming mecha pilots.

Another friend is Griselda, an exchange student from Hamburg. Makoto also admire Nori, smartest in the class and headed for success. Things soon fall apart though. Tragedy strikes after Hideki looks for a way to cheat on the tests. Makoto fails to get into the academy but demonstrates skills in live action, alongside Noriko after a surprise attack. This give him an opportunity to join the Rapid Mobile Defense Team. Again and again, Makoto proves his worth, but always outside the lines.

Finally, he reaches his goal, and gets to work beside both Nori and Griselda, fighting Nazi biomechs. The story is action-packed and often reads like an account of a video game play. I must say that I enjoyed it much more than I anticipated.

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