Title: The Tide of War
Author: Lori A. Witt
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 371 Pages
At a Glance: The Tide of War is straight up sci-fi at its best.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Lieutenant Commander Kyle West is one of Earth Fleet’s greatest fighter pilots. Every day, he leads his squadron into battle over Earth’s cities in a seemingly endless war against a vicious alien race, defending his home and his loved ones.
Millions of miles away, the Fleet’s Elite Squadron attacks from another angle, engaging the enemy on its home turf. Casualties are high, and the Squadron needs more of the Fleet’s very best. But joining the Elite is a death sentence—a surety Kyle isn’t willing to face. Until a devastating attack wipes out the family he refused to leave.
Commander Andrei Dezhnyov, an Elite Squadron gunner, isn’t sure what to make of the cocky new American pilot. Kyle is equally uncertain about the snarly Russian, but as they warm up to each other, their tentative alliance becomes a deep bond—one that endangers them both when a daring and disobedient rescue reveals secrets that call into question everything they’ve ever believed about their enemy. Secrets that their superiors would kill to protect.
Review: Kyle lives in a society under attack. While there are constant small skirmishes between nations over petty things like border disputes, the real threat comes from the sky and a remote world inhabited by huge lizard-like creatures that need the earth for its resources after nearly destroying the atmosphere on its own. The Menarians are a race cloaked in mysteries that run constant bombing raids on the earth, resulting in devastating losses structurally, but thankfully minimal loss of lives. But, how can one count the cost of living in fear of being captured and destroyed by a menacing alien race?
Kyle is also gay and hiding it. Faced with a military that frowns upon anything but heterosexuality and, in fact, encourages its soldiers to marry, Kyle’s best kept secret are his lover and young son. On the surface it appears he is happily married to his elite gunner, Emily, herself a closeted lesbian. This amazing pilot/gunner team is continually sought after to join up with the elite fighting squadron who is space bound, fighting the Menarians on their own turf.
In the sky are another well-known fighting duo, Andrei and his wife Ogrufina. These two are the stars of the elite forces, and also hide secrets, namely that Andrei is bisexual and that his wife encourages him to pursue men that interest him. Don’t be fooled, theirs is a healthy and sexual love, but Ogrufina definitely allows what one might view as cheating on the side while understanding her husband’s needs for male companionship. This was a plot point I found a bit confusing, and also uncomfortable, because it was difficult to understand how the concept of what I believe was a touch of polyamory seemed to make this couple love each other more deeply. However, given what was about to happen in the story to both Kyle (who will lose his family in a bombing raid) and Andrei—this was a minor glitch in an otherwise disturbingly real and evolving story.
I say disturbing because what happens in this story could not only be plausible in today’s technological age but also even understandable, given the reasons that are discovered to be the motivation behind the horrible deception that is played out in the novel. I cannot go into further detail without giving away major plot points, but suffice it to say that all is not as it appears in this war, and when our dynamic and talented foursome finds out what is actually going on, it has devastating and lasting effects.
What I can describe to you is the amazing ability of this author to create a futuristic earth and the idea of alien forces that is so involved and convincing I could almost feel the force of exploding missiles and feel the taste of victory the pilots and gunners experienced when forcing back the enemy. This was an action packed novel that relentlessly pushed toward a mind-boggling conclusion that left one with their heart pounding and an uneasy feeling that Andrei and Kyle were not far from a new danger intent on destroying them.
The Tide of War by Lori A. Witt is straight up sci-fi at its best, and while there is a smattering of romance, this one is all about establishing a world in which real life heroes take risks that may endanger their lives. Fans of the military sci-fi genre will be delighted with this latest offering.
You can buy The Tide of War here: