If you haven’t read James Tarr’s, “Dog Soldiers,” you would do yourself a solid in doing so. Very entertaining and instructive, especially for anyone who doesn’t have a really good idea what ‘Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain’ (MOUT) is about.
Anyway, get this and read it. You’ll be glad you did.
As it happens, I read Dog Soldiers myself not long ago as one of my Kindle Unlimited lending-library choices, and he’s right, it’s a good ‘un. In fact, after devouring DS, I then proceeded to work my way through Tarr’s entire ouvre, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Which brings me to a recommendation of my own: DJ Molles’ Lee Harden series, a five-parter set in Molles’ The Remaining Universe, which I’ll be wading into once I find out how things wind up for good ol’ Lee Harden. I’ve read a crap-ton of what they call PAW (Post Apocalypse World) fiction, and Molles is a real standout in a genre that can be somewhat of a mixed bag as far as the writing itself goes. There’s some really well-written stuff therein, and then again there’s some pretty unreadable dreck to be found also. Molles’ characters are more complex, human, and relatable than a lot of what you run across in lesser PAW fiction, where one-dimensional, ho-hum cliches and/or comic-book superhero-level juvenilia are all too common. Molles’ story arcs are clever, his dialogue fluid and credible, the combat sequences gripping, with the right balance of weapons-system geekery, tactical/strategic/political analysis, character-relationship development, and dramatic tension maintained throughout.
One aspect of PAW fiction that both baffles and exasperates me is the preponderance of sloppy editing. Even books that I otherwise loved, by skilled and well-known authors and respectable publishers, have nonetheless been marred by spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation issues to one degree or another. Of course, poor editing is one of those things that, to repurpose a Biblical phrase, ye will have with ye always, and is by no means exclusively or even predominantly a PAW thang. No matter where you run across it, though, if it’s bad enough it can suck your head right out of the story, which is but a very short hop to just dumping the book altogether for something more competently crafted. It really makes you scratch your head in mystification at how the hell some of these editors ever managed to con their way into the job, and why they bother soldiering on in the field when clearly they could be in politics, where the opportunities for much more remunerative forms of graft are so plentiful.
Alas, the scourge of bad editing rears its ugly head in both Dog Soldiers and the Harden books alike, albeit to a much lesser extent in DS if I remember right. It’s bearable in both, thankfully, amounting to nothing worse than a minor distraction, although there was a certain adjustment period with the first Harden book that I had to make it past before I could really sink my teeth into the thing and enjoy myself. This is all strictly a matter of opinion, so naturally your mileage may vary. However it all works out for ya, I heartily endorse DTG’s recommendation, with great big bells on.