Nathaniel Connors' new novel starts out with a dark, ominous "teaser" in the tradition of Gothic horror. Then it makes a left turn and becomes hard-core military science fiction that would make Robert A. Heinlein smile. We then find ourselves on Mars, fighting an unnecessary war that is space opera at its purest, worthy of Henry Kuttner, Edmond Hamilton, and Leigh Brackett. But let's not stop there. Let's get swept up in Apocalyptic horror, with an army of demonic souls that keep coming back for more as they take possession of an never-ending supply of corpses. What makes this novel so entertaining is not just the brutal, gritty battle scenes, but the humanity, the emotion, the drama, and the full-bodied characters Connors has masterfully created. He makes us care about his characters, which adds the final, most important ingredient of all to the mix. The main character, Jonathan Armand, is the narrator, and he carries us along on a wondrous ride. His dialog crackles, and I love the twists and turns, too. SPOILER ALERT: it's heavy stuff when a war being fought is an unjust war, when those you serve are really your enemy, and when the enemy you fight becomes the ally who fights and dies at your side against terrible odds and a terrible foe. But it's the friendships forged, the alliances made, the love shared and lost between human and alien in this exciting novel that kept me turning the pages. I look forward to reading the sequel.