The Outriders of the title are a “death proof”, very low profile, very hi-tech, special forces group on a future earth. They are sent to investigate events that may be coincidence or may be covert attacks that could lead to the first war between Earth and Mars.
“Outriders” has the twisty plot of a good spy novel, lots of shiny futuristic military toys for search and destroy games, a team of cool soldiers who are both likeable and lethal and a story-telling pace that grabs hold of you from page one (where the main character, Lincoln Suh, dies) and doesn’t let up until the end.
All of that would have been enough for me to read this book with a grin on my face and then set it aside but Jay Posey added a few things that made “Outriders” more than just a good military SF novel.
I found his calm, factual way of telling this tense and violent tale compelling. This high attention, low arousal approach to dealing with a crisis is exactly what I imagine to be necessary to do the kind of work the Outriders do. Lincoln Suh, the new officer trying to earn the right to lead an experienced, established team, embodies this killer calm and garnsihes it with an engaging mix of humour and self-deprication.
I also liked the way Posey brought out the similarities between the Outriders and the military/spy team that they are up against. Both teams are driven to achieve goals that they believe in through violence and destruction. Neither wants to cause harm to bystanders. Neither mistreats the people that they capture. Yet either team will shoot the other on sight with no hesitation.
James Lindgren does a great job of the narration, matching the controlled-calm of the text while still being able to keep the tension of the plot.
I’ve never read Jay Posey before but I’ll be hitting his back-catalogue soon, while I wait for the next “Outriders” to come out.
Go HERE to read an interview with Jay Posey on how he came up with the ideas for “Outriders”.