guy with spinning nunchaku fighting a big scary monsterNinja commandos! The Blackcollars are an elite military unit formed through a combination of training and the use of a drug which permanently enhances their reaction time. They’re nearly invincible, but they weren’t enough to save humans from losing an interstellar war with the Ryqril, a poorly drawn race of scary aliens with paws and swords.

The book is split evenly into two near novel-length sections. In the first, Caine, a deep cover agent of the human underground resistance goes on a mission to the planet Plinry where rather than the contact he expects to find he runs into a team of Blackcollars and with their help manages to complete his mission. In the second, Caine has been given training by the Blackcollars (but not their magical reaction enhancing drug since the formula for that was lost in the war) and heads back to Earth on his first mission as leader not knowing that his Blackcollar buddies from the first book follow him there as backup.

The book reads like a novelization of a military commando video game. Crazy scheme follows crazy scheme and all depends on the magical powers of the Blackcollar commandos and their shuriken and nunchaku. It’s an okay book if you like this sort of thing. I read it cause it’s eligible for the Endeavour Award.