Baen, May 2001, 24.00, 510 pp.
The Empress of Man Alexandra VII sends her spoiled youngest son Prince Roger MacClintock to waive the flag at the planet Leviathan's Net-Hauling event. Roger protests about having to visit a backwater orb that smells for light years around. Roger remains unhappy with the assignment, but knows he must carry it out wondering why his father is persona non grata at court and why nobody trusts him to support his mother once he learns the truth.
On the trek through space, terrorists disable the ship forcing an emergency landing on the dangerous planet Marduk that makes Leviathan look like the center of civilization. Accompanied by marines, Roger needs to grow up rather quickly if he is to survive the hostile planet whose low-tech natives are as deadly as any species in the universe.
MARCH UPCOUNTRY is an exciting science fiction coming of age tale that never slows down for even a paragraph. Roger makes the plot work because readers believe in his transition from spoiled brat to responsible adult team member. The “good guys” including Roger are fully developed, but the villains lack substance. Military science fiction experts David Weber and John Ringo prove that the total sometimes is greater than the sum and that is saying a lot since these two writers are among the best today.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner