Germline is the first book in the Subterrene War series by T C McCarthy and an Orbit Sci/Fi.
Germline (n.) the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation. Also: secret military program to develop genetically engineered super-soldiers (slang).
War is Oscar Wendell's ticket to greatness. A reporter for The Stars and Stripes, he has the only one way pass to the front lines of a brutal war over natural resources buried underneath the icy, mineral rich mountains of Kazakhstan.
But war is nothing like he expected. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the surface. The genetics-the germline soldiers-are the key to winning this war, but some inventions can't be un-done. Some technologies can't be put back in the box.
Kaz will change everything, not least Oscar himself. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of adrenaline and drugs, Oscar doesn't find the war, the war finds him.
In an unspecified future, Oscar Wendell is a reporter for The Stars and Stripes. Strung out and uninspired, he sees the War as his last chance at making a name for himself.
Pulling the last string of influence his has, Oscar ends up assigned to the front line - or rather, underground - with the Marine’s and the genetic’s.
The Marine’s are hard core and see Oscar as a civilian irritant in the beginning. But Oscar quickly pulls his own weight - and before long he is more active participant than passive reporter.
Then the genetics show up - and they are beyond hard core. Engineered specifically for this war, the genetics, all female, all under eighteen years - live and die for the War.
Oscar is fascinated with the genetics - but they are taboo - looked upon as the ultimate weapon...not women.
Germline is the first book I have read by T C McCarthy and it was okay. I never connected with Oscar - he was not interesting to me, choosing to waste his life with drugs.
I was however, very interested in the genetics and would love to read more from their point of view. The next book in the series will do just that, Exogene, book 2 in the Subterrene War series is told from the POV of a genetic named Catherine and I am looking forward to reading it.
I give Germline 2 out of 5 stars.
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Orbit (August 1, 2011)