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Hard Drop

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An elite unit of high-altitude drop troops is deployed on a world engulfed in a brutal civil war. Their objective is classified, marked only by coordinates leading them into a deserted city at the heart of the fighting.

From the beginning, everything possible goes wrong. A missile strike rocks the carrier mid-launch, and only a fraction of the unit reaches the surface alive.

Outmanned, outgunned, and scattered, with a hard deadline to orbital bombardment looming, it is up to Drop Commander Tyco Hale to rally his troops and reach their objective. But what they find, hidden deep in the tunneled passages under the city, will change everything about what he fights for and what he believes in. With the unit in tatters and loyalties divided, the choice he makes in the dark will seal all of their fates - and much more besides.

254 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 20, 2013

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About the author

Will van der Vaart

2 books9 followers
Will van der Vaart is a science fiction enthusiast and indie science fiction writer. After five years in the LA film and television industry, he began writing novels, novellas, and short stories instead of screenplays. Hard Drop, his first science fiction novel, is based on a script shortlisted for the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship, and is the first in the Hard Drop Series.

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Community Reviews

5 stars
56 (23%)
4 stars
64 (26%)
3 stars
70 (28%)
2 stars
45 (18%)
1 star
7 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Ian.
176 reviews2 followers
June 4, 2014
I give this book two star rating. It is the type of Sci-Fi I enjoy; military team goes into impossible situation and pulls it off. The premise of drop troopers is good, the writing is great, but it lacks that spark to make it an exceptional work.

I found the central character flat. The supporting characters have more life and personality then Tyco. The scientist they find halfway through the book has more depth and breadth then Tyco. I assume we are supposed to view him as a detached, tired, leader who is world weary. I found it one dimensional.

The secret weapon system is novel. The interaction is fascinating and I wish more of the book focused on the MAP-11 system. The parts where Chip and MAP-11 work in tandem was the highlight of the later chapters and the intelligence implied in the system had some real potential.

Finally, Flip was more of a distraction then a positive. Yes, other authors have the spoiler character working cross purposes to the main group. Other then saving the main group, her character doesn’t add to the story and doesn’t get resolved. It feels like the author needed to write in a savior character and then went back and did just that.
Profile Image for David Bland.
37 reviews1 follower
December 29, 2014
This book is like an action movie. If you don't pay to much attention to the details, it can be a lot of fun. Hard Drop follows a future military team, and their ill-fated "orbital insertion" mission gone wrong. The team remnants link up at the rally point, and move on to the objective. Along the way, it's a fun ride for the reader, but the devil is in the details. Poor grammar and punctuation at times mar the experience. It's not a HUGE flaw, but there were several points where a missing comma, or misspelled word made me stop and have to puzzle out the meaning. I believe this is a self published effort, and it would be well served by some editing. But, it's available from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library for free, and it was a fun read. So, I recommend it, given the reservations above.
Profile Image for Mike Carss.
Author 1 book2 followers
October 23, 2013
3.5/5 stars rounded up.

A fun action/adventure story involving a ragtag group of troopers, unfortunately marred by some grammar and spelling issues. The first few chapters are excellently written, and for a self-published title, greatly impressed me. However the rest of the book could've been improved by another draft or two. It gave me the impression that the beginning was professionally edited, whereas the rest was not.

That said, it's an easy read. I loved the lead character, Tyco, and would easily follow him into battle.
Profile Image for James Wright.
2 reviews
August 16, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. The military action is believable, the sci-fi and tech is within the realm of reason.

The guts of this book are the hard questions that pop up for Hale. Is it worth it? Does our sacrifice make anything better?

I look forward to the next book in the series. The book starts with a glimpse into Hale's past but doesn't really let you know how he got to where he was.
2 reviews
May 7, 2014
Good read.

Good read.

was a good book, I wouldn't mind reading more about Mr. Hale and his adventures. it's always interesting to read different authors views on the future of mankind.
Profile Image for V.L. Stuart.
Author 3 books5 followers
January 25, 2020
If you like constant war filled with cartoon soldiers this is your book. If you want real people try something else.

4 reviews
January 16, 2021
Painful read

It doesn't make much sense. There are much better books out there. I'd love for amazon to explain why they have a minimum word count.
Profile Image for Colin MacNeil.
4 reviews
August 27, 2015
The version on Kindle Unlimited has some really terrible editing issues (grammar, typos, frequently repeated words, confusing or brain-dead descriptions of action scenes). The writing is otherwise passable but, ultimately, not very enjoyable. Characters are cardboard cut outs while their actions and motivations are a bit bizarre. If some of the above were addressed it would be an enjoyable, light read. It's obvious the story began as a screenplay and would have worked better as a dumb action movie with aspirations.
78 reviews
January 13, 2014
I have read many reviewers comparing the book to a video game and it seems like an accurate description. Could have been a mission in one of the Halo games! Not bad though but not much in the way of character development. You also have no idea of the situation outside this little planet. And finally, some editing problem and some confusion when it comes to vehicle - going from truck to APC to jeep in one page. The main character is likable enough though even if we don't know much about him.
108 reviews2 followers
March 21, 2016
Have a hard time with military science fiction that mixes up ranks and can't get them straight. To make it even worse, the author committed the cardinal sin, IMHO, of having the main character who is an NCO, constantly called Cap or Captain by his troops. No real NCO that I've known would tolerate that for even a nanosecond. Don't waste your time
317 reviews3 followers
March 12, 2015
Dark and intense

Pretty intense action with a dark edge. The characters were a bit stereotypical. Had some trouble following the story line at times and too many of the good guys die.
2 reviews3 followers
March 4, 2013
Solid, character-driven shoot-em-up science fiction, reads like the original Starship Troopers with some Halo thrown in. Really solid self-published outing.
1 review1 follower
April 11, 2013
I really enjoyed this book, he's a great new author. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series when he finishes it!
16 reviews
April 18, 2015
Fast paced action

Good story, reasonable character development. Space Marines on far off planets
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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