I was both excited and nervous to find a new "Greenies" story. Excited, because I've re-read all of the Greenies material a couple of times now - I'm a bit of a fan! - and it was great to find something else set in that universe. Nervous because you can never tell what will happen when someone else dips into a universe that holds together really well.
I'm pleased to say that Douglas Fox has done the series proud. This story is set during the start of WWIII in 2013 (a bit odd to find that the Chinese had invaded Canada & the US a month ago...!) and follows a soldier, separated from the main body of US forces, as he makes his way through Chinese-occupied western Canada in order to re-join the US troops. He's joined by a young, flighty girl who has to grow up very suddenly.
Part adventure yarn, part coming-of-age, part future history, the author has put together a really engaging tale that kept me riveted throughout.
The story doesn't really enrich the Greenies timeline in any other way that providing a flavour of the very start of things - though the first mention of the "Westhem" military alliance gave me shivers! - but I don't think that was the goal. If I have a critique, it's that the denouement drags on a bit... but the pay-off is that every character's story is wrapped up satisfactorily.
Give this a go - if you haven't read the Greenies stories, you won't really be at a disadvantage - most of them take place many years or centuries after this tale. But if you haven't read the Greenies stories, go immediately to Al Steiner's page right after this story and check them out!
There's some sex in the story, well placed plot-wise, but perhaps a bit fumbling and realistic to be truly hot! Grammatically I didn't notice any errors at all, so kudos to author and editor.