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Publisher's Summary

Before Avalon, before the Fall of the Empire, Edward Stalker was a young man growing up in Earth's Undercity - a nightmarish rabbit warren of tiny apartments dominated by gangs who loot, rape, and murder with impunity. When his family is killed in a gang attack, Ed takes the opportunity to run to the one place that will take him: the Terran Marine Corps. But becoming a marine isn't easy, and Ed will find himself pushed to the limits, surviving a training program designed to weed out everyone but the best before he learns what it means to be a Terran Marine....

©2015 Christopher G. Nuttall (P)2016 Podium Publishing

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  • Jean
  • 18-03-2016

The Back Story on Stalker

This is book eleven in the Empire Corp Series. The series opened with Edward Stalker and his company being deployed to Avalon. In this episode Nuttall has decided to give us the back story of Stalker’s early life. Stalker was born on Earth in the under city, the home of the poor. He was disgusted with school and ready to graduate; his brother was attempting to recruit Stalker into a gang. Stalker decided he wanted out; to get away, move someplace. From school he finds information regarding military recruiters, he reads about the various services and thinks this might be a way out for him. The family was eating dinner one evening when a gang raids the apartment and kills everyone but Stalker. Stalker then heads to the Marine recruiting center and joins. Nuttall proceeds to tell the story of Stalker life in basic training, the Slaughterhouse and to his first deployment.

Nuttall is constantly improving his writing skills; it is enjoyable to watch the development of a writer. Nuttall has created some very interesting characters and it’s pleasant to learn the back story of the key people. The story is a straight forward basic training type of story with suspense and action along with some humor. Jeffrey Kafer does an excellent job narrating this series.

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  • Trudy Owens
  • 25-02-2016

Now THIS is what we have been waiting for!

Ooh-rah! Love this addition. This is prequel, but that's just fine since you can't write too much about Ed Stocker. Here's to many more from Avalon and on.

This is back to the basics, back to what we love about this series, back to the Marines, back to Ed Stocker. Here we get his history with the hardships of boot camp, the grueling ordeal of the Slaughterhouse, and the depressing deployments to try to bring order to a few outposts of civilization. Here is the gluttony of the obese empire and its military, and the first indications of its downfall. All the idiocy and incompetence of the armchair generals, but also the tremendous capacity of the few reasonable, well-trained soldiers who know how things really are and should be. Truly, if not for these last honorable men and women, the empire would surely have completely imploded.

But we have this, one of the last groups to go through the slaughterhouse, then out into the vast reaches of the diseased, dying monstrosity that is humanity.

We know somewhat of these stories since they have been alluded to in the series, but here is the gutsy, gritty, even gory background to Avalon, even before Han, when Ed Stocker grows from boy to man, and decides who and what he will be. Here is what we all hope we can be if pushed to extremes.

We see all the negativity, and the deserved destruction of the decadent population, but also the honor, the heroism, and the brotherhood that is the Marines. Even though Earth's billions are doomed, and the other planets of humanity are in upheaval, we are grateful that Man's finest qualities are preserved in these few, the proud, the Marines.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-07-2016

I just don't like pre-quels.

The story was good, but it shouldn't have come so late in the series, I keep hoping for a resumption of the original story line, the Battle for Avalon.

1 person found this helpful

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  • William
  • 28-10-2020

Should be book number.0.5

enjoyed, should be book number 0.5 due to it being a intro to one of the main characters.

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  • T.
  • 16-05-2020

Former Sgt. USMC Combat in Somalia and Iraq

Christopher Nuttall definitely describes boot camp and the bond you form extremely well. Many times I wanted to quit but pushed through. He explains the feelings you have from disorientation at the beginning to the confidence at graduation. The Eagle, Globe & Anchor is never give, always earned. Obviously there was no slaughterhouse but it did parallel the advance schools you attend in the fleet. I’m glad Stalker’s boot camp experience was added to the series of books. Semper Fi

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  • David
  • 18-08-2019

Not His Best

The book adds little to the story and seems a bit short. I still enjoyed the listen but wanted more.

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  • Dan Miller
  • 04-08-2018

Irrelevant

This might have made a good volume 1, but at this point in the series, seems like a waste of time. The Empire’s Corp series is excellent, but this particular volume can be skipped.

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  • john
  • 28-01-2018

Can't stop listening to the books.

I have several other books in my library. But I listen to these first. ALWAYS.

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  • jeff j froehlich
  • 19-02-2017

Bloody politics.

Real politic, from the boardroom to the blood and guts. Semper Fu... good shit. Outstanding author/voice actor combo.

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  • William
  • 07-02-2017

awesome origin story

this was a great story about stalker beginning in the corp. I hope there is another one like it focusing on Belinda Lawson story. these books are great!

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  • vladimir
  • 09-03-2016

If you love Empires Corps Don't buy

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Very munday no story, absolutely nothing to do with Avalon story or the empire, just some Cln stalker back story, with out any story, completer tripe. I love the Serious and loved majority of the books and the Saga of about Avalon but this is utter crap. Had to force my self to listen to the end hoping it would turn around and be good... but no :-(

Has First to Fight put you off other books in this genre?

Not sure if i can trust the author to provide a good development and seems like, it just run of out a good plots.

Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Kafer’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Jeffrey Wafer's performance was outstanding as usual.

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  • SLAPER-1
  • 23-02-2016

Loved it

As good as the rest of the series and would highly recommend it, looking forward to the next one

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  • Alisha park
  • 31-08-2020

Decent

Another decent and thought provoking story. Enjoyable and well thought out and laid out. A joy to read from beginning to the end. Thank you.

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  • tails
  • 10-11-2016

Not the best

Have to say this is far from the best book in the set
felt the author lost his way with the tail

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  • allan
  • 14-06-2016

excellent

excellent book slow day long and kept me entertained from the first page to the last

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  • shane
  • 03-03-2016

One of the best

loved the back story to one of my favorite characters of this series can't wait for more this was by far one the best in series

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  • james
  • 26-02-2016

more players

I thought it was a brilliant book and would like the hear more of this book thank you

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  • eric
  • 03-05-2016

Rubbish really absolute garbage

Just a long boring ramble was there any point to this book at all .

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  • mk
  • 25-03-2016

Not the best

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Disappointing

What could Christopher G. Nuttall have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

It's not consistent with the tech advances in the first books of the series. Where have all the implants and implanted weapons gone? The last few books have been lazy if ask me.

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