Mecha Corps by Brett Patton
Matt Lowell could have his pick of jobs, but instead he has chosen to join the elite Mecha Corps. But Matt and his fellow trainees must first make it through boot camp before becoming full Cadets. Matt seems to have a natural talent for hooking up to the “Mecha” robotic machines that were built to fight the Union’s enemy – the Corsair. And Matt has one goal in mind, joining the Mecha Corp to hunt down and kill his father’s murderer, one of the Corsair pirates.
Patton’s future worldbuilding has Earth as just one of many inhabited worlds where the Union is the stable government, and the Corsairs are mysterious but deadly raiders, leaving devastation wherever they go. The Mecha are interesting creations that involve a person controlling the large machine from the inside and connecting with their mind – a sort of real-life virtual reality scenario.
Matt is on a mission of vengeance, but he’s not as single minded as he’d like to be. He is constantly distracted by a beautiful fellow cadet, Michelle. While Matt’s character is well-developed, his infatuation for Michelle is a bit immature as he never gets to know her yet falls hard for her. It seems to be more competition than anything, as Matt sees rich, brash Kyle making moves on her which creates jealousy.
Mecha Corps is a fun, fast-paced science fiction adventure. With colorful characters and an exciting plot, this story was hard to put down. This first novel in a continuing series show plenty of promise. While this novel is a successful standalone, with a satisfying conclusion, there is plenty of room for more story and a few unanswered questions.