In the far-flung future, Earth is under constant siege by the myriad military threats of the larger cosmos. Only a few battle-hardened groups of the US Army Special Forces hold up the interplanetary fight against mercenaries, villains, and invaders. On the planet Dixie, one such group holds the line with the help of the legendary Gray Panthers, with an Earth official to save and a population ravaged by war and disease to defend. It’s time for the Panthers to break out the guns and save humanity once again in the third book of the Gray Panthers series, Gray Panthers: Dixie by David Guenther.
The new cover supplied on Amazon is gorgeous, with just enough questionable content to get a reader curious and asking questions like “why is a lion holding a space rifle?” It’s not a technically excellent cover by any means, and that’s sort of what makes it so appealing; exactly the same as the book in its entirety.
Gray Panthers: Dixie isn’t dull and drudgery, nor is it clownish and ridiculous, but balanced beautifully between the two in a uniquely enjoyable and fast-paced space adventure manner. There’s a nice amount of variation in and distinction between the main characters and a heart-thumping mission for them to jump into, and frankly that’s all that needs to be said. There’s a lot of action, some compelling intrigue, and a non-stop ride with a lot of enemy casualties. Obviously this is not a series to be taken entirely seriously, and hard-line sci-fi devouts are going to have grievances across the board with the many tiny plot-holes that build over time.
The layout and formatting of the text has not been edited appropriately for the eBook format, even in the most recent Kindle version, which seems strange as this is the third book in a series to reach a storefront. This might be a comparatively small detail to bring up if not married with the awkward, stilted grammar and wording that pervades the read. The series is, according to a dedication, not written by a native English speaker, and it unfortunately shows very clearly. It’s a shame as the book is very decent for what it is overall and simply ironing out the creases with the language transition and formatting would cure a lot of what plagues the read.
Gray Panthers takes what made old pulp sci-fi titles great and plays it just as sincerely, yet with just enough of a sense of humor that you can forgive a lot of its shortcomings. It should be obvious at first glance if you’ll enjoy the book or not, and for those who think not, at least give it a few pages to sink its teeth into you! Guns blaring, space cats roaring, Dixie is one heck of a decent romp and well worth the time spent digging into it.