An author friend recommended I check out this title by another of his contacts. I scanned it and thought it seemed really interesting and so I picked up the first three books, plus audible for less than eight bucks. The first book of the Merkiaari Wars (Hard Duty) really does set a broad platform which gives the series a lot of room to play in a hard SF setting. Cooper does a good job with the pieces given the size of the sandbox he’s playing in. Many authors spread things out too thin, trying to be the next George R.R. Martin, Cooper isn’t that guy and all the pieces work independently and cohesively.
I would compare his writing style to Stephen King, though. Some people will like that; it’s the only weakness that I would levy against Cooper’s writing. King tends to wax passive and digressive at times as his way of inserting pages of backstory in the middle of the larger story… Stephen King “Rambles.” That said–Cooper is not so bad and there are many positives to the comparison. Unlike King, Cooper doesn’t slip into an eloquent backstory in the middle of conflict scenes (sorry, I’m still angry over how long the whole Blaine the Train whose a pain initial encounter took to get through in Gunslinger).
I’d recommend picking up the series, starting with Hard Duty–I give it 4/5 stars: Checkout a great deal at the Merkiaari Wars on Amazon!