If I'd been a little younger, this would be where I'd be saying Oh. My. God. Maybe even OMG. Because reading this book is simply one of those experiences which will stay with me for a long, long time. Wow.
I'm talking about the Special Forces trilogy (Soldiers, Mercenaries I/II, and Veterans) by Aleksandr Voinov and Marquesate. Almost 3,400 pages, and it was way too short. I've been reading extra slowly this entire week, desperately trying to stretch the last two hundred pages or so because I really, really didn't want it to end. I've been living in these two guys' world for weeks now, and I can't bear to part ways.
It's a really harsh story in many ways; the saga about two soldiers on each side during the Cold War. As a matter of fact, many readers will probably balk at the violence and misery in it; consider yourself warned. What drew me into the story was the very real, very raw feeling in it - and the incredibly well done characterization. These men are soldiers, flawed and damaged and intriguing, and they aged and developed over twenty-five years. It's an impressive accomplishment.
And did I mention that the story is free? Yes, it's hard to believe, but it is. You can find it on Aleksandr Voinov's page and on Marquesate's page. Beware: The point of view is jumpy, which made me dizzy in the beginning. Stick with it anyway; it's totally worth it.
Now I have to drag myself out of this universe and back into my own reality.
I read and I write - everything from corporate to kink. My naughty fictional friends are always there to make my life interesting. And pester me, of course. Pesky creatures.