Cry Havoc by Jack Hanson is a YA novel about interstellar warfare, the horrors of future-combat and teenage woes. There is little to remark about its cover art, except that Dean Sammed delivers another piece that is absolutely metal, as usual.
The world presented in the book is properly fleshed out (within the limits of space boot camp) and the author has added a lot of very appealing touches to the hundreds of races from all the length and breadths of his universe. From warmongering resurrected thunder lizards to motherly (if terrifying) ursine nurses, this novel has it all. The introduction into the meat of the action, however, is slow and with a lot of buildup which mostly deals with teenage issues that didn’t really touch me as a reader.
Cry Havoc is a teenage military SF novel, through and through. While Jack Hanson has engineered the book to appeal to the adult readership with a sweet tooth toward space opera, the novel is completely devoted to appealing to a teenage reader base, which makes it for a strange mix. While the combat scenes and a lot of the specifics of this Type-II civilization military hierarchy intrigues me, I was at times curious as to how this would resonate with a 15-year old reader.
So if you are new to SF and are aching to try the concept of military science fiction, then this 217-page novel is a great starting point. While I could not recommend it to older, more impatient, readers the second-half of the book contains a lot of great military action scenes that you will certainly enjoy.