I think I mentioned a while back, I was looking forward to seeing your take on Triple Zero. I've got to say your review is pretty much word for word the score I would give it.
As I'm getting older, I've abandoned my habit of finishing even crappy books. But this one I did finish, only because of the respect I had for Hard Contact. That respect for Hard Contact was intensified by:
the fact that RC:HC was a good book despite being a Star Wars:EU book.
the fact that RC:HC was a damn good book for a video game adaptation.
the fact that RC:HC worked as a great military sci-fi book in a space opera universe without name dropping canon players.
And then we have Triple Zero. We get a primary protagonist of Kal Skirata, a character almost as annoying as Jar Jar. We have a few cringe-worthy mentions of classic characters, (I mention one where the Mandalorian-wannabe Jedi was talking about Obi-Wan Kenobi, all while we were supposed to be awestruck with the thought of a jedi in Mando armor). We have Karen Traviss putting Darman on a back burner, and focusing on the love lives of the other clones. In Hard Contact, the emerging love between Darman and Etain Turducken was a cool notion; two types of people, as alien as they were human, who should be unable to feel love, find it anyway. It was Nicholas Sparks meets Star Wars but by God it worked. In Triple Zero, it just sucked.
Plus, as mentioned before, we get Skirata. We get Walon Vau and his Wonder Cat. We have, as you mentioned, a nondescript terrorist cell. In the final confrontation, there seemed so little commando work. The commando force had virtually the same numbers as the terrorists.
Delta Force was pretty cool, and could've highlighted their own book. Crammed in with Omega, it was just too much. The action scenes are still written with good technical skill.
The book itself was graced with a pretty sweet cover.
However, considering the drop in quality between the first and second books, coupled with the fact that Traviss will not be finishing the series, I doubt I will even bother to move on to True Colors.
Excellent review. Crappy book.