The Hands We’re Given (Aces High, Jokers Wild Book 1) by O.E. Tearmann

Aidan Headly never wanted to be the man giving orders. That’s fine with the Democratic State Force base he’s been assigned to command: they don’t like to take orders.

Nicknamed the Wildcards, they used to be the most effective base against the seven Corporations owning the former United States in a war that has lasted over half a century. Now the Wildcards are known for creative insubordination, chaos, and commanders begging to be reassigned.
Aidan is their last chance. If he can pull off his assignment as Commander and yank his ragtag crew of dreamers and fighters together, maybe they can get back to doing what they came to do: fighting for a country worth living in.

Life’s a bitch. She deals off the bottom of the deck. But you play the hands you’re given.

Terence Vicker’s Review: 4.5-Stars

Year 2155. The world’s society is run by a group of corporations who exercise absolute control over the general population, even to the point of manipulating the DNA to ensure that everyone is a “good citizen. Your station in society is predetermined at birth by your ancestry and the conditioning you are subjected to from birth. Anyone who is ‘different’ in any way is subject to imprisonment, torture, and execution.

But there are those who are born and raised beyond the reach of the corps. Surviving in the desert by raiding the corps, stealing food and equipment, and eternally hiding from the corps drones which bomb their bases whenever they find them.

Commander Aidan Headly, new to Base 1407 has a challenge ahead of him when he takes over command of a rebel outpost which was once the best and most effective group. Base 1407 is unusual in that the personnel is permanently assigned to the unit rather than being rotated on a regular basis and have become a close-knit family. Until the death of their beloved Commander Quinn leaves them leaderless. A succession of experienced command has resulted in deteriorating morale, a multitude of disciplinary actions, and deteriorating performance.

Will Aidan in his first command position be able to win their trust and save the 1407 from being disbanded while keeping his own deep dark secret?

While I’m not a fan of LGBTQ stories the sex scenes are kept to a minimum and are not too graphic. I will admit that I skimmed over some of that in my eagerness to get back to the story. Not an action-packed adventure but there is enough to keep reading and the high tech intrigue is gripping. Well painted characters and their interpersonal relationships make this well worth the time to read, and leaves you looking forward to the next book in the series.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 4.8-Stars

The Hands We’re Given by O.E Tearmann was a fun read. I love the cover. It’s interesting and made me stop on the book while scrolling to find out more. I feel the writing is strong and full of good action that kept me turning the pages.

I don’t read a lot of cyberpunk, but this book may change my mind about that. There was a lot of great sci-fi, techy language, and stuff to plant me in the world and it was introduced beautifully. The world building is really good, and I felt like I was part of the book. I could easily envision everything. This dystopian, cyberpunk world is believable.

The story is about a troop of troubled military personal called The Wild Cards stationed on the fringes of society where they must hide where they live or risk being blown up by drones. Their commander dies and Aidan Headly is sent to get them back into the fold. I thought a little bit too much time was spent on Aidan’s feelings that he isn’t good enough to command, but once we got past that, the story flew by.

The characters are well-rounded and well done with great descriptions and flaws and dialog. The characters are of the LGBT community, and I thought the author did a splendid job of showing us their lives. This story has explicit sex scenes that were wonderfully done, so if you do not like to read sex scenes between same-sex couples, then you might want to skim by those, but over all — this is a great read.

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