Live Free or Die

I heard about this book because it is loosely based as the contact story in the Schlock Mercenary universe.  Interesting book that does some fun stuff with the idea of what will happen when we finally do meet the aliens.

Book Stats

548 Pages

Science Fiction

First in the Troy Rising series


The book centers on Tyler Vernon, a little man with big ideas.  He is a web-cartoonist who falls into favor with aliens who were fans of his comic.  Interesting set-up for a book and it’s fun to watch where the author takes it.


The book is set in modern day, but then goes about 20 years into the future, and what a future it turns out to be.  The book starts in the northeastern part of North America and talks about how Vernon meets with the aliens and proceeds to create the entirety of humanities space program (hint, invest in Maple Syrup).  The scale of the book expands constantly throughout the entire story, but it moves at a good pace and is grounded by a lot of science.  While there is a lot of science, it is still very readable and never overwhelms the overall story, it just adds to the scope because the science backs up all of the claims that the story makes.


The first aliens to come in contact with humans are the Glatun, and they are very peaceful and friendly.  The second aliens, the Horvath, not so much.  Vernon finds what seems to be the only tradable commodity that Earth has with the rest of the galaxy and proceeds to create a monopoly on it.  He even manages to keep it from the Horvath and uses it to launch a very successful trading business with the Glatun.  As his business expands, he has grandiose plans to free humanity from the wrath of the Horvath.


This book was a lot of fun to read and had a lot of fun parts to it.  The scope of the story begins very small and expands until you’re reading about technology and power output that on Earth at the moment we can’t even fathom creating, but is bound in science and works well.  There were a couple of references to Schlock Mercenary that I noticed in the book which made me laugh, and I’m sure there were a couple that I missed (I haven’t read all 11 years of the backlog of the comic yet).

Overall Grade

Fun story that is grounded in science but focuses on a fun central character.


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