I should have had more faith, considering how much I enjoy his Age of Fire books.
The setting is the Earth in the next several decades, after the sloppy conquest and ham-fisted rule of aliens who need humans for food. Pockets of resistance persist, but with the lower tech of a post-apocalyptic America.
The story is episodic, focussing on one volunteer soldier's training and early missions, while expanding our view of the setting.
And that's the book's real appeal and its real strength. The protagonist is a Peter Parker good guy and the villains are pretty much bullies, profiteers and alien monsters, both suitable for adventure fiction. But as the narrative travels around the central U.S., we get a larger and more complex picture of how the world has changed, how communities have changed, how people live inside the alien-dominated territory and outside--how they deal with being a conquered people and how they resist. Exploring the setting is a major part of the tingle I get from sf/f; it's the real appeal of this book for me, and why I'll be picking up the next.
Also, I couldn't put it down for the last 80 pages or so. Exciting stuff.
Thanks for holding the book-giveaway contest, eeknight. CAT PEOPLE is my favorite Lewton movie, too, although I really, really wanted to like ISLE OF THE DEAD.