Okay, so I remember buying and reading this book in around 2000ish at a secondhand/used bookstore near my house. But, I unfortunately don't remember the name and the author of this novel. I want to basically read the book again and finish it this time. Since, back then I couldn't complete the last few chapters because school was starting and I had gotten busy.
Basically, the novel is set around the sixties. But, the catch here is that it follows an alternative history than our real world history. The novel follows the view point of a United States soldier named Collins(or something like that. I unfortunately don't remember his full name.). And it is also revealed by him(through his inner monologues) in the first chapter, while he and couple of other soldiers are on their way to the Moon, that Space Race was used as a cover up by both the US and the Soviets military for the deployment of their military forces in space. It is also revealed that sometime during the mid fifties a meteor crashed on earth. And this meteor contained some sort of "liquid-metal" substance, which enabled both the US and Soviets to secretly build highly advance vehicles with amazing properties. One of the prime example given out by Collins is using the "liqud-metal" substance to build Hover Tanks. It is also revealed that all of this is kept a secret from the public(both in the US and Russia).
After Collins and his platoon land on the Moon it is revealed that there is already a small military base being built near the dark side of the moon. It is also explained that the purpose for the US army pushing to reach the Moon and setting up a base on Moon was because of the "liquid-metal" substance also being found on the Moon. The story then skips to 4 months later. We find out that construction of base is now almost complete. And we also learn that Collins and his platoon had been undergoing training with the new state of the art military Hover Tanks. Their routine task involved patrolling the outpost and escorting the research and engineering team to collect the "liquid-Metal".
Later on, as the story progresses, the American forces are forced off the Moon due to a surprise assault from the Soviets and the US soldiers lacking combat experience regarding the new Hover Tanks results in the loss of their main base. The US forces are able to successfully evacuate and relocate to Mars, but the Soviets are already there. As a result small assaults from both sides ensue on. Eventually, Both sides are able to locate some alien artifacts, with the Americans also finding an alien factory.The long-dead alien race that created the "liquid-metal" is also identified as the Cthonians, who inhabited a planet that is now the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is found out that they visited Earth on several occasions, thus influencing Greek mythology.The Americans and Soviets also learn of an ultimate weapon called the "Chimera" and head to Venus to learn more about it. After arriving on Venus they are able to figure out(by excavating a Cthonians archaeological site.) that they need to find just 2 alien "devices" that can be used to make the "Chimera" weapon. One of the device is revealed to be located in Venus it self near a Volcanic site. A very huge battle ensues between the Americans and the Soviets forces. The Americans are able to come out as the victors.
The Americans move onto Jupiter's moon IO for the final Device. But, not all of the US forces are sent to IO. Some of the forces are held back in Venus and the majority of the US Forces are placed in the Orbit of Jupiter. Collins and his platoon are sent to IO to get the alien device. Collins and his platoon reach before the Soviets. And they are able to locate and get the final alien device. But, while on their way back they are ambushed and outnumbered by a Soviet Special forces unit due to couple of scientist defecting to the soviets and along with the 2 devices.
The American forces then plan on assaulting the Main Soviets base. But, they don't know where exactly is the location of the soviets main base. So, in order to figure out Collins and his platoon are deployed to Europa and are ordered to steal a Soviet recon tank and tap into their communications network. Collins and his platoon manage to tap into the Soviets Communication Network. Doing so reveals to the Americans the Soviets main base which is located on Saturn's moon, Titan.
Collins and his Platoon are then Ordered to Hold Back on Europa, while the Main Assault Forces orbiting near Jupiter is sent to Titan to destroy the Soviets Main Base. Collins and the rest of the US forces sometime later learn via a distress call from the Main force that was deployed in Titan was almost completely destroyed. Collins and his platoon are then sent out to Titan to rescue some of their surviving soldiers. It is here that they learn that the Soviets were able to recreate the ultimate weapon 'Chimeras' by infusing the materials found from the relics and also the "liquid-Metal", into the blood of some of their Soldiers. But, 'Chimeras' become self aware and realize that the sole purpose of their existence is to destroy all life in the Universe. So, they quickly turn on their creator i.e the Soviets. Although the Soviets suffer a large blow to their forces they are able to escape and request forming an alliance with US forces in order take out the Chimeras. Also, the 'Chimeras' after turning on their Creators they mysteriously blast off from Titan.
The Americans and the Soviets then regroup and decide to launch a final desperate assault on Chimeras before the Chimeras can amass and become stronger. After a few weeks of reconnaissance the Americans and Soviets discover that the 'Chimeras' fled to one of the Moons of Uranus, called Titania. And upon further orbital reconnaissance they find out that the 'Chimeras' are producing more 'Chimera' like beings. So, the Americans and Soviets then decide they must destroy the 'Chimeras' production factory and their Main Base, before the 'Chimeras' assault force can grow larger. But, the problem is the Main Base is located on Sycorax and whereas the Production Factory is located on Titonia. So, they are forced to divide their already smaller force into two smaller forces. Collins and his force are given the Task destroying the Production Factory in Titania while the rest of the forces assaults the Main 'Chimera' base in Sycorax.
It is shown that the Main Protagonist and all the other soldiers are shown to be really stressed out and worried. Because, they are the only last line of defense.
I read the novel till there only. I missed the ending. I wish I could remember the name of the novel so that I can complete it and find out what happened in the end.