Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Book Review: The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

Pros: brilliant world-building, interesting characters, challenging plot, thought provoking


Dietz joins the Tene-Silvia Corporate Corps after the Blink wanting to be a hero, wanting to make the Martians pay. But military life is hard and the combat drops that break soldiers down into light molecules to transport them to mission locations… change some of them. Dietz doesn’t always land at the right location, or with the right people. Dietz’s jumps also reveal that the war isn’t what they’ve been told. Can one be a hero if no one knows what’s right anymore?

This is an absolutely brilliant novel and I can understand why Hurley had such trouble writing it. There were times as a reader that I got confused as to when Dietz was in the timeline, I can only imagine how difficult it was as the author keeping who knew what, when, straight.

The world-building it top notch. This is a future where mega corporations rule and there are layers of citizenship. Dietz began life as a ghoul, living outside the corporation, living off of refuse, and gained residency status through their parents. But full citizenship requires service. Throughout the book you see how ingrained the idea of earning citizenship is held by full citizens, even those born into it who did nothing to earn their place. There’s a lot of thought provoking commentary here.

The characters are great. I loved that the first person perspective cloaked Dietz’s gender (until the end, when you learn their first name), and that the protagonists all seem to be fairly fluid in their sexualities (or at least, fairly open about their partners). Dietz starts off as hot-headed, stubborn, and not the smartest in the group, but is forced to learn - and learn fast - when things get tough.

It’s a brilliant fast paced novel that will keep you on your toes.

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