Thursday, June 21, 2012

God's War, by Kameron Hurley

Am between series right now, having finished Alex Benedict and soon to start Game of Thrones.  In the interlude I read God's War, by Kameron Hurley.  It is a very intense and inventive book, but be ready--it is as dystopian as they come, every hero is an anti-hero, and not a whole lot of hope for a happy ending.

Nyx is our lead anti-hero, a thoroughly hard-bitten war veteran and former bel dame--women who hunt down deserters and other rogues.  Umayma is a truly sad world, made habitable by insect-driven technology but being slowly destroyed by a very dirty holy war.  She and her team have a side, but basically travel between them.  Some of the setup impresses me as reversal for its own sake--in Nasheen women are the strong fighters, and Nyx's "love" (not really, but sort of) interest is a soft and graceful man.  But that's part of the war, as the other side is kind of the opposite.  And they're all being egged on by outside forces.  And so we meet all the characters, slogging along through the worn world, slugging it out between uncertain endings and the sad status quo ante.  Sounds too familiar.  In the end, I enjoyed it--good characters, good tension, kept me going.  Kameron Hurley has apparently had some close calls with death, her acknowledgements and bio mention it a lot, but I have not followed up with it on her blog.  Three stars for this one, though I would nearly give it four.  It didn't get the Nebula for 2011, but it was a worthy nominee.

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