Release Date: 24/08/11
A hundred years from now, Russia and the USA are at odds again. This time, the cold war has gone hot. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the icy, mineral rich mountains of Kazakhstan. War is Oscar Wendell's ticket to greatness. A reporter for the Stars and Stripes, he has the only one way ticket to the front lines. The front smells of blood and fire and death - it smells like a Pulitzer. But Kaz changes people and the chaos of war feels a bit too much like home. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of drugs and adrenaline, Oscar starts down a dark road that he won't be able to turn back from.
Science Fiction is a genre that encompasses a whole range of subjects and is almost as widespread as the universe itself. So when an author writes a title it’s pretty much like Forest Gump’s proverbial box of chocolates as you’re never quite sure that you’re going to get.
What TC McCarthy does in this, his first title is bring a novel that is part Joe Haldeman, part Sven Hassel and of course a story of survival as we fight for scraps of resources’ by shedding lives as if they were worthless. Its dark, it has a huge body count but it’s the characters that keep you coming back for more as you hope that many of them survive against the odds. Add to this a decent authorly voice that is pretty unique, decent prose and a breakneck pace and it allows the full depth of the war to eek into the readers brain as they seek the solace of the quiet moments to reflect upon what has gone before. Finally add to this a wonderful sense of character development with Oskar and overall it’s not only a solid outing for a new author but an excellent start to a writing career. I really will look forward to seeing what TC comes up with next.