Monday, 14 June 2010



Three hundred years in our future, in a world of alien infiltrators, religious hackers, a vast convoying nation of Nomads, city sized orbital elevators, and a cyborg pirate king who believes himself to be a mythological demon Jakob is having a bad day: "Nothing gets in the way of a hangover like being reactivated by your old C.O and told to track down an alien killing machine. The same kind of killing machine that wiped out my entire squad. And now it's in my hometown. My name is Jakob Douglas, ex-special forces. I fought Them. Just like we've all been doing for 60 bloody years. But I thought my part in that was done with. My boss has other ideas. If I didn't find the infiltrator then he'd let the Grey Lady loose on me. And believe me; even They've got nothing on her. So I took the job. It went to shit even faster than normal. And now I'm on the run with this teenage hacker who's had enough of prostitution. The only people I can rely on want to turn the internet into God. And now it turns out that They aren't quite what we'd all thought. I've been to the bottom of the sea and the top of the sky and beyond trying to get to the truth. And I still can't get far enough away from the Grey Lady. All things considered I'd rather be back at home deep in a whiskey bottle." Veteran is a fast paced, intricately plotted violent SF Thriller set in a dark future against the backdrop of a seemingly never ending war against an unknowable and implacable alien enemy.


To be honest more a military title than a Sci-Fi one (although it is set in the future.) It is well written, the context pretty reasonable backed up with some solid pace alongside some descent dialogue. Add to the mix good character development and a spartanesque descriptiveness and its got some real backbone going for it. What didn’t help was my lack of caring for the principle protagonist which made this offering a struggle as without that element I really couldn’t get as involved with this title as it really does deserve which is a great shame. With luck the author will improve on this for his next title and give me something that I think the title was lacking but for a first novel, it goes to show that Gollancz is very good at talent spotting.

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