Tuesday, 12 July 2011

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: No Man's World 2: The Ironclad Prophecy - Pat Kelleher

Release Date: 12/07/11


It has been three months since the 13th Battalion of the Pennine Fusiliers vanished from the Somme and found
themselves stranded on an alien world, and their trenches have become the target for vengeful Khungarrii attacks. Corporal ‘Only’ Atkins and his Black Hang Gang, along with a captured Khungarrii, are sent out in the tank, Ivanhoe, on the trail of Jeffries, the impostor many hold responsible for their plight. While the encampment faces an alien threat, the search party discover an ancient edifice, hiding a secret that will tear the Battalion apart... As the Pennines fight for their lives against the mounting horrors of No Man’s World, their only hope for survival – and a way home – lie in the psychotropic fuel-addicted crew of the Ivanhoe... and its increasingly insane commander!


When I read the original novel by Pat, I fell in love with the concept, after all English Tommy’s from the First World War, transported to an alien planet where they fight Giant Bugs as well as the indigenous flora is a great combo. Add to this a writing style that would at home in the old Battle Comics, great dialogue and a world of imagination ripe for the picking (or to be picked as the case may be.)

Yet what really makes this title is the characters, yes with the WW1 troops there’s a limited amount but that’s what makes this so gripping as each trooper lost is one that strikes the reader deeply, the author has plenty of time to concentrate on making them your friends and when its blended with high cost stakes makes this very hard to put down.

Finally add to the mix a twisted overall arc that centres around a Crowleyesque type figure who is out for revenge against everyone with his own deep dark twisted agenda and it’s a title that is a top notch addition to an already inventive world. I do suspect that with Abaddon someone else will end up playing there in the future but where these troops will arrive from is anyone’s guess. Marauding Vikings who sailed into a mist? The Legendary Ninth Legion who disappeared? The possibilities are endless. Great stuff.

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