I found The Light Birgade on my Kindle the other week, but couldn’t for the life of me remember buying this book. Eager for a break from Space Marines, I picked this up… Only to find it was more Space Marines, just this time Heinlein style starship troopers instead of Games Workshop licensees.
Well, that’s not quite fair. There’s nods to the Verhoeven classic (the novel starts with Sao Paulo being blown up by aliens, for goodness’ sake) but these are corporate soldiers fighting Martians, and they are teleported around after being turned into photons.
And there’s a whole bunch of terribly didactic speech about how corporations are bad and we should rise up and also war is hell and time travel is confusing and…
… At the end, the author thanks somebody for making a diagram for her so she could ensure the plot works properly. I didn’t feel the plot was ever really made clear enough that we could tell if it was internally consistent, or if it even needed to be. Protagonist bounces around in time, there’s nobody to really care about among the generic grunts, and the big twist/emotional payoff at the end just left me cold. But perhaps I’m heartless and cruel and have no poetry in my soul.
In total, this felt like it should have been a novella and not a full book. There just wasn’t enough to justify the extra length. Or I prefer the existential discussions that play out amongst Games Workshop Space Marines to the socialist democratic /corporatism /anticorporatist ones I got here.