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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Embers of War

Copyright 2018 by Gareth L. Powell

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this on the 13th May 2018.

Sal Konstanz is captain of the Trouble Dog. Her ship is an ex-warship now owned by the House of Reclamation to rescue survivors of space disasters. Her ship receives a Mayday message from the cruise ship "The Geest van Amsterdam" reporting that it is under attack.

Ona Sondak, a poet, is on "The Geest van Amsterdam". She survives both the initial attack, and the subsequent planet-fall. The attackers appear determined to kill all the passengers. Ona escapes the ship onto the planet's surface but on this planet there's not really anywhere to hide.

Can Ona, can anyone, be saved? To some people Ona is immensely important, not for the poet she is now but for who she used to be. That is not something Ona wishes to remember.

Jolly Good! Coincidently, I've read two novels about genocide and possible redemption in the past couple of weeks. this one and the astounding "Days of Cain"* by J.R. Dunn. "Embers of War" is not as powerful as Dunn's book, but I expect it 's not trying to be. Powell has penned a thrilling and moving adventure with characters that feel real and big ideas that leave you breathless with awe and excitement.

What's it got? AI, alien ruins, aliens, space battles and giant space armadas. And much, much more than that.

*Lost for fifteen years in a hidden silo, unearthed just last month with another fifty or so books.

Loaded on the 7th March 2020.
Cover of Embers of War
Cover art by Julia Lloyd

Reviews of other works by Gareth L. Powell:
The Recollection