Hugo winner Hurley’s second futuristic novel (after The Stars Are Legion) is a smart, brutal, and structurally sophisticated military science fiction tale with a time travel twist. Infantry recruit Dietz is a “ghoul,” someone who’s denied access to basic social benefits provided by the squabbling megacorporations that dominate the solar system. After Martian separatists destroy her city, she enlists as a corporate military grunt. Dietz is broken down into light particles and beamed into combat zone after combat zone. But unlike her squadmates, she begins experiencing her combat drops—and the entire war—out of order. Hurley’s time travel mechanics are intricate but never alienating, and they perfectly serve this story of “poor ageless grunts” caught in war’s unending loop. Much of the drama comes from Dietz’s growing disillusionment with the war, and her heartbreaking camaraderie with squadmates whose deaths she has already experienced. Like Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, this book is both a gripping story of future warfare and an incisive antiwar fable. Readers will savor this striking novel’s ambitious structure and critique of rapacious, militarized capitalism. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Assoc. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/26/2018 Release date: 03/19/2019 Genre: Fiction
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