cover image The Never Wars

The Never Wars

David Pedreira. Blackstone, $26.99 (340p) ISBN 979-8-200-88406-3

For this well-crafted space adventure, Pedreira (Gunpowder Moon) masterfully meshes far-flung military sci-fi with sharp analysis of human personalities trapped in a century-spanning political maelstrom. In the far future, a new special forces unit comprising disgraced ex-troopers recruited from jails and exile and promised redemption is tasked with the potentially suicidal mission of orbiting a fearsome black hole 90 light-years from Earth, thus slowing down time and enabling them to fight in future wars against hostile alien empires. They must hit their targets—often with weapons and tactics that have become obsolete—and then disappear. The crew—among them canny former woodsman Owen Quarry, tracker Anaya Pretorius, and their defrocked commander Thaddeus Crooks—face one bloody battle after another, supported by their ship’s AI, Cog, who can appear in human form. The firefights and relationship dynamics ring equally true, and the clash of political orders and military discipline with individual moral conviction resounds with heartbreaking intensity. SF fans will find Pedreira’s mind-bender impossible to put down. Agent: David Fugate, Launch Books Literary. (Sept.)