I'm back from a short absence now, and there's quite a bit coming up on Drying Ink. I'll firstly be reviewing Contra Alliance - with reviews of Mark Charan Newton's rather excellent City of Ruin, as well as Iain M. Bank's Inversions coming up in the week. I've also got a few other features planned: I'll be reviewing Matt Hughes, author of the excellent The Damned Busters - which I've also reviewed on the blog. If you've got any suggestions for me, just email or comment below!
But first, review time:
Well, you've seen the obvious SF cue along with the rest of us: though the setting is relatively near-future, alien involvement - on both sides - is imminent. The narrative is focused around the Blues of the CONTRA group, but also around an ex-member, codenamed Battlestar, dismissed from the organization. Although the novel isn't primarily character-driven, I have to say that none of the central protagonists particularly stood out in the modern genre, filled with characters such as Miles Vorkosigan. Nevertheless, if you don't mind a few archetypes and relatively little time devoted to development, but prefer to focus on detailed military conflict, you may well enjoy Contra Alliance.
With regard to the writing itself, the novel is again solid! Although a frequent inclusion, there is a lot of overt exposition, which might have been integrated more fluidly - again though, it does help to give the book a very rapid start, so it's not all bad. I have to admit that I prefer more character-driven military SF, but that's very subjective - if you're up for an introduction to a version of our near-future universe, with a nicely-integrated endeavour (no more 'America saves the world alone'), then Contra Alliance may well be the book for you!
You can find Contra Alliance on Amazon: as an ebook (Contra Alliance: Shadows of the Past (The Contra Alliance Trilogy) or hardcover (Contra Alliance: Shadows of the Past (The Contra Alliance Trilogy, Book One)
Have you read this book, or just have something to say? Comment below with any ideas, suggestions, or general insults. :P
So long, and thanks for all the books
2 years ago