Publication Date: September 26th From Orbit
Source: Review Copy
The first novel in a brand-new series from rising SF star Jamie Sawyer, The Eternity War: Pariah is an action-packed adventure set in the same universe as his acclaimed Lazarus War novels.
The soldiers of the Simulant Operations Programme are mankind’s elite warriors. Veterans of a thousand battles across a hundred worlds, they undertake suicidal missions to protect humanity from the insidious Krell Empire and the mysterious machine race known as the Shard.
Lieutenant Keira Jenkins is an experienced simulant operative and leader of the Jackals, a team of raw recruits keen to taste battle. They soon get their chance when the Black Spiral terrorist network seizes control of a space station.
Yet no amount of training could have prepared the Jackals for the deadly conspiracy they soon find themselves drawn into – a conspiracy that is set to spark a furious new war across the galaxy.
This was my first foray into the writing of Jamie Sawyer – I have not (yet) read The Lazarus War trilogy (but now have them ordered and on the way) – and seriously it was banging brilliant all the way through, a beautifully epic feeling action adventure with a wonderful touch of geeky speculative technology and characters to die for. Over and over again….
The story is absolutely stunningly gripping, with spaceships and aliens and simulants and death and more death then some epic battles followed by some contemplation and just a *touch* of romance that isn’t at all romantic. I loved the Jackals – one of the huge strengths of Pariah (apart from the actual Pariah of the title which I won’t talk about in case of spoilers) was the slow burn team building, this diverse and eclectic group who should be working together but have not yet developed that trust – from the convict to the politicians daughter they are all completely fascinating. Keira is a long suffering leader, a woman who knows her own mind (and doesn’t need validation from anyone) – perhaps a little impulsive but seriously I think you need to be when you are shooting around the galaxy often not even in your own body. You’d think there wouldn’t be edge of seat trauma worry for the characters you fall in love with when even in death they get another go round but think again.
The underlying plot is complex and beautifully layered – secrets and possible conspiracies abound and the world building is elegantly achieved. This trilogy is set in the same world as the last one but you needn’t fear you will miss the subtleties, it is accessible for both previous readers and new ones like me. In fact I can’t wait to read the Lazarus War so I can meet some more of Jamie Sawyer’s brilliantly imagined characters and, well presumably, see the last big thing this universe was caught up in.
Ooh which brings me nicely onto the ending of Pariah which made me grit my teeth in anticipation of book 2 – in fact if only I could do some kind of space jump that kills some time and lands me right when it’s ready to go that would be cool. What only in books and films? Dammit somebody really should get onto that one..
Consider me converted to the cause. massive amounts of fun, warp speed ahead (or whatever, hey I grew up with Star Trek) a brilliant, entertaining, full of soul piece of science fiction with a spoonful of shiver and a huge helping of heart.
Highly Recommended fellow Jackals.