The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley
Published by Saga Press on March 19, 2019
my rating: ★★★ (3 stars)
Goodreads avg: 3.96 (as of 2020-07-21)
“Starting to think communism is better than being dead.”
This was certainly, uh, a novel. This was my last read of the Hugo noms for this year and while I absolutely agree with its inclusion on the list, I can’t say I particularly loved this book. The nonlinear timeline is extremely confusing, in part because this is first person narration and the MC also has no idea what’s going on. It’s also just a confusing concept, period. The lack of linearity and large-ish cast also made it difficult to keep characters straight.
I did find a great deal of it to be compelling enough to keep me glued to my kindle, but also hit some spots where I was ready for us to wrap things up. I’m also not a huge fan of war narratives and felt like it hit a point where Hurley was hitting me over the head with her messages; on the other hand, a lot of the fascist elements were frighteningly timely. There was some interesting stuff done with gender, but I just didn’t get why it was handled the way it was; it would have been far more interesting to have a gender neutral MC than to wait until the final act to reveal the MC’s gender.
I guess I’m just not fully convinced by this one. I’ll definitely be recommending it to hard sci-fi fans and those who like war stories, but it wasn’t a big hit for me.