Ironclads by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Tchaikovsky is writing up a great SF storm here, folks! I've said before that I love his SF much more than his fantasy, and this one is easily my proof positive. Right after Dogs of War and Children of Time, I didn't know if he could keep it up, but he does. And this ain't no throwaway novella, either. My only complaint is that there are only a thousand copies made!
Here's the best part of the tale... ARMOR! Think Gundam meets Special-Ops, a war-torn world with very interesting lines drawn, a world-building that is pretty fantastic AND with great reasons behind it, and very memorable characters. Right, Sturgeon?
The haves and the have-nots hearken right back to the good old days of chivalry and suits of armor. If you're rich, you have great armor, if you're not rich, you're meat. Let's get us back to those roots! :) We need to turn the world into a playground for rich soldiers like it should always have been! :)
Honestly, this is one of the best mil-sf tales I've read in a while and I may have enjoyed it even more than the author's Dogs of War. That was all about genetically altered animals and war and I may be wrong, but Ironclad seems to be a PREQUEL to that world!
War is constantly a tale of evolving means and methods and sometimes (or often) it gets really wonky. This is no different.
Above all, though, I love the characters. The stories that Sturgeon told and the reveals were great, but there was enough action in this short novella to pack a few novels, too.
Eagerly awaiting a lot more!
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!
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