Exordia by Seth Dickinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was originally thrilled because this is a new book by the author of The Traitor Baru Cormorant and sequels, all of which I loved for their focus on the economics and the utter brutality. Yes, I know both can be one and the same, but bear with me.
This book was also brutal, but not in the economics sense.
This one is a frankly amazing alien-invasion novel that starts out like it could have been a BETTER, even funny, first-contact scenario. And yet, it becomes seriously DARK. And not just dark, but intelligently dark, well-grounded in geopolitical history, realistic political ramifications, secrecy, and worse.
The focus of sacrificing a few to save many is all throughout this, and in a very real sense, is one of best portrayals of evil I've ever read.
Sure, it seriously became Mil-Sf early on, and military tales are not usually easy or pleasant to get through, but this one is hardcore tragic and disturbing. Realistic, too. This isn't a silly, light SF war tale where intrepid heroes save the day.
It's savage and heartbreaking. It's also a fascinatingly complex tale grounded in real considerations, maybe even hitting far too close to home. Manufactured consent as a tool of warfare IS damn serious.
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