“We kept going. Because that’s what war is. You keep going until it’s over. Or you’re dead.”
I read this book ages ago, but it’s taken me a while to be able to put my thoughts together.
In a capitalism fueled future, a few corporations hold the power. There are no countries, you are a citizen of the corp…if you are lucky. Many scavenge at the edges of society, trying to survive; others sell themselves to the corps for residency; and others are born into citizenship, or can pay for citizenship with their lives by joining the corporate military.
Our protagonists, known only by their last name, Deitz, joins the corporate war against Mars with a thirst for vengeance after the slum they grew up in is blinked from existence. Propaganda says Mars was at fault, Mars is always at fault, and no one has any reason to believe otherwise.
Deitz’s motivations shift and change progressively over the story. Deitz’s experiences with military drops, a technology that turns soldiers into light to beam them vast distances at lightspeed, don’t line up with the rest of their squad. Deitz’s experience with the drops slowly reveals new truths about the eternal war against Mars and the lengths the Corporations will go to get a leg up on the competition.
I absolutely adored The Light Brigade. I love the way that Kameron Hurley writes war and the people involved in it.
I really enjoyed the brutality of Hurley’s writing. This is war. War is not beautiful, it is not sacred, it is not good. War is hell, war is bloody, and war has no winners. I know the blood and gore of Hurley’s books can be over the top for some people, but it honestly isn’t any worse than any bloody Hollywood action movie.
Dietz’s gender is obfuscated until the end of the novel, which was an interesting touch. Dietz as the soldier is what is important to the world, to their commanders, to their squad. Their gender doesn’t come into it. And on top of that, Dietz is bi/pansexual.
I highly recommend The Light Brigade. It is my favorite of the five books by Kameron Hurley I have read this far.