- The Eternity War: Pariah.
- Jamie Sawyer.
- 464 pages.
- Science Fiction / SFF / Fiction.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
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.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
It has to be said that SFF isn’t a genre that I frequent. I don’t mind it but I wouldn’t normally choose to read it as I tend to find it slow and the science and terminology used confusing. It’s not down there with the likes of romance books or Dino/Monster/Alien porn as complete ‘hell no I’m not reading that‘ material but it’s not my preferred choice of reading either.
Hhhmm, mentioning Alien porn. If Sawyer wanted to branch out and try a different genre just for a laugh. Then he could use the aliens (Krell) that are found in The Eternity War and write some Alien porn! I’d suggest: ‘Space, The Full Frontal Frontier: Saucy Simulants and The Kinky Krell‘ sounds like a winner to me!😂
Back on track otherwise I’ll be blacklisted by the publicist who kindly sent me the book!
The war between the Alliance and the Krell is over and an uneasy peace has been brokered and is holding. Throughout Alliance space, the Black Spiral, a terrorist network are causing mayhem. After the Black Spiral takes control of an outpost and the resulting rescue mission goes wrong. Jenkins’ Jackals, the only Sim Ops (Army Simulant Operations) team to make it to the ground are blamed. Their punishment, escort duty aboard the Santa Fe (a starship) that is being sent to investigate a missing starship deep in the Maelstrom, an area of space inhabited by the Krell (the alien race in The Eternity War). Suffice to say that things don’t go according to plan and what should be a routine mission turns into something far larger that could result in a catastrophic new war starting.
Jenkins’ Jackals are Lieutenant Keira Jenkins, leader of the Jackals and a veteran of over 200 Sim Ops transitions. The raw recruits with only a handful of transitions each, Novak, a Russian convict and lifer, signed on to Sim Ops and with each transition/extraction gets the time of his sentence. Lopez, the daughter of a senator. Riggs, marine type, Feng, an Asian Directorate clone rescued from one of their crèches. And, Zero, the group’s handler who keeps tabs on them during missions from the simulant operations centre (SOC) located aboard the starships.
We get to learn bits about each of the Jackals separate back stories. While never overly complex, we are given enough that they don’t feel like cardboard cutouts. Sawyer delves deep enough that you find yourself liking this eclectic group and rooting for them all. From their fractured start, you watch as they grow together, learning to trust each other and instead of each being a singular ‘Jackal‘ they bond and become Jenkins’ Jackals.
Out of the Jackals, Novak was my favourite, an all around badass that you wouldn’t want to fuck with. Another favourite character of mine was Captain Carmine dubbed ‘Carmine the Carbine‘ the tough as old boots captain of the Santa Fe.
There’s some great combat gear in Pariah and none more so than the HURT suit that Jenkins gets to wear, a sweet bit of combat badassery.👌
The Krell is a cool race of alien bio-forms with a variety of castes (Navigator, primary, secondary) weapons and ships.
The Black Spiral also add another dimension to the story. They always seem to be one step ahead and their leader ‘Warlord‘ is a decent character whose back story we are given and we learn why he has grievances with both the Alliance and the Krell.
I had one slight niggle reading Pariah. During their missions, you might find yourself questioning whether the Jackals are in any ‘real‘ danger or not. When the simulants die the human operator is extracted back to the SOC and their own body. Luckily, there are enough times throughout Pariah where the operators aren’t skinned (in their simulant bodies) and there are also other characters who aren’t Sim Ops that you get a feeling of lives being at stake. But, being honest, it really didn’t bother me that much as I got so caught up and engrossed in the book and action that at times, I completely forgot the Jackals were in their simulants and really did fear for them and their lives!
I found the writing in Pariah to be stellar. Sawyer knows how to tell a great story, writing in a fun, engaging and never overly complex style that pulls you in from the get go through to the ending. The pacing is fantastic throughout never wavering as you Q-jump (you’ll get it if you read the book) from one action packed scenario to the next.
The story itself told in Pariah is a good one. Plenty of twists turns and treachery and as the first instalment in a trilogy, it does a damn fine job of setting things up and making you invested in what will happen next.
There’s lots of action in Pariah, from space battles between starships to gun fights aboard space stations and ships against both the human foe of the Black Spiral and the alien menace of the Krell. All are top quality making for an action packed read.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I often find SFF both slow, confusing and it generally doesn’t hold my interest. Pariah wasn’t like that at all! Pariah feels like half its length as the pages fly by in a blur of frenetic action and explosive top quality storytelling and I absolutely loved it!👌
Pre-order The Eternity War: Pariah (released September 26th US and September 28th UK).
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