Strangelets with a Side of Grilled Spam: Episode One (The Strangelets Series)

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Strangelets with a Side of Grilled Spam: Episode One (The Strangelets Series)

Last Free Dates: 10th Jul 14 to 12th Jul 14
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...This is not highbrow literature; it’s pulp fiction at its finest. A war story that reminds me of the old commando comics....

Humanity is at war against aliens, unknowable and predatory, who have destroyed most infrastructure and civilisation. The story follows the military crew of a humvee, travelling across America in the aftermath, trying to find safety and a way to turn the tide.

This is not highbrow literature; it’s pulp fiction at its finest. A war story that reminds me of the old commando comics. This is something to appeal to military and action fans, more than sci-fi – even if the enemy are aliens. You are halfway through the book before the science kicks in for a few pages to explain the aliens and, since the main character doesn’t understand it, most of it is only lightly touched on.

Written in first person, the narrator’s voice is clear and has some nice turns of phrase. The characterisation is thin, but then soul-baring character moments are rarely shared in firefights and action sequences make up a large part of the book. It’s not a bad story, it just follows the formula. If this was a film, it is very definitely more Michael Bay’s style than Orson Wells

There were no problems with formatting or spelling that I spotted. As it’s written in first person the grammar errors are in the narrator’s voice and a natural result of writing as speech.

What is not useful is that nearly 30% of this book is a preview of a book in a completely different genre: Centaur of the crime. Given the price of £5.22 I’m paying download fees for that, which does not impress me. The other problem is that the narrator’s voice and writing style in the sample are almost the same as the main book – on the other hand, fans of that style will love it.

A 26,000 word novella, this is episode one of four so don’t expect a tidy resolution. The story ends in sequal bait, annoying but standard for this type of book, and provides buy-links to the sequels.

Would I see this on a bookshop’s shelves? Yes, the pulp section and probably selling well to that audience. It’s good, but there was no specific part that I can say leapt out and grabbed my attention.

Rating: 3
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