Sunday, February 20, 2011

God's War

Watching Nyx disarm was a more drawn-out affair. There was the sword she kept strapped to her back, her pistol, her whip, the garroting wire she kept strung in her dhoti, the bullets sewn into her burnous, the bullets strung around her neck. The dagger strapped to her thigh, the pistol strapped to the opposite calf, the three poisoned needles she kept in her hair. He noted she kept the garroting wire she used to tie her sandals, but she pulled out the razor blades tucked into the soles.

God's War by Kameron Hurley: You definitely don’t want to be on Nyx’s bad side. As a bel dame, she serves her country of Nasheen by finding and killing the inevitable deserters from their perpetual war with neighboring Chenja. As a bounty hunter on the side, she often takes on even more unsavory jobs. Unfortunately for her, the bel dame council does not approve of moonlighting. Down on her luck, Nyx, along with her bounty hunting team, takes a mysterious job: one with repercussions she can only begin to comprehend.

The author Kameron Hurley has kept a really good blog for years, and I was excited to see this, her first novel, be published.

Overall Quality: Good. Hurley does a wonderful job of world-building, creating a war-torn desert world powered by bugs and magic. (Yes, bugs. You’ll see how it works if you read it.) The characters are well thought out and interesting.  The perspective of the story is primarily through Nyx and Rhys, a devout Chenjan magician who has taken refuge in Nasheen. He works for Nyx, somewhat grudgingly, and the relationship between the two is one of my favorite parts of the book.

If you like action, you will love this book. Fight scenes, chase scenes, ambushes; the adrenaline never stops. A word of warning though, this is one violent book.

Bus Readability: Good. At just under 300 pages, it’s right about at the limit of one-handed reading. I found that the story worked well for bus reading. It gets confusing at times, but everything is explained as the book goes on.  

Cocktail Party Conversation Starter: If you meet an aspiring writer, you can show them the author’s video of fifteen years of rejection letters:

TL;DR: Bloody badassery; good for the bus. 

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