Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
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It is the end of a long and brutal religious war and Scur, a conscripted soldier, doing her best to fight with some semblance of humanity, has been captured and tortured by a known war criminal despite the ceasefire. Expecting only death she is surprised to wake up on a transport starship taking war criminals to a prison world. Only things don’t seem to be quite right over and above the fact that she’s not a war criminal herself… is she?

This is a tense short work from Reynolds (less than one hundred pages) and rather more character driven than his usual work and, I feel, suffers from having too many reveals crammed into too few pages. I felt it would have worked as a full sized book allowing a number of threads, given very short shrift, to have been explored in rather more depth as well as giving it the possibility to avoid what was a very rushed and inconclusive ending. Including one aspect that only appears towards the end and calls into question almost everything that has gone before and yet is left completely hanging.

Not my favourite Reynolds by a long shot, but still a good tense and short read that’s probably worth picking up by Reynolds fans but definitely not recommended as an introduction to his work.

3/5 stars
 

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