Book Review: A Rain of Fire by Ralph Kern

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Nov 23, 2002
A Rain of Fire effectively re-imagines Dunkirk in a space setting, in which the Hegemony has invaded a planet of the Republic, and the Kingdom needs to retrieve its expeditionary force from one of the continents. The story is told from a handful of characters: a private on the frontline, a battleship captain, an admiral, fighter pilot, and mech warrior.

Kern’s prose is fluid and easy to read, and makes for an exciting story. However, by the end there’s plenty of pathos to underline importance of Dunkirk in history.

The biggest potential criticism is that the setting follows Dunkirk so closely that really just names have been swapped out, when the world-building could have been developed more uniquely. However, there’s a good counter argument that this would have been disrespectful and undermine the purpose of the book.

Overall, this is a great book that is four stars most of the way through, but is raised to five by the end, and I’m looking forward to picking up the next in this series.

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