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The Last Good Man

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  839 ratings  ·  127 reviews
Scarred by war. In pursuit of truth.

Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial
Paperback, 464 pages
Published June 20th 2017 by Mythic Island Press LLC
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Short version: a nail-biting action thriller. Read it if you want thriller, but not to experience anything new in female characterization or military sci-fi.

"If Daniel could offer her comfort, if there was something he could say that would ease the horror of what was done and smooth the scars that mark her life, True would refuse to hear it. For eight years she's rejected all such words. She does not need comfort. She needs her scars. But she keeps these thoughts to herself."

A lesson in
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In depth review at

Linda Nagata’s brand of military science fiction does not take technology for granted. She does not write “boys with toys” adventure stories or jingoistic thrillers where the good guys and their gadgets save the day from the fearsome foreign menace. In her acclaimed Red trilogy, as well as her latest novel The Last Good Man, the intricate web of political and industrial forces behind the development of advanced weapons systems does more
This was a very satisfying military, techno-thriller that points the way toward war soon being waged by a combination of cybernetically enhanced soldiers autonomous robotic forces. It’s hard to classify the story as science fiction due to how close we are to the tech used: missile-bearing jet-propelled drones, rifle-wielding helicopter drones, and VR headsets, and devices controlled through haptic gloves. The spy bots that mimic birds, insects, and other critters seem a little more ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another excellent near-future techno-thriller from this author, following on from the success of the Red trilogy.

True Brighton works as the Director of Operations for the military contractor Requisite Operations. On her latest mission, a hostage rescue in an ungoverned area of the Middle East, she discovers unexpected information about the events surrounding the horrific execution of her son eight years ago in a special forces action. What follows is a complex series of events involving
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Any time I start making blanket statements about how I don't like military science fiction, I remind myself that the wonderful Linda Nagata exists in the world, writing military science fiction that hits all of my sweet spots. The Last Good Man is smart, engaging near future SF with a diverse and interesting set of characters and absolutely fascinating, terrifying technology.
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Autonomous warfare will not be bloodless. War by machine proxy is still war, with the sacrifice pushed out of sight, the burden unloaded on distant people. The repercussions, inevitable.

8 years ago, True Brighton's son, Diego, was captured while on a mission, crucified, and then burned to death in a public execution that was broadcast to the world. Since that day, she's tried to go on with her life, consoling herself with the thought that everyone involved in Diego's death is dead. It doesn't
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rounding up. Not quite 4 stars because if a few minor issues about the writing that bugged me enough that I still remember them.

But overall an exciting adventure that asks an important question about what qualifies as 'right action' in combat. The book also demonstrates successfully how the military and others in similar professions may be impacted by the growing influence of robotics used in warfare. And woe to those of us in the range of the weapons.
Mike Finn
"The Last Good Man" is a Compelling immersive tale of a near-future Military Contractor seeking the truth about her son's brutal execution.

I wasn't sure this would be my kind of book. Set in the near future, it tells the story of a woman soldier working for a Private Military Contractor (PMC) licensed by the US government, who finds something she doesn't like while on a hostage rescue mission.

I see PMCs as a scourge on the earth and the US's tendency to use force in countries it's not at war
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Disclaimers: I`ve been a huge fan of Nagata`s writing since I stumbled over a paperback copy of The Bohr Maker in a used bookstore in Seattle. I`ve been somewhat confused by her lack of prominence in recent years, and I`m excited that she`s getting a little more of the recognition I`ve always thought she deserved. I received a copy of this book as an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review of this book.

The Last Good Man is not my usual cup of tea. Near future military adventure stories
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Military SF with lots of heart.

A private militia undertakes a rescue mission in a war-ravaged region of the Middle East. The mission commander is True Brighton, a 51-year old ex-helicopter pilot, and the target is a girl held hostage for ransom. True's team is comprised of ex-military types, but as is now commonplace in this modern era of warfare, they come with the aid of advanced telecommunications and surveillance. Plus she has an arsenal of kick-ass flying and ground-action drones equipped
Intense! Too intense for a beach vacation trip, but I didn't want to put it down and come back to it. So I'm glad it's done. In general this is not my kind of thing. It was basically all military combat of one sort or another. But it was also a chance to explore how drones of various shapes and sizes would impact on combat in the probably near future. Frightening but believable. And the characters were interesting. Still wish this author will switch off of military and back to pure sf some day. ...more
Peter Tillman
A good book on an important topic: the advent of autonomous robot warrior-mechs. Nagata captures the horrors of war well, writes good action-scenes, gets the tech (sfaict) right. So why just 3 stars?

The story just never quite "clicked" for me. I didn't quite believe in the main characters, altho they are drawn well. One in particular, a conscience-stricken Chinese AI designer, didn't ring true at all. So I'm calling it at a tad under 3.5 stars.

LGM may have suffered a bit by my reading it right
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf
Very good super-near-future MilSF. I'm no military robotics expert, but I'd guess it's just barely SF. Most of the characters, if not quite three dimensional, at least had distinct and (eventually) comprehensible motivations. And Nagata has that hard to quantify skill that Heinlein had of immersing me in the prose, and making me turn pages.
Mark Watkins
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although I’d been aware of Linda Nagata for a long time, I hadn’t read any of her work until the recent Red Trilogy. The Red Trilogy is simultaneously a thoughtful exploration of the impact of technology advances on soldiers and warfare as well as a rollicking near-future sci-fi adventure. The Last Good Man continues the exploration of “future war”, elevating the thrill ride aspect and downplaying the philosophical exploration. If you’re interested in a near-future Sci Fi book exploring what ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ifcisff, sci-fi
It's hard to find any complaints about this - I enjoyed reading it and it gave me a lot to think about with the future of warfare and AI. Ultimately, though, military sci-fi just isn't my thing. I'm not steeped enough in military culture for the story to feel as poignant as it should, and as sci-fi, it's not nearly futuristic enough. I suspect this book will be obsolete in 5-10 years when the tech described becomes a reality, so in that respect, I'm glad I read it now.
Ry Herman
I almost stopped reading this one about a quarter of the way in, because the action was constantly interrupted by detailed exposition about science-fictional military hardware that I found both tedious and unnecessary. The book picked up considerably after that, though. However, it never really won me over. The characters seemed a bit thin and the plot never drew me in completely. I normally like Linda Nagata's writing, but this one wasn't for me.
Jack Teng
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every time I read a book by Linda Nagata, I wonder why the hell isn't she better known? The Red series (a must-read, if you haven't read it) is just a brilliantly plotted near-future milsci. The Last Good Man is no less brilliant, though slightly nearer in the future. If you follow any of the news or any of the current tech trends (as Nagata clearly does), you'll see exactly what she's basing her world on. Check it out!
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This fast paced, military techno-thriller had me on the edge of my seat. The near-future technology was completely believable and frightening. The book moved at a quick pace and kept me hooked. Great story and mystery.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it
A well written book that moves the story along, for the most part. Sometimes it falls into the trap that a lot of techno-military type books do, and gets a bit bogged down in technical details. It was a bit difficult to suspend disbelief due to the unlikeliness of the relationships between the main characters (both dead and alive). Still, the author knows how to write, and it was a fun tale. I enjoyed it.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was in a reading funk for months, and this is the book that finally snapped me out of it.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: techno-thriller
In The Last Good Man Linda Nagata gives us an action-filled near future techno-thriller. The main protagonist, True Brighton, is a skilled and tough minded middle-aged woman. She and her team have to deal with all kinds of people ranging from purely evil torturers to ordinary folks. They sometimes have to make difficult moral choices in split seconds while carrying out missions.
We get small-unit military operations, we get autonomous and semi-autonomous military bots, and we get an old mystery
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: near-future
A thriller about near-future military technology, drones, private military contractors, and surveillance. True Brighton is a former helicopter pilot who now works for a US private military contractor (since helicopters are now flown robotically). The small company she works for tries to operate with a motto of "right action" - a similar ethos to Google's "don't be evil" that will place the organization less in a grey area and more on the side of doing good in the world. After a hostage rescue in ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal. I enjoyed Linda Nagata's Red Light series. Like Red Light, The Last Good Man features interesting speculation into near future cyber and mech warfare, clandestine or non-national conflicts but the intensely personal journeys of the human side of this transition of warfare in The Last Good Man is extraordinarily well done. The fact that these journeys occur inside of a cinematic, heartpounding plot makes this a really special book. Recommended.
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it

Publisher: Mythic Island

Publishing Date: June 2017

ISBN: 9781937197230

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.6/5

Publishers Description: Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial
AJ Nelson
Wow. I think I get Nagata much better as a writer after this one. Solid story and great characters. I don't have anything against military themes, but neither do I seek them out. Nagata's wonderful prose and attention detail takes military aspect and makes it poignant. I have to admit it was the title that grabbed me, and I was happy to see it play a role in the story. Great read.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Eight years ago True Brighton was an Army helicopter pilot and her son, Diego, was special operations warrior in a secretive unit called Rogue Lightning. Today, True is Director of Operations for Requisite Operations, a private military contracting firm specializing in providing security, intelligence gathering, developing military robotics, training security people, and hostage rescue. A lot can happen in a minute, let alone eight years. She lost her career as a pilot to artificial
Tim Hicks
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A thoughtful examination of current trends - which is one of the main functions of SF - wrapped in a military format.

At first I was worried. The old cliché "steaming mug of coffee" and the obligatory character with gray eyes. Sigh. But there were no more of those and we moved on. Also at the start there was way too much "she picked up her Burleigh & Stronginthearm, adapted with a custom XCFR to incorporate an RQI function. Her LNSGR showed her the positions of her teammates, and predicted
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was really good. I liked this quite a bit more than The Red. The plot wasn't anything super unique, but it was well executed, it's presentation did engendered a bit of suspense. The characters were well done, I think, and the action was _very_ well plotted and executed. What was the most interesting, to me, was the presentation of the ubiquitous autonomous drones, and their varied forms and behaviors. Additionally, they were folded into the combat extremely well, and presented (I think) a ...more
John Purvis
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“The Last Good Man” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Linda Nagoya ( Ms. Nagoya has published more than a dozen novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set just a few years in the future. The primary character. Is True Brighton, a former Army helicopter pilot and now one of the
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Clearly I'm in the minority but this book just didn't work for me. It clocks in at nearly 450 pages. If it were 300 pages it would be a 3-star book but the unnecessary length knocks another star off.

The book starts with 150 pages detailing a military raid on a terrorist compound. This entire section is almost entirely unrelated to the rest of the book and there are no real stakes the make the reader care about the outcome. A bunch of mercenaries are hired to rescue some hostage. We don't
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I'm a writer from Hawaii best known for my high-tech science fiction, including the near-future thriller, The Last Good Man , and the Red trilogy, an intersection of artificial intelligence and military fiction. The first book in the trilogy, The Red: First Light, was a Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial-award finalist, and named as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015. My newest series is the ...more
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