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Dogs of War

(Dogs of War #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  5,507 ratings  ·  637 reviews
Alternate cover edition of ASIN B06XXJ4P9H

My name is Rex. I am a good dog.

Rex is also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. With Dragon, Honey and Bees, he's part of a Multiform Assault Pack operating in the lawless anarchy of Campeche, south-eastern Me

Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Published November 2nd 2017 by Head of Zeus
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I finished this late last night (has been a while since I stayed up so late to finish a book) but had to seriously ponder how to write this review.

Only recently I read Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time and it is clear from these two books that the author has a wonderful sense of bringing the thoughts and feelings of animals (sorry, bioforms) to life. It is also clear that the author doesn't consider animals to be "just animals" but sees them on the same level as humans if not even one above.
May 29, 2019 added it

My thoughts in a nutshell

I don’t read sci-fi, I can’t enjoy it, but I’m always trying to find an exception. I understood why people love this book.
It has a lot of important questions. What makes us human? What if the bioform (half human/half animal) are intelligent species with emotions. Do they have rights or they just weapons?
Rex is a dog, and he wants to be a good dog. His master wants Rex to kill the enemies, but who is the real enemy? What makes someone an enemy?
Lots of ethics, lots of
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
What at first appeared to be a straight tale of totally augmented dogs and other animals refitted with all the glorious technology of war, designed to be true monsters completely obedient to their masters, eventually became a tale of ethics and morality couched in legal-drama, societal commentary, and complicated decisions.

I'm quite impressed. This isn't just a war-dog story taken literally. It's a full-blown discussion on what makes humanity, transhumanism rights, and the pitfalls of certain ki
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Bioform Rex is trying to be a Good Boy, the kind of Good Dog his Master wants him to be. But when he is cut from that hierarchy, he must make his own decisions with the help of his friends in the Multi-form Assault Pack: Bees, Dragon, and Honey. Reminiscent of Flowers for Algernon, Rex's story is one of self-discovery, changing perceptions, and the building of personal morality. His evolving situation, from military asset to something more, means he must ask himself questions he was never progra ...more
André Oliveira
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi

Ok. Adrian Tchaikovsky is becoming one of my favourite authors!

After reading Children of Time, I knew I needed to read something else from the same author.

Rex just wants to be a Good Dog. Rex has a Master. Rex kills enemies because his Master says so. But what makes someone/something an enemy?

The development of Rex throughout the story is phenomenal. I don't want to spoil anything, but the way the author chose to show us that is fantastic!

Less thought-provoking than Children of Time but sti
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
4.5 stars

Excellent near future SF that delves deep into the ethical questions that arise from augmenting animals and transforming them into a state of personhood. It is just as heartwrenching as you might expect.

I was made to be a weapon but I have lived a life. I was born an animal, they made me into a soldier and treated me as a thing. ...Servant and slave, leader and follower, I tell myself I have been a Good Dog. Nobody else can decide that for me.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dogs of War was not the book I was expecting to read - in a good way. I've long been a fan of Adrian Tchaikovsky, his Shadows of the Apt epic fantasy series is great and I really enjoyed his fantasy/adventure novel Spiderlight. In Dogs of War, Tchaikovsky turns his talents towards sci-fi with genetically engineered bioforms - animals enhanced by weaponised technology and given the smarts to communicate with humans on near like-for-like levels.

The protagonist is Rex, a genetically enhanced dog w
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"My name is Rex. I am a Good Dog."

Rex is definitely a Good Dog. He's also a nearly eight-feet tall bio-engineered cybernetically-enhanced dog soldier with access to heavy weaponry and networked to a whole squad of other artificial bioweapons. (Being introduced to each of them is a really well-done in text - I won't spoil it here).

"Most of the humans who are hiding are the small humans, the immature ones. Master says we must kill all of them."

Rex is a smart dog, but he's bred and programmed to ob
Tessy Ijachi
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
e-arc given to me via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

”Life is constant creation and destruction. The trick is knowing one from another”

This book is about a group of engineered bioform animals. They're used as weapons in the war cause they can carry out orders given to them by their master. Rex is a dog, also the leader of the group which consists of a bear, a giant lizard/dragon and bees.

Something about this book is that you will find the animals more intriguing than the humans.
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.
It’s impossible not to think of Doctor Moreau’s human-animal hybrid creatures when reading this excellent story. Tchaikovsky actually makes a punny reference, partway through this book, to the classic, and actually improves on the classic and its ideas.
He posits a future for war that includes bioengineered human-animal beings, but with advanced tech in their heads and reinforced bodies, all to augment their particular existing mammalian traits, and give them huge advantages in battle a
K.J. Charles
Aug 18, 2019 added it
Shelves: sf
A fascinating updating of the Dr Moreau story, with corporations creating bioforms (engineered human/animal hybrids) as effectively a slave army. It's really well worked out, as we see Rex (seven foot tall slavering dog-monster who just wants to hear he's a Good Boy), Honey (giant genius bear) and Bees (bees) edge their way towards independent thought, freedom and a new morality. Compellingly intelligent SF with a lot of heart as well as much violence. ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it

This was nearly a 5 star. It starts with a bang of action. Bio-engineered dogs plus other animals working for an organisation with crwzy weaponary destroy a civilian outpost. You can feel the pull of freedom or questioning his master in Rexs voice through his chapters. Great action and characters, as well as an intriguing plot. It changes tact and slowly becomes a different novel or "beast" altogether. The novel changes direction and approaches questions about politics, ethics n relation to
Graeme Rodaughan
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of excellent high-concept science fiction.
UN Shocker: Dog Soldier Fronts Task Force! "Indeed, Rex is a very Good Boy!"

I loved this book, high concepts, action, beautifully drawn characters and villains worthy of the name. All the best things that I read a book for.

Set in a near future, genetically engineered, cybernetically enhanced, human-animal hybrids are the disposable weapons for corporate sponsored black-ops wars in desperate regions of the world.

Rex, is a human-canine leader of a 'multi-form,' pack executing the orders of his hum
Joanne Harris
Loved it. Intelligent, sensitive and humane, with nods to We3 and Flowers For Algernon. I may never recover.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Here’s a short review: read it. It’s brilliant.
Rex is a seven-foot-tall living war machine engineered from canine genes and augmented with lethal tech. He leads a multiform assault unit of bioforms created for warfare: Bee, Honey, and Dragon. They wreak havoc amongst the enemies pointed by their Master. They do not understand the notions of good and evil. When their Master orders them to kill, they kill. Good people and bad people. Men, women, and children. They can’t decide for themselves beca
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Adrian Tchaikovskiy is a brilliant author. He goes from fantasy (Empire in Black and Gold) and pure sci-fi (Children of Time) to Flintlock (Guns of the Dawn) and then writes Dogs of War, which is innovative, bewildering, thoughtful and a read I could not put down.

Dogs of War tells the story of Rex, a bioform engineered for war, but ultimately an enhanced dog with sentience, an integrated weapons system and the urge to be a good boy. It's a tale of ethics and morality, and the reader gets to expl
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a quick read if not always an easy one - and one which rewards reflection no matter how fast you breeze through it. However, I can’t say I enjoyed it for the most part. With the exception of the astonishing third act (oh, I could have read a whole book along these lines; it was an unexpected, brilliant twist on proceedings), this is very military in focus, which just isn't my thing. Rex’s existence is defined by his usefulness in war; while the broader implications of emerging AI and sen ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2fiction, scifi, 1paper
A really great read. It was entertaining, quickly read, yet full of ideas that I'll be thinking about for ages. I couldn't ask for more. Here's an example:

...You don’t understand how the world works. There are people, and there are things. Things serve people. That’s why we built things. And it’s only when things start believing that they’re people that we have a problem. And you, whatever you’re calling yourself, you’re a thing.

I let him rant. I sit here and straddle the boundary between people
Oleksandr Zholud
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a SF novel, which on surface may appear as a near-future mil-SF, but in reality is much deeper.

The main protagonist is Rex. Rex is a Good Dog. He is a Bioform created to fight human wars, when robots were deemed unreliable. He is part of the squad (which also include a bear – Honey, bee swarm – Bees and lizard-chameleon Dragon), its leader and servant to a human master. He is 2 meters high and weight about 200 kg, all of it muscle and bone, he carries machine guns and in addition to his
Science Fiction meets Philosophy 101 in an attempt to define and delineate what humanity is, and if thinking, feelings things made by humanity are solely our slaves, and not our equals. Displaying poignant writing and some really good dialogue without being overbearing and stuffy, this reads like a thriller but makes you think like a good teacher. I'm glad I discovered this author and look forward to reading some more of his work. Also, it has huuuuge killer dog robots and I am all in for that. ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
A really interesting and almost heartwarming(?) story. I loved the (view spoiler) characters, all of them. I want them to come and live with me, although I couldn't afford the food bill. I wish for a followup story, but I am sure there is not one . . .

Warning . . . it made me cry. (view spoiler)

POST SCRIPT Feb 2020-I find that I keep thinking about this book and
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5* I enjoyed this a lot. Maybe not quite as much as Children of Time but close. Augmented bio-form dogs, bears, bees, dragons and more, moral dilemmas and war, what's not to like. I am starting to read everything I can get my hands on by Adrian Tchaikovsky and so should you. I love his world building and imagination, his books are so readable and clever and he is fast becoming one of my favourite sci-fi authors. ...more
Jon Adams
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good Dog Rex, Good Dog.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rex is the very definition of the word loyal. He is designed to be that way. When his Master commands, Rex will act. Rex isn’t just a dog, he is a weapon. He has been bred for battle and, along with the rest of his squad, is used to quell insurrection wherever it occurs. I think the thing I liked most about Rex is his innocence. He knows little of the outside world and he views every situation in the simplest of terms. The Pavlovian responses in his character are because he just doesn’t know any ...more
The Captain
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there mateys! I have no idea where or how I first encountered this book but I knew I wanted to read it. The problem was finding a copy as Amazon lists it as a “rare book.” I had never read the author’s works before but then there was an eArc of walking to aldebaran on NetGalley and I was luckily approved. I loved it and I was thus determined to find dogs of war. I wanted a copy for me kindle but couldn’t get one so I finally broke down and bought a beautiful paperback version.

So what was it
That was a brilliant book. Review to come shortly
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, favourites
I love dogs, but I’d probably poop my pants if I ever came face to face with Rex, the 7-foot genetically engineered gun-toting killing machine (part dog, part human, part hardware) that is the protagonist in this thought-provoking novel, which at times had me reaching for the tissues. Not what I was expecting when picking up a book that I thought was going to be a military style story with some imaginative future tech, fast-paced action scenes and bizarre creature-characters. Those elements are ...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
This was an immensely enjoyable, fast paced, cyberpunky type novel which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Rex is a genetically engineered Bioform, there is some human, a lot of dog and a fair bit of machine in his makeup. But, essentially, Rex and his fellow Bioforms have been engineered to be fighting machines, deadly and each with their specialisations. Rex's specialisation is that he is a team leader, he leads a team made op of four Bioforms and reports directly to Master. I will not say too much about
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
In general I'm not a big fan of AI stories, so this book had to go against some of my dislikes from the start. And it did a excellent job with that - good book!

What I loved here is that Tchaikovsky does not start and end with the typical "how human is an AI" topic, but combines this with the animal personalities the respective bioforms are derived from. The leading character does not only has to struggle with his selfconscious versus his programming, but also with the inherent trait of a dog to
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Original ideas, credible and distinctive PoVs, eloquent prose. In Children of Time Tchaikovsky persuaded me into sympathizing with hairy, poisonous, giant spiders even though I don't count them among my favorite animals. In Dogs of War he portrays a heart-wrenching story of bioformed dogs designed for warfare. The innermost struggles, instincts, fears and desires of these half-animal half-machine feeling creatures prompted me to wonder where the boundary is between producing inanimate things, to ...more
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ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY was born in Lincolnshire and studied zoology and psychology at Reading, before practising law in Leeds. He is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor and is trained in stage-fighting. His literary influences include Gene Wolfe, Mervyn Peake, China Miéville, Mary Gently, Steven Erikson, Naomi Novak, Scott Lynch and Alan Campbell.

Other books in the series

Dogs of War (2 books)
  • Bear Head (Dogs of War, #2)

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