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The Light Brigade

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  6,278 ratings  ·  1,160 reviews
From the Hugo Award­­–winning author of The Stars Are Legion comes a brand-new science fiction thriller about a futuristic war during which soldiers are broken down into light in order to get them to the front lines on Mars.

They said the war would turn us into light.
I wanted to be counted among the heroes who gave us this better world.

The Light Brigade: it’s what soldi
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Saga Press
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Kameron Hurley Cara Gee, who currently plays Drummer in The Expanse series on Amazon Prime.
Agnieszka Tracz I would totally recommend it, like written below it's a different type of gore than Stars are Legion. I also had problems with it, especially the recy…moreI would totally recommend it, like written below it's a different type of gore than Stars are Legion. I also had problems with it, especially the recycling pit, but Light Brigade didn't cause me any stomach turns. (less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  6,278 ratings  ·  1,160 reviews

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Emily May
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
Shelves: 2019, sci-fi
I realized I might never know what really happened here. War was all about the annihilation of truth. Every good dictator and CEO knows that.

What a fabulous mind fuck.

I read this book because it came highly recommended, but I have to say I would not usually gravitate towards something called a "space opera". People and aliens fighting wars just doesn't seem that exciting to me. But this book is a thrill-ride. Seriously. It's fast-paced and compelling, it's mind-bendy and weird, and Dietz has
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of military sci-fi and time travel
4.5/5 stars

The Light Brigade is my first sci-fi read of the year (shocking, I know) and it’s also the first time I read Kameron Hurley’s book; I assure you it won’t be the last.

“I suppose it’s an old story, isn’t it? The oldest story. It’s the dark against the light. The dark is always the easier path. Power. Domination. Blind obedience. Fear always works to build order, in the short term. But it can’t last. Fear doesn’t inspired anything like love does.”

What do you do when you lose
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“War was all about the annihilation of truth. Every good dictator and CEO knows that.”
Disclaimer: I am a card-carrying pacifist. I refuse to understand or accept any glorification or romanticization of war. War is hell, a meatgrinder of horror, and I firmly subscribe to the school of thought of “The worst peace is better than the best war”, as my mother often says.

So logically, I am usually not a big fan of military SF. I have to say straight up - I do not like the idea of strict military ob
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Dietz’s family were destroyed in the Blink, wiped out in an instant. Nobody thought anything like that could happen, nobody knew tech like that existed. But the proof is in the absence of millions of souls, a whole city disappeared. All that’s left now is revenge, so Dietz signs up for the corporate military, the best way to take the fight to those responsible: Mars. The corps have got their own revolutionary tech, a way of moving armies across space. Yet things don’t go quite as planne
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

“War is hell,” William Tecumseh Sherman famously said in the aftermath of the American Civil War, and Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigade, a Hugo and Locus award nominated novel, drives that point home. The brutality of a soldier’s life combines with dystopia and hellish corporate behavior, but it’s lightened by the gritty determination of the main character, Dietz, and a handful of others to find the right path out of the nightmarish war, and by
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Here's another WOW title. I've enjoyed Kameron Hurley's other novels quite a lot but nothing prepared me for this one.

It's the spiritual grandson (or grandaughter) of Haldeman's The Forever War and Heinlein's Starship Troopers. It has a little of both and a lot of the very modern tone, updated to our very real cultural relativity wrapped up in a very hardcore DUTY wrapping while never quite knowing what is really real. In that respect, it's a bit of PKD, too.

And I love it.

Getting turned into lig
Rebecca Roanhorse
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Starship Troopers meets Edge of Tomorrow. A grim and gritty future where wars are fought between corporations and the rest of us are ground in the machinery, but there's room for hope, and heroes, and a call for us all to be the light in dark times. The juggling of timelines here is incredibly impressive. Hurley makes what must have been a beast of a book to write look easy, and never boring. The pacing perfect and the revelation of secrets upon secrets satisfying. Hurley is at the top of her ga ...more
Allison Hurd
May 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book pissed me off. The first 19% is so miserable you think there's gotta be a change coming. And then around 20% you think you've found it. And then the next 60% the narrator, and thus you, are still finding THE SAME F***ING THING YOU FOUND 60% AGO and then it tries to throw in a twist, gives up, and dies.

Thank the powers that be for sweet release.

CONTENT WARNINGS: (view spoiler)

I'm sorry
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I feel like I'm back to a Too Like the Lightning situation: this book is just as unreadable as it is clever. But finished it, and I have feelings, so it must mean something. How do I even rate something like this?

The way I rated Too Like the Lightning, I guess. Four stars it is.

My first reaction, when I finished this, was "I want to lie down somewhere and look at the stars". Which, one could think, is an odd thing to take away from one of the bleakest, most depressing books I have ever read - so
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Last year I read Hurley's short story collection, Meet Me in the Future: Stories, which has a short story with the same name. That's the story that grew into this novel. Interestingly last year, I also read Carlo Rovelli's The Order of Time, and some of his ideas based in theoretical physics undergird the plot, timeline, and travel abilities in this novel (the author gives more details in her blog. Dietz, the main character, starts the novel covered in blood with few memories of what happened, a ...more
Milda Page Runner
Political military sci-fi. Didn't really work for me - I found it too dark and hopeless and overly political.
Military part drums in the brutality and pointlessness of war via throwing the mc in exceedingly horrible situations. I lost the count how many times she returns from battlefield covered in blood and bits of her former friends and lovers. Slaughtering civilians, kids with blown of limbs, following the orders even when they know full well it's the wrong thing to do etc. Hopeless circle of
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I've been thinking about this one for a week, wondering what to write as a review. It's complex, rewards a familiarity with the field as well as a careful reading of the text, but everything moves at a breakneck pace.

Dietz is a recently joined up soldier in the Tene-Silvia Corporate Corps in an effort to gain citizenship. Dietz's origin was as a "ghoul", a non-citizen resident of São Paulo. In the corporate-controlled post climate wars society, if you're not a citizen then you have no human righ
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, sci-fi
I love a good time-travel mind-twister. This would make an excellent movie, if Edge Of Tomorrow didn't already exist. Is there more money to be made out of this type of time-bending military sci-fi? I hope so!

When Dietz's whole family is wiped out in an attack on Sao Paulo by Martian colonists, she enlists to avenge her people. The world is now ran by several powerful corporations instead of governments, and Dietz works for one of them. New technology allows soldiers to be momentarily transport
A challenging read. Certainly if you, like me, pick the audio for this one.

The first-person narrator Dietz has recently joined the Tene-Silvia Corporate Corps, and is about to get ready to join the war against the martians. Dietz’s family vanished in the "Blink", a terrorist attack on Sao Paulo, supposedly by former martian colonists. So this is personal for her.

As Dietz and her fellow young grunts go through basic training I was frequently reminded of "Starship Troopers". And it’s no coincidenc
Meagan ✊🏼 Blacklivesmatter ✊🏼Blacktranslivesmatter
Motherfuck! This book was so good! 🤯🤯🤯
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a military SF with heavy allusions to a lot of classics, from Starship Troopers to The Forever Warto Kim Stanley Robinson‘s Mars Trilogy. I highly praise all mentioned books and for me this one wasn’t at the level with them.

The story follows Dietz, a ghoul (unregistered person, lowest of the low in this corporate dystopia future), who wants to rise up in the social status and to avenge the family, which was annihilated (?) during Martian attack on Earth. Martians are actually human colon
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two and half stars.

This story has been told a lot of times. Usually there are two aspects in war stories. “The good war”, that is, just for the fun (fun for the reader of course); and the pacifist story that is the case of The Light Brigade. I love both types but in this case, simply this book is not for me.

So there is a future war, but apart for the means of transport, basically there are no future weapons and no future improvements to kill people (okay, I really should not complain about that)
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
My personal favourite from Hurley so far, if not her most creative considering her other work. The time travel storyline was interesting and mostly made sense up until the end, when I admit to losing track a bit.

A definite must for fans of time travel stories especially in the context of military SF.
Chris Berko
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kameron Hurley is a super-fucking-badass. And I mean that in the most respectful way possible. This book is not only tremendously fun and exciting but it also has a lot to say about community and free-will and the price(s) we pay for the people and things we love. I sincerely loved the ending and it pulled off bringing together all the craziness that came before even though at times it seemed like it would be impossible to do so. This is the fourth book I have read by Kameron and it is, for me, ...more
Genesee Rickel
A tough read during COVID, relentlessly gritty & dark, excellent social commentary, a mindfuck of a timeline that requires your attention, and it all ends with a bang (or a blink 😉). So awesome! ...more
A welcome addition to the military science fiction sub-genre. Sure, many comparisons were made with Starship Troopers, Forever War, All You Need is Kill, and so on, but of course the book offers something else.

I listened to the audio version, narrated by the awesome Cara Gee (Camina Drummer in The Expanse series). Her voice definitely captured the badassery of the main character, Dietz, a soldier working for TeneSilvia, one of the six big corporations who controlled the Earth in some form of dys
4.5 Stars - I was totally surprised by just how much I loved this book! This book has a quality that I absolutely love... purposeful disorientation for the reader, but a sense that the author is still in complete control. I think the thematic content was a little too on the nose & the ending was a bit too pat, but still. Very much enjoyed & would recommend ...more
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Time travel is back!

Was it ever really gone? Not for a second - time travel stories are pretty much a constant in Science Fiction. It's almost a physical law - like thermodynamics, or at least like Godwin's law - that as a steady stream of SF novels is released the likelihood of one of them being centred around time travel exponentially increases towards certainty.

And so this year we have the usual swathe of time travel novels, including the magnificent This is How You Lose the Time War and Kame
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-clean-2020
4.5 stars rounded down because I almost ditched it in the first 50 pages. The first part is a very mundane, been there, done that, boot camp for soldiers. But then Dietz goes on a "drop" and we get Phillip K. Dick + The Forever War. Mind blown! Both with Hurley's creativity and the way she weaves her social commentary in without feeling pedantic. Constant nods to the futile charge of the actual Light Brigade with a twist on where the orders come from plus a pervasive unsettled feeling wondering ...more
Adah Udechukwu
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Light Brigade was 5 star awesome.
Hello!! This is my first 5-star novel read all year so far!!! aaaAAHHHHH. This book just came out on March 19 (eleven days ago), and I got a hold of a library copy and read it in, I shit you not, two days. I picked it up for my bingo square SF/F to look forward to in 2019, and I hadn’t read much about it beforehand, apart from that brief blurb on the post and on Goodreads — I am so, so glad that I went in fairly blind, and I recommend doing the same (and will try to be vague enough in my review) ...more
Holy fuck. This is an intense book, grim and at times almost claustrophobic. One thing that had me on edge while reading it but that I also loved was how personal its political themes felt - The Light Brigade deals closely with the human consequences of trauma, military service, citizenship and civil rights, corporate greed and short-sightedness, complacency in the face of evil, morality and determining what is right when all the options are bad. It was often a difficult read for me, both emotio ...more
Holly (The Grimdragon)
"When you drop, you burst apart like...Well, first your whole body shakes. Then every muscle gets taut and contracts, like you're experiencing a full-body muscle spasm centered in your core. The CO says it's like a contraction when you're having a kid, and if that's true, if just one is like that, then I don't know how everybody who has a kid isn't dead already, because that's bullshit.

Then you vibrate, you really vibrate, because every atom in your body is being ripped apart. It's breaking you
Sep 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I admit, it could be a case of me not getting the gist of it, but I didn't have the feeling that this novel contributed something new to the line of boot camp, military SF, war denouncing novels.
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Kameron Hurley is the author of The Light Brigade, The Stars are Legion and the essay collection The Geek Feminist Revolution, as well as the award-winning God’s War Trilogy and The Worldbreaker Saga. Hurley has won the Hugo Award, Locus Award, Kitschy Award, and Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer. She was also a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nebula Award, and the Gemmell Morn ...more

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6 likes · 7 comments
“This is something we don’t talk about . . . what happens when you are presented with a truth that contradicts everything you believe in? The widespread proliferation of information in the early days of the open knu, back when it was the wild net, should have made truth easier to find. But it turns out most of us don’t want truth. We want stories that back up our existing beliefs. Flood the world enough with information, and I will pick out only those bits that uphold the virtue and rightness of whatever corp I’ve been taught to love.” 6 likes
“People succumb to fear, no matter the government. The everyday person doesn’t want war, but it’s remarkably easy to convince them. It’s the government that determines political priorities, and it’s easy to drag people along with you by tapping into that fear. I don’t care if you have a communist mecca, a fascist regime, or a representative democracy, even some monarchy with a gutless parliament. People can always be convinced to turn on one another. All you have to do is convince them that their way of life is being attacked. Denounce all the pacifist liberal bleeding hearts and feel-good heretics, the social outcasts, the educated. Call them elites and snobs. Say they’re out of touch with real patriots. Call these rabble-rousers terrorists. Say their very existence weakens the state. In the end, the government need not do anything to silence dissent. Their neighbors will do it for them.” 4 likes
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