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Big Red

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4.65  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  25 reviews
We have always been here...


Traumatized by the effects of Compression travel, soldier Darren Loughlin holds the key to the fate of Earth’s Martian colonies. With his Battalion decimated, his fractured memory holds the only clues to the colony-wide communications blackout.


With time running out, Darren pieces together his year-long tour of duty with the Mars Occupation Force.
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Published May 14th 2019 by Dancing Lemur Press LLC
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Average rating 4.65  · 
Rating details
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Phil Parker
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Big Red is described as Military Science Fiction and while that is true, I’d add the caveat that it’s also an intensely human story. As all good and great SF should do, it examines the human condition and what better way to do that, than through the eyes of a soldier.

There’s so much of this novel that reminds me of the stories I read as a youngster, like Joe Haldeman and Robert Heinlein. In fact Heinlein’s Starship Troopers stayed with me throughout the book. Heinlein had seen active service and
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L.G. Keltner
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Big Red can be described in a lot of ways. It’s military science fiction. It’s also an alternate history story. Most importantly, though, it’s the story of people who have been thrown into extraordinary circumstances that test the very limits of human endurance. I found myself rooting for these characters as they struggled for survival and understanding in a hostile environment.

The story opens with soldier Darren Loughlin as he regains consciousness. He is disoriented and trying figure out how h
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Happy Booker
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Darren Loughlin is a soldier waking up realizing that a lot has changed. He has been away on Mars for a very long time, coming back to Earth trying to figure out and recall what has happened. As he begins to understand everything, he remembers the brutality that was conducted during his stay at Mars, which explains a few things, now that he is back.


This science fiction, action thriller story begins and ends with a faced pace storyline. The literature standard was suitable to its genre and the co
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Roberto Torres-Torres
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Big Red – Damien Larkin (2019)


The life of a reader contains many bittersweet moments. For me, one of the worst is discovering a writer that is new to me, but that I later find out has already passed, and will no longer be writing new work. This always fills me with an odd sadness, as if I missed the boat somehow, knowing all I can do is catch up on what I already missed. The exact opposite situation has occurred as I read Big Red, the debut science fiction novel from author Damien Larkin. I was
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C.D. Gallant-King
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pew-pew-in-space
Nazis on Mars. Alien space bugs. Secret government conspiracies. Time travel. This book has it all, and, amazingly, makes it all make sense.

When I first saw the publicity material referencing the setting, particularly the "Nazis in Space" part, I thought for sure this had to be some kind of parody, or at least written with tongue planted firmly in cheek. (Which I would be super down for, by the way) I was eager to dig into it after Dancing Lemur Press offered me an advanced copy in exchange for
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Taylor Watkins
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A thrilling read with a unique plot in a classic setting, Big Red by author Damien Larkin is sure to please any sci-fi fan out there. Published by Dancing Lemur Press LLC and sent to me directly in exchange for an honest review, the novel intertwines modern-day technology with imaginative futuristic innovations that make Mars seem like more than just a dusty red planet.

To see my full review complete with a list of pros and cons, visit my book review blog, Bitty Book Nook: https://bittybooknook.b
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Jamie (Books and Ladders)
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
See this review and more on Books and Ladders!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

I really enjoyed this one! It took a lot of tropes and ideas that I generally don't like in Military Science Fiction and turned them into something I really enjoyed. Who would have thought aliens, Nazis, and time travel would have blended together so well?

I'll have a full review up closer to release date!
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Alex Cavanaugh
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bat-crap crazy! In a good way. Lots of twists and turns. Great read.
Lee Conley
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A review of
Big Red
By Damien Larkin

I don’t read much sci-fi but when I do I make sure it’s a good one. I thought I’d check out Big Red by Damien Larkin as I had the chance to read it before release. It turned out to be a kick ass military sci-fi about the occupation of Mars.

The story is initially set in modern day Ireland and the UK, told from the point of view of our protagonist, Darren Loughlin. He is a part time soldier who quickly finds himself ensnared in a contract to serve an unexpecte
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Tonja Drecker
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's been awhile since I've read a military science fiction novel, so I was looking forward to diving into this one.

Darren wakes up screaming in a hospital bed, his memories gone. Those around him are injured severely, men who were supposedly part of his team on a mission to Mars. Unfortunately, he's told that time is of the essence and must work immediately on regaining his memories by starting as far back in his life as he can remember and working his way forward. As he recounts his life, the
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Lynda Young
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A soldier wakes up in a hospital bed, confused and with a fragmented memory. He is certain he was shot in the chest but no wound is apparent. A great start to the novel. The story unfolds from there with the soldier explaining the course of events from the beginning, with the story jumping back now and then to the present day.

This is a military sci-fi that reminded me a lot of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. There was plenty of action that you’d expect from a military sci-fi too, which I’m sure w
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Sue Tingey
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a pre publication copy of this novel for an unbiased review. Firstly I would like to say I do not usually read SciFi. It didn't matter. I loved this novel. It was well written and instantly engaging. The story was fast paced and not so technical that a total technophobe like me couldn't follow it.

From the very first page we're straight into the story. The protagonist, Darren is in hospital and almost immediately is being asked a load of questions he can't answer. He is injured and co
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Carrie Westmoreland Kurtz
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it

First let me say that military sci-fi isn't really my genre so I was a bit apprehensive when I picked this book up. It's hard to read a book that isn't really your style. I always want to be fair when reviewing someone's hard work!

With all that being said, even though this wasn't "my kind of book" I actually enjoyed it! Were there some things I didn't love? Sure, but over all it was a pretty enjoyable book!

Now, I know that I just used a lot of exclamation points. But the thing is, I'm a bit surp
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Craig Kelly
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
read the book from cover to cover and it is a brilliant book. the twist and turns the novel takes are unexpected and intriguing. the more i read the more i wished the book would go on forever. the main character and his decent into a madness like state as his mind unwinds due to all the horror that he goes through under the guise of his enemies being''hostile'' and how he tries to make amends

i love the way the reade5 is learning about his past as he relives it in order to find out why they have
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Ellen
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
If you enjoy military sci-fi with lots of unexpected twists, you'll love Big Red. It's a compulsive page turner with plenty of action, characters that you'll care about, and well-crafted world building. Looking forward to reading more from this author. ...more
Adrian O'Paircigh
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loving this book.. It's like a mix of Starship Troopers and Total Recall!
Well written and complex!
Definitely not one you'll get bored reading!

"VAE VICTIS"
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Gary O'Brien
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
An exciting military science fiction thriller with a deeply insightful look into what it means to be a soldier.

I want to start out by saying I discovered Damien Larkin’s work during an online panel hosted by Quarancon2020 about writing fight scenes. I was intrigued by his passion when discussing his writing, so much so that I went and bought Big Red right away. And I was not disappointed.

Big Red tells the story of Darren ‘Dub’ Loughlin, a former soldier of the Reserve Defence Forces in modern
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Barry Corcoran
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Big Red is a true Sci-fi adventure story in the classical sense; thought provoking with lots of questions, and set against a fantastical background. We follow our protagonist Darren, as he unwittingly gets himself tied up in an otherworldly conflict. Darren, and his close group of friends find themselves in a moral, and psychological tug of war between right and wrong, and reality itself. This story has twists, and lots of them, but they are well earned, and none are gratuitous. There is action, ...more
Joel Schueler
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a bit of a World War II geek I enjoyed reading about the MARSCORP, the Naziesque organisation.

This is a complex, intelligent book exploring aspects of time travel, identity, horror and much more. For those looking for a deep, scintillating escape, I would recommend this book.
Craig Kinsella
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
They say that writers only get better as they get older. If that's the case then we can expect a lot from Damien Larking in the future. 'Big Red' is an impressive debut outing and a welcome addition to the often overlooked canon of Irish science fiction. ...more
Phil Williams
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Big Red is a lot of fun. It's got an old-school charm which I think is immediately apparent from that cover; this is the sort of no-nonsense military space story you used to get way back when, and to be honest when I (finally) picked it up I was very there for that. I'd been through a patch of literary, dark or otherwise complicated books (read: trying too hard to be different) and sometimes you just want to see a bunch of happy-go-lucky nobodies romping about fighting space aliens.

In a nutshell
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Paper Never Refused Ink
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Want to read a truly unique Military Science Fiction story?

Then look no further than 'Big Red'. Damien Larkin has created a gripping and terrifying world. Where nothing is as it seems, and the truth is buried deep. Only the toughest and bravest will be able to find it.

From cover to cover, there is action and surprise. There is loss, heart ache and twists. There is the gritty reality of military life, and unflattering look at the beasts that can be made to stir in the hearts of man.

DL has careful
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S. D. Howarth
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tripp Ainsworth
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Darren, Dublin, Loughlin signs up for a UN program, that unbeknownst to him, is going to send him to be a shocktrooper for the colonization of Mars.
Only they don’t send him, they send his consciousness into a new body across the solar system. Almost like Avatar, but it’s a one-way trip, and with an Irish space Marine. His realy body is back in a lab in London while he’s out fighting giant insects and Space Nazis.
I was a little weary about the time travel, and teleportation at first, but it ended
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Ciaran O'Neill
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was the first science fiction book I ever read, absolutely loved it. Great story with lots of twists, keeps you guessing right until the end. For me, this book has really ignited an interest in the sci-fi genre. Looking forward to the release of Blood Red Sand!
Chelsea Burke
rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2019
Amanda Larkin
rated it it was amazing
Jun 13, 2020
Steve Howarth
rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2019
Padraic Ó Broin
rated it it was amazing
May 14, 2019
Charity Bradford
rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2020
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