Gary's Reviews > The Chaplain's War

The Chaplain's War by Brad R. Torgersen
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did not like it

This was a very disappointing novel. I was intrigued by the fact that this was a science fiction novel that dealt with faith and religion as its main subject rather than just some auxiliary piece of a character's backstory, but sadly The Chaplain's War has nothing noteworthy to say on the subject. The story is predictable and stuffed with clichés and stock characters, and the narrative is bloated and padded out to the point of tedium, especially in the middle section. The novel falls short as military sci-fi and as an exploration of faith and religious philosophy. It is not embarrassingly bad, and the author is obviously an intelligent and thoughtful person, but other than a few nice moments here and there, there is little for me to recommend to fans of the genre.

I liked that the hero was not some super-soldier type, but rather a basically decent human being who just wanted to live a good life. It's the kind of thing I'd like to see more of in sci-fi lit, and I wish I had found a character like this in a better novel.

Part of this novel was a Hugo-nominated story, which is one of the reasons (along with the back cover synopsis) that I bought it - I assumed it had been properly vetted by others with discriminating tastes. Ironically, the section of the book that particular story is taken from is actually my least favorite part, and if I had read that story first I probably wouldn't have bought the book. Serves me right, I guess.

Getting a Hugo nom means that this author definitely has a loyal fan base. Legendary sci-fi authors Larry Niven and Mike Resnick have recommended The Chaplain's War, and that cannot be taken lightly. The fist 13 chapters of the novel - - are available to read at the publisher's website, and I would recommend checking it out before deciding whether to purchase this novel. If I had done so, I would have spent my money on something else.
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Reading Progress

October 19, 2014 – Shelved
October 19, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
November 13, 2014 –
page 1
November 13, 2014 –
page 48
November 14, 2014 –
page 64
November 15, 2014 –
page 75
November 15, 2014 –
page 103
November 15, 2014 –
page 114
November 15, 2014 –
page 125
Started Reading
February 15, 2015 – Finished Reading

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