Gary's Reviews > First Light

First Light by Linda Nagata
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it was amazing

The Red is a unique and exemplary MilSF novel, one that manages to live up to standard expectations (lots of explosions, military hardware, action movie bravado) while making some formal innovations and injecting subtlety and an undercurrent of pitch black humor to a subgenre that can often be aggressively obtuse and painfully earnest.
The novel follows Lieutenant Shelley and his "linked combat squad" enforcing the will of the defense contractors who dictate world policy. Soon it becomes apparent that someone (or something) has accessed the link to Shelley's mind and is manipulating his actions. At first this entity, dubbed The Red, seems to have benevolent intentions, but as the stakes ratchet upward its agenda becomes increasingly unclear.
Special props to the author for her compelling protagonist, whose struggles with free will and self-knowledge are compounded by the his awareness of how those things are being stripped away from him - often with his own consent. Also a big fan of the episodic structure of the novel mirroring the reality TV show the LCS is unwittingly participating in.
Eagerly awaiting the arrival of part two, The Trials, in my Kindle queue (though it's dropping the same day as The Dark Forest AND The End of All Things, which will likely lead to my own struggles with free will).
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Reading Progress

July 2, 2015 – Started Reading
July 2, 2015 – Shelved
July 2, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
July 2, 2015 –
page 15
3.7%
July 2, 2015 –
page 23
5.68%
July 3, 2015 –
page 80
19.75%
July 5, 2015 –
page 112
27.65%
July 9, 2015 –
page 150
37.04%
July 10, 2015 –
page 182
44.94%
July 16, 2015 –
page 225
55.56%
July 16, 2015 –
page 235
58.02%
July 17, 2015 –
page 278
68.64%
July 22, 2015 –
page 299
73.83%
July 23, 2015 –
page 335
82.72%
July 24, 2015 – Finished Reading

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