Gary's Reviews > The Darkside War

The Darkside War by Zachary Brown
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Three and a half stars.

I enjoyed this particular iteration of the old "aliens conscript humans to fight their war" MilSF plot. An alliance of alien races known as the Accordance has conquered Earth, and quickly begins poaching the solar system's resources - including humans for cannon fodder - to fight an unstoppable enemy known as the Conglomeration. The author (reportedly a somewhat accomplished writer hiding behind a pseudonym) builds a neatly pessimistic catch-22 for the human race: they can live with some semblance of free will under the paternalistic heel of the Accordance, or become zombie-like genetic mulch for the unyielding Conglomeration's endless expansionist machine. There is some nice dark humor drawn out of this conundrum, and builds into a nail biter when our heroes finally come face to face with the Conglomeration's terrifying foot soldiers.

On the negative side, nothing too original or surprising happens here. The book is too short and moves too hastily, and there is a lot of info-dumping that bogs down the early chapters. After a clichéd but serviceable basic training sequence, though, the story picks up steam and pays off the central characters' arcs after a well executed climactic battle, throwing in a few nice carrots to drum up interest for the sequel. I'll bite.
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Reading Progress

February 4, 2016 – Started Reading
February 6, 2016 – Finished Reading
February 7, 2016 – Shelved

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