Nyx is a bel dame, a bounty hunter paid to collect the heads of deserters – by almost any means necessary. ‘Almost’ proved to be the problem.
Cast out and imprisoned for breaking one rule too many, Nyx and her crew of mercenaries are all about the money. But when a dubious government deal with an alien emissary goes awry, her name is at the top of the list for a covert recovery.
While the centuries-long war rages on only one thing is certain: the world’s best chance for peace rests in the hands of its most ruthless killers… Set in a futuristic world dominated by war, religion and an insectile technology which borders on magic, Kameron Hurley’s debut is set to be the highlight of the year.
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Blood, bugs and bountyhunters
Many SF books try to explore the boundaries of societal norms. God's War jumps all over those boundaries and kicks them to pieces. It's almost certainly not what you're expecting. Though it has some of the flaws you'd expect of a first novel, you can't fault its creativity, It's full of interesting characters who are damaged and strong and flawed and weak, often all at the same time and in different ways. The dynamics in Nyx's little group are never less than engaging, and even the smallest exchange reveals subtle hints about the characters, while the action is unflinchingly merciless and often brutal.
The narrator has an unusual voice which took me some getting used to. The main fault of the performance is the very erratic pronunciation of some of the names. Even the main character's name goes through some odd mutations. It's a little distracting, especially when Anneke keeps getting called 'Anarchy'.
An engaging story set on a barely habitable world made unbearable by war, with an intriguing organic technology that's literally indistinguishable from magic. Not a book for the squeamish or people with insect phobias though, as much of the tech is bug-based.
Violent, depressing and dark