Dietz is a grunt in a war with Mars. New technology allows humans to be broken down into light and transported elsewhere – to Mars or other areas of Earth instantaneously. But Dietz starts having bad drops, falling out of sync with her unit, moving around in time. Are they really experiencing the war in a non-linear fashion, or have they come back wrong?
Starting with Dietz’s experiences as a new recruit and going through basic training, The Light Brigade takes us on a journey through a war with no end, with ruthless corporations who will stop at nothing to win, and Dietz’s desire to be an honest to god hero. It makes us ask questions about the nature of war and those in charge, the point of it, and what it does to those fighting it.
It definitely reminded me of Starship Troopers and The Edge of Tomorrow (the film versions, since I haven’t read the source materials, sorry), in the best way. It’s an amazing undertaking, and I kind of marvel at how Hurley managed to keep the timeline straight and have it all add up. It’s so complicated, but most of the time it doesn’t read that way, it’s very organic in how it plays out. I think the only place it suffers a tiny bit is meeting members of the squad out of time in some of the drops, and maybe not getting as attached as I could have to some of those characters. I did have times where I couldn’t remember who was who or what incidents had happened during which drop. I’d really recommend hunkering down with this one and reading it in as few sittings as possible (my children have been on nap strike so I’ve been reading in snippets here and there which didn’t help). I was tempted to read it again from the beginning once I’d finished but it has to go back to the library.
This is a really clever and entertaining book and I’ll definitely be checking out more of Hurley’s work.