review by Joe Vaz

Published by Orbit
PB 512 pages
RRP £8.99

You have no idea what to make of this.

You meet Lieutenant “Lucky” Quinto as he leads a platoon to uncover a cache of military weapons hidden ages ago beneath the ground in an abandoned mine. It seems as though you’re reading a piece of military SF. You’re in Starship Troopers territory, or that’s what you assume: army guys battle aliens.

Except that a few pages later you realise that Quinto’s platoon is lacking in true soldiers. The war has been going for so long, and so badly, that the only soldiers are the leftovers – the ones who would never have been chosen to fight in the first place. They include a 76 year-old woman and a 14 year-old boy. They’re raiding the cache of old weapons because they’ve run out of everything else. Humanity is losing this war, and losing it badly.

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