5 Jul 2019

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: BIG RED by Damien Larkin

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays

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Author: Damien Larkin
Series: N/A
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press LLC
Publication Date: May 19, 2019

We have always been here...

Suffering the side effects of Compression travel, soldier Darren Loughlin wakes up screaming from a gunshot wound that isn’t there. 

Despite a fractured memory, he is forced to recount his year-long tour of duty on Mars to uncover the mysterious fate of Earth’s off-world colonies and the whereabouts of his shattered battalion.

With time running out, Darren recalls his tour of duty with the Mars Occupation Force in New Berlin colony, their brutal MARSCORP masters, and the vicious war against the hostile alien natives.

But as he exposes the truth, Darren suspects he is at the centre of a plot spanning forty years. He has one last mission to carry out. And his alien enemy may be more human than he is… 
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion. Part of my review was used as a blurb for the cover.

I really enjoyed this one! It took a lot of tropes and ideas that I generally don't like in Military Science Fiction and turned them into something I really enjoyed. Who would have thought aliens, Nazis, and time travel would have blended together so well?

I think what makes BIG RED different from other Military Science Fiction for me was that you can tell you are really experiencing the events through the eyes of a soldier. You can tell that Larkin (and by extension, his protagonist Darren) has the knowledge and lived experience to be able to write a realistic but understandable and tangible military. You see a lot of the same types of tropes in this that you see in regular Military SF (and I can see some other novels influence in this one - Ender's Game comes to mind easily). But that doesn't detract from the reading experience for it.

I loved reading about the characters and in the mind of Darren. I thought his motivations were very clear but being in his perspective kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I liked the slow reveal that went along with Darren's mind remembering what happened on Mars and the fallout from there. I thought it was a really smart move on Larkin's part.

The plot itself was pretty interesting. I liked the mesh of time travel and war. I don't know how I feel about the Nazi part of it though because I felt at some points there could have been a mistake of sympathetic tendencies to the Nazis. I don't think that is what was intended, but it did come across that way during the scene in question. I think it was supposed to be more of a "we have fallen into the same hole as them" - I just don't think it was as refined as it could have been.

The technology piece was really incredible and I want another story set with this tech and world. I thought it was a smart use of technology and futuristic ideology mixed with time travel and the past. I was extremely fascinated with how the two mixed together and the types of advancements that were a part of this book.

I look forward to reading more by Damien Larkin and hope that you pick up BIG RED! A true Military Science Fiction novel that keeps you guessing while not turning you off with the "military" aspects. It is a great book to ease you into the Military SF genre, if you haven't read a lot of it. Check this one out today!

Damien Larkin is a full-time stay-at-home father of two loud (but happy) young children. When not tinkering with apps as a side project, you can find him reading everything and anything to do with psychology, history and science fiction. He enjoys turning terrifying nightmares into novels and currently resides in Dublin, Ireland.

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  1. Thank you for your honest review and I'm glad you enjoyed Big Red!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Not sure it's for me, but I might know someone to recommend this book to, so yay!


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