Book Reviews

Review: The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

The Light Brigade was one of those books you want to tell people about, but don’t know where to begin. It’s a book about war, conspiracy, and the truth in the midst of a thriller atmosphere. I never really read books about war or the military, but The Light Brigade was about so much more.


They said the war would turn us into light.
I wanted to be counted among the heroes who gave us this better world.

The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief—no matter what actually happens during combat.

Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.

Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero—or maybe a villain; in war it’s hard to tell the difference.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

So much of what I want to talk about in my review of The Light Brigade I can’t! There is such rich and gritty world building. A world of corporations, fights for recognition, and the endless quest for survival. Part of why I was so captivated by The Light Brigade is the ways it feels within our grasp. Our world run by corporations determining our citizenship, our rights. Part of that is my imagination running away from me, and maybe some cynicism, but that’s what kept me reading.

The Light Brigade is a testament to the power of the individual and the necessity to see the truth. Hurley is able to balance this utterly bleak world where you don’t really own your agency and still manage to leave you with a feeling that isn’t hopelessness. There is definitely a high level of confusion, but not because of the way it’s written, but because it mirrors Dietz’s own confusion. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an unconventional SF read that will leave you thinking.

The Light Brigade is a story about war, conspiracy, and looking for the truth. Find The Light Brigade on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


What other unconventional SF do you like? I’d also recommend Sleeping Giants!

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