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Publisher's Summary

From the Hugo Award­­-winning author of The Stars Are Legion comes a brand-new science-fiction thriller about a futuristic war during which soldiers are broken down into light in order to get them to the front lines on Mars.

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. 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.

A worthy successor to classic stories like Downbelow Station, Starship Troopers, and The Forever War, The Light Brigade is award-winning author Kameron Hurley’s gritty time-bending take on the future of war.

©2019 Kameron Hurley (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about The Light Brigade

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Pseudoscience and a very low faith in the ability of people to know what is good

Dystopia in the future. Capitalism (along with all other forms of social interaction) doesn’t work except for those who it does work for... or... the author doesn’t understand politics, the human psyche, military tactics/strategy, or how to write a satisfying ending (unless you think super simple is a suitable conclusion to dystopian writing).

There are some interesting concepts, but they aren’t explored much. It’s just fighting and a surprising lack of calendars and a big brother that is all powerful, except basically any time it gets in the way of the story.

File it in young adult dystopian section and then don’t recommend it.

8 people found this helpful

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Unending war for all the wrong reasons

Kameron Hurley's The Light Brigade is a solid entry on the futility of war in the same vein as Starship Troopers, The Forever War, and Old Man's War. In this dystopic future, Mars has been colonized while Earth governments have slowly given way to a small set of corporations who impose a rigid caste system with the bulk of the population making up the have-nots. Supposedly, Mars has rebelled, attacked Earth, and 'blinked' away 2 million people. A young girl, Dietz, with nothing to lose, joins the military to fight Mars. Soldiers are converted to light which doesn't always work correctly, to traverse the distance to Mars. The title refers to the term for those soldiers who return different. Dietz is one and finds herself being transported out of time such that she experiences futures and pasts different from her comrades. As these jumps progress, she gradually begins to suspect that all is not what it seems and concludes that the 'war' may simply be an excuse for corporate competition as well as population control.

The major sci-fi element is the light conversion, although this is never explained and neither is the weird time displacement. The real appeal is the dystopic future of a world ruled by corporations in a life and death struggle against each other, while the bulk of the population suffers without recourse. The disjointed time segments are at first confusing, but gradually can be pieced together as Dietz slowly appreciates the true state of affairs.

The narration is well done with a decent range of characters. Given the complexity of the plot, close attention is required.

6 people found this helpful

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Interesting and unique story... right up until th.

This was an interesting concept and good characters development. A little heavy on the anti-capitalist spiel, but it worked fine for the character. The conclusion was a let-down. There was no resolution.

5 people found this helpful

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Spoiler free review

Its an interesting journey with lots of twisting turns and drops that end in a cul-de-sac. Not for readers who cant ignore a time paradox. The ending was too disappointing for me to recommend. The production was fantastic along with Cara Gee's performance.

5 people found this helpful

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Good

First time reading this author. Overall I really enjoyed this book and finished it in two days of driving my truck. Story was fresh, narrator was awesome, and you really felt the weariness of the main character as the story progressed. The characters didn’t feel flat or filler but really felt part of the story. I recommend this book.

4 people found this helpful

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Interesting story. Poor editing

First - love the story. The Starship Troopers references in other reviews are accurate. Not a bad template to follow.

This novel falls apart though. It has all of the ingredients to be a classic Sci Fi story. Just the lack of follow through on the authors part keeps it from getting there. By 'lack of follow through' I mean 'EDITING'. This story could have used another 2-3 major edits to get everything tied together a bit tighter.

The story jumps in time sequence so quickly from a moment unfolding in real time to something in the past to unfolding in real time again, only not the same time as the first real time. Its really unclear as to what is happening and when after the first jump occurs.

If you want a time traveling book, good ones: Finney - Time and Again, Van Coops - In Times Like These, Anderson - Time Patrol, Willis - Say Nothing of the Dog.

Books this one kind of reminded me of... Forever War - Halderman, Starship Troopers - Heinlein, and Armor by Steakley

3 people found this helpful

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Good stuff! Really enjoyyed it

First of all, I'm a fan of Cara Gee and was super happy to hear and see that she was the narrator of the story ( check her out on The Expanse). Back to the book, this is my first Kameron Hurley book and I'm very happy to say that I will be looking forward to her next one. Very interesting concept to a story and very much enjoyed it. Check It out.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating and thought-provoking.

Like any good time travel story, this is equal parts exhilarating and confusing. Put your thinking caps on, folks, because you'll need them to keep up with the order of events and the events and faces that flash in out of time. Not to mention that the big resolution happens at breakneck speed. I wish it had slowed just a bit, but it is what it is.

Ultimately the whole book asks you to look at something philosophical and nearly tangible and try to understand. For the most part it succeeds.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Story, Abbreviated End. Spoilers!

Great Story and storytelling. Narration was superb, and felt like it belonged to the protagonist. Interesting as the heroine unravels the confusing mystery of alternate timelines while maintaining her tenuous hold on sanity. At the same time, she figures out the greed, manipulating propaganda, and lies that start and maintain most wars.
The ending felt abbreviated and somewhat unsatisfying given the complexity, bravery and incredible intelligence that the story required up to that point. I realize that it’s difficult to make a satisfying ending to a story that revolves around ending or preventing a war. To the author’s credit, the protagonist realizes that war is unfortunately an almost inevitable part of the human condition. But she retains hope for the future. I just wish that future could have been outlined more concretely. The story and heroine reminded me of Heinlein (although slightly more mature and complex). This is a great compliment from me.
I will read more from Kameron Hurley.
All the Best,
Humble Reviewer #12,834,911

1 person found this helpful

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Meh......

This book is part Starship Troopers part Edge of Tomorrow without the aliens, with a smattering of Communist Manifesto thrown in. Very slow evolving storyline, the author does a very good job making you connect with her characters, and the time hopping makes for an interesting story, but it never really felt drawn into the book. A 2 1/2 out of 5 star read based solely on the authors character development.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Elaine Brien
  • 06-24-21

Editor needed!

A very talented writer let down by a poor editor to allow a great story to become somewhat confused and convoluted. This novel could have been up there with The Forever War but as is its still worth a read.