- Series: The Bastard Legion
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz (February 6, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1473217253
- ISBN-13: 978-1473217256
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bastard Legion: Book 1 Paperback – February 6, 2018
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Gavin G Smith joined the ranks of 'Masters of Military SciFi' with his book The Bastard Legion, which took many of the preconceived notions of the 'shooty death in space genre' and turned them around.―STARBURST
Gloriously action-packed and often brutal.―PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
High octane SF adventure with Smith's trademark twist.―Jamie Sawyer, author of The Lazarus War
The characters are well drawn, the action fluid, fast, and excellently written. Both books are cracking reads, and if spaceship level SF is your thing then you should probably snap up both.―Adrian Tchaikovsky
About the Author
Gavin G. Smith is the Dundee-born author of the hard edged, action-packed SF novels Veteran, War in Heaven, Age of Scorpio, A Quantum Mythology and The Beauty of Destruction, as well as the short story collection Crysis: Escalation. He has collaborated with Stephen Deas as the composite personality Gavin Deas and co-written Elite: Wanted, and the shared world series Empires: Infiltration and Empires: Extraction.
Top customer reviews
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The question then becomes is it the hot mess that was the movie or the well put together graphic novels?
The answer is the latter.
At first when the novel is establishing the characters and tone it was just ok, but it quickly gets more and more interesting.
Many of the plot twists and developments I didn't see coming.
The main character was much deeper and had more complex motivations than she first seems.
The Aussie guy and another called only Ultra were two of the supporting characters that I most liked.
The others range from complex to cannon fodder.
The only downside is that once every few chapters were flashback chapters. These frequently came right when things were escalating and broke up the flow a bit for me.
Other than that, this was quite a good read and I really hope for more!
This gem seems to be set in the same world as Veteran and War in Heaven (and maybe all hjs books, come to think of it), but less dense then the last trilogy which hurt your head in a great way with the time stuff. This here is more of cinematic action-packed blockbuster type of thrill-ride.
You got here an truly ass-kicking heroine, awesome battles, a mysterious backstory, fantastic characters, non-cheesy humor, realistic dialog, slick technology, and, most important, lots of room for an ongoing series.
What makes Gavin Smith really stand out is his surefooted, quality writing. He's really good at seamlessly integrating really creative and detailed science fiction ideas into the story through dialog and action so there's no distracting info dumps. Too many SF writers just don't get that we want to be entertained! Smith delivers.
Miska is a ex special forces veteran and an expert hacker and she has used her skills to hijack a prison ship containing thousands of violent prisoners in suspended animation. The prisoners are supposed to be rehabilitated via virtual reality but Miska has something very different in mind - turning them into her own private army. After taking control of the ship Miska fitted each of the prisoners with an explosive collar around their neck and it didn't take long to prove to them that any disobedience would cause them to lose their heads. With the help of an electronic ghost of a marine sergeant Miska has set out to train the prisoners and turn them into an elite group of mercenaries. She knows the prisoners would happily kill her but unless they can figure out a way to remove their collars she's in no danger right now.
I thought The Bastard Legion was an incredibly promising start to this new series, I kind of love the idea of taking a bunch of violent murderers and turning them into elite soldiers even though it's pretty terrifying to think of the damage they could do once they're fully trained. Miska is a totally kickass character who is a skilled fighter but at the same time she's not exactly the most likeable character, she is pretty willing to use the prisoners as canon fodder and she doesn't seem to have much of a conscience. Okay these guys all did something horrible to earn their prison sentence but she's basically turned them into slaves and that did make me feel kind of uncomfortable, especially when so many of them died. It takes a long time to reveal why Miska is so set on her plan and I think even now there are things going on behind the scenes that we're not aware of yet but she's definitely ruthless and not afraid to make difficult choices.
The story is incredibly action packed, there is always something going on and danger comes from all kinds of directions so try not to get too attached to anyone because you never know who is going to end up dying next. There were a few prisoners I'm curious about getting to know better but it's hard to know how much anyone can be trusted when they're in such a controlled environment, it'll only be when (or if) the collars come off that we'll really see the true measure of people. Some of them definitely seem to have more of a conscience than Miska though and it was quite amusing to see murderers question the morality of what she was doing.
It took a while to get into this book but by midway through I was totally hooked and I'm very curious to see how things play out in the next book. I have a feeling there is a lot more to Miska than meets the eye and it's going to be interesting to see if she's really as hard as she acts or if there is a nicer side to her buried down deep.