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The Scarlet Bastards: A Company Soldier Kindle Edition
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Top customer reviews
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Now, has The Scarlet Bastards changed my mind on dystopian sci-fi? No. It's still not my cup of tea. However, I am glad that I gave this novella a shot. Perhaps it was because it was short that I was so entrenched in the story, or maybe it's just the fantastic writing of Mr MacUisdin, but either way, I was hooked, and when it ended, I found myself wanting more. That was new, but that was also a good thing.
The characters are fantastic, the main character so well developed it didn't take me long to connect. It's yet another book I don't want to give too much description about, so I don't take away from the story itself. Read it, you won't regret it. Even if you don't like the genre, give it a try. I'm really glad I did, and I'm really happy to give this book a five out of five stars. I won't be surprised if I find myself tempted enough to pick up one of the longer novels and give it a read.
I'm not sure what it was, but The Scarlet Bastards never made the jump from `okay book' to `great book'. This could be because it's not something I would normally read or maybe it really is just good, but not great. There were some things I absolutely loved about Mac Úisdin's book, but there were some other elements that I didn't like.
I'll start with the former. I absolutely loved the idea of a spoiled Canadian boy setting off on an adventure to what turns out to be the United Nations' most ragtag army ever. The premise was excellent and overall it was executed well. There was plenty of humour, but also some poignant moments, which is actually quite a bit to pack into one novella that's only 50 pages long. As for the characters, you have your gag characters like MacShaka, but also your somewhat serious characters like Alexander himself. Alexander as a narrator has an interesting enough voice and does mature quite quickly throughout the story, so I appreciate the effort Mac Úisdin has put into character development.
At first I really loved the world of Samsāra, but because of some of the slang words used by MacShaka and other characters who had been there for a while, I don't feel I got everything that I should have. The descriptions of what the army was wearing and some of the dialogue was so dialect and slang ridden that I really had no idea what was going on sometimes. Yes, adding character quirks and local slang is important, but when it's overused it gets both confusing and annoying. And while the dialogue in The Scarlet Bastards never reaches the annoying stage, it is rather confusing.
Maybe it was the fact that this book was never meant for someone like me, but I don't think this is a series I'll be continuing. However, if the blurb sounds interesting to you, go ahead and read it! It might just be a matter of personal preference on my part.
I give this book 3.5/5 stars, rounded up to 4 stars for Amazon rating purposes.
A veritable barrage of the senses, The Scarlet Bastards is hilarious, exotic, surreal, vivacious and poignant. The writing juxtaposes travelling through hyperspace with travelling by tundra camel; hides gems of wisdom in profanity-laden tirades. It's a roller coaster ride, but at it's heart it's an old tale, of a boy becoming a man far from home. Great writing and Highly recommended.