Fiction Reviews

Take Back the Sky

(2016) Greg Bear, Gollancz, 18.99, trdpbk, 296pp, ISBN 978-0-575-13396-9


This military space opera concludes the trilogy that began with War Dogs and Killing Titan. Importantly, it does round things off.

Now, if you enjoy tales of futuristic war and alien encounters then this trilogy really pushes those buttons. Yet this is a difficult title to review without giving away spoilers. Rest assured we do find out why the so-called friendly Guru aliens hate swearing, why they want good telecommunications with the human soldiers fighting the Antag aliens, as well as what happened to those humans convicted of abhorrent human crimes. But to be honest you really need to go back to read the first two titles in this trilogy in order.

When we left Venn at the end of Killing Titan he and his comrades were about to surrender to the Antags having realised that the Antags and humans have been played off against each other by the Gurus. They leave Titan and board a giant, seemingly deserted, Guru ship.  What they find and how they get on forms most of Take Back the Sky.

Greg Bear is getting on. During his career he has given us some remarkable books. Hugely recommended from earlier on in his oeuvre is Blood Music concerning the collective intelligence of microbes, and more recently Hull Zero three both of which have received critical acclaim.  The bottom line is that I am not sure how many more titles we an expect from the man: a good few still I hope. So do try out these earlier titles and do make the most of this 'War Dogs' trilogy.

Jonathan Cowie

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