Fiction Reviews

The Bastard Legion: Friendly Fire

(2018) Gavin Smith, Gollancz, £10.99 / Can$15.99 / US$13.99, pbk, 358pp, ISBN 978-1-473-21727-0


A while ago, I reviewed the first ‘Bastard Legion’ book, and really enjoyed it. The second doesn’t disappoint either.

Set four hundred years in the future, the Bastard Legion deals with a highly dangerous mercenary unit, made up of the world’s deadliest criminals. These should be in cryo-prison on board a maximum security ship. Miska Storrow, a black ops hacker, has stolen it and now uses the cons as her own private (and highly expendable) private army. But that’s only half the story – behind it is Miska’s attempt to find out who murdered her father, knowing that it has to be one of the cons on the ship. She also knows that they are out to kill her, too.

Basically, this is a master class in how you do enjoyable, fast paced military SF. Having set the scene with the first novel, Smith now seems to be really enjoying himself in the world that he has created. There’s plenty of fast paced action, humour, and a thoroughly satisfying plot. Better than the first one? Maybe a little, but very similar, and highly recommended.

Seb Phillips


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