Friday, 26 May 2017
This book is the first part of a loosely connected trilogy by an author I've not read. It came recommended to me from a friend of a friend, and I uhm'd and aah'd about getting copies because the prices on Amazon were at one point astronomical. Fortunately, I kept an eye on them and they dropped back to more reasonable levels after about a year. Also, reviews on Goodreads were a bit mixed, and after reading the book I can see why, but my usual comment applies–they're wrong because they miss the point.
Let's start with the pitchline: Aliens meet the Thing...
At one level that tells you all you need to know about the theme and the tone of these books. If you aren't able to manage visceral shock and horror then these books are not for you. However, if like me you enjoyed the film Aliens, and loved John Carpenter's The Thing, then this book and its sequels may well rock your boat.
However, terms and conditions apply. This is not Colonial Marines in space kicking ass, and the alien Vang are not exactly the Thing either, being a far more rational, and disturbing exo-parasite life form. Also, the writing has elements that would get a lot of criticism in today's market, for example, the occasional use of mind hopping in chapters.
But, this none of this detracts from the story that is compelling, driving forward from one crisis to another, that leads to the ultimate reveal of a dead alien races weapon, the eponymous Starhammer, created to fight the Vang. Highly recommended, and I will add the Vang were the inspiration for the Flood in the Halo series.