Death's Head - David Gunn

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This is a fun, SF rollercoast ride with plenty of action, violence and sex but never to the extremes the quotations initially lead you to believe. Perhaps that's just me brought up on a diet of video nasties and Richard Morgan. With my taste buds (or eyes?) used to more extreme outings. However I enjoyed the pulp feel to events, the fast pace and the continuing surprises that Gunn set out, like effective boobytraps - always keeping you guessing what was around the corner.

The lead character Sven isn't much of a nice chap, almost machine and certainly lacking many human emotions, his voyage in this book is one of discovery but in terms of space travel, and as a person, with plenty of killing and suffering inbetween. By the end he is a better person, although how he actually got through it all is behind me!

I'm tired of the Dan Brown wannabe's on the shelves everywhere, and there is more to writing than simply finding treasure or government plots. There is a place for good SF such as this, alongside the thrillers, adventures and serial killers we see everywhere. In Death's Head you realise that the organisation itself is ruthless, almost nazi in its approach, but individuals within can overcome odds and actually do some good. Don't fool yourself, this isn't a tale for the fainthearted or those looking for a detailed political space opera. No, this is about what's left of a man and one that knows he can do more than just kill. Bloodhounds will enjoy certain aspects but it never goes into too much gory detail, or heavily into technology. Leaving you to enjoy the ride without too much thought.

It'll be interesting to see what's next for Sven.

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