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It is the turn of the century in an England that never was. Bright new aqua-plants are generating electricity for the streetlights; news can be easily had on the radio-viz; and in Gundisalvus' Land, the war is over and the soldiers are beginning to trickle home. Amongst these is Lt. Benjamin Braddock, survivor of the massacre that ended the war, and begrudgingly ready to return to a world that, well, doesn't seem to need him any more than it did in peacetime. His friends have homes and families to return to, while he's got nothing but his discharge papers and a couple of unwanted medals. Oh, and one new thing: the furious ghost of his commanding officer.

Fortunately, since the officer's family is so vehemently adamant that Braddock join their rich and carefree fold, he doesn't have much time to fret about being haunted. But the secrets of the war are about to catch up to them all.

©2018 Premee Mohamed (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing and Skyboat Media, Inc.

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  • Cranky Reader
  • 26-10-20

Reflections on war, with ghost.

I did not know what this was about. It is a soldier coming home from war with his dead commanding officer’s ghost following along, and being taken in by the dead soldier’s family. Kind of. It’s an exploration into the lies society tells to function, or to fail to function, and who lies most freely. It’s about the vastness of loss vs the loss of one individual. I don’t quite know what to make of it, other than wanting to eat fresh chapatis. But then reflections on war make me upset for all the senseless waste and maybe this is that too.

Worldbuilding: Vaguely steampunk, post world war Britain, which factors very little into how the story unfolds. The ghost, however, is not to be ignored. The ghost is well done.

Narration: a decent voice choice for a military survivor. Has a basso booming quality to it. Unfortunately there’s an editing error late in the text where a couple lines are spoken over each other and I was only marginally able to untangle them without rewinding.