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The Light Brigade

Narrated by: Cara Gee, Jackie Sanders
Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

From the Hugo Award­­-winning author of The Stars Are Legion comes a brand-new science-fiction thriller about a futuristic war during which soldiers are broken down into light in order to get them to the front lines on Mars.

They said the war would turn us into light. I wanted to be counted among the heroes who gave us this better world.

The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back...different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief - no matter what actually happens during combat.

Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.

Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero - or maybe a villain; in war, it’s hard to tell the difference.

A worthy successor to classic stories like Downbelow Station, Starship Troopers, and The Forever War, The Light Brigade is award-winning author Kameron Hurley’s gritty time-bending take on the future of war.

©2019 Kameron Hurley (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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Profile Image for Michael G Kurilla
  • Michael G Kurilla
  • 05-06-19

Unending war for all the wrong reasons

Kameron Hurley's The Light Brigade is a solid entry on the futility of war in the same vein as Starship Troopers, The Forever War, and Old Man's War. In this dystopic future, Mars has been colonized while Earth governments have slowly given way to a small set of corporations who impose a rigid caste system with the bulk of the population making up the have-nots. Supposedly, Mars has rebelled, attacked Earth, and 'blinked' away 2 million people. A young girl, Dietz, with nothing to lose, joins the military to fight Mars. Soldiers are converted to light which doesn't always work correctly, to traverse the distance to Mars. The title refers to the term for those soldiers who return different. Dietz is one and finds herself being transported out of time such that she experiences futures and pasts different from her comrades. As these jumps progress, she gradually begins to suspect that all is not what it seems and concludes that the 'war' may simply be an excuse for corporate competition as well as population control.

The major sci-fi element is the light conversion, although this is never explained and neither is the weird time displacement. The real appeal is the dystopic future of a world ruled by corporations in a life and death struggle against each other, while the bulk of the population suffers without recourse. The disjointed time segments are at first confusing, but gradually can be pieced together as Dietz slowly appreciates the true state of affairs.

The narration is well done with a decent range of characters. Given the complexity of the plot, close attention is required.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael R Lynch
  • 20-03-19

Good

First time reading this author. Overall I really enjoyed this book and finished it in two days of driving my truck. Story was fresh, narrator was awesome, and you really felt the weariness of the main character as the story progressed. The characters didn’t feel flat or filler but really felt part of the story. I recommend this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Dave D
  • Dave D
  • 18-04-19

Spoiler free review

Its an interesting journey with lots of twisting turns and drops that end in a cul-de-sac. Not for readers who cant ignore a time paradox. The ending was too disappointing for me to recommend. The production was fantastic along with Cara Gee's performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jaime T.
  • Jaime T.
  • 25-03-19

Good stuff! Really enjoyyed it

First of all, I'm a fan of Cara Gee and was super happy to hear and see that she was the narrator of the story ( check her out on The Expanse). Back to the book, this is my first Kameron Hurley book and I'm very happy to say that I will be looking forward to her next one. Very interesting concept to a story and very much enjoyed it. Check It out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jlmj
  • 27-03-19

wow!

just finished listening and find it hard to come up with words to describe the impact. here's some: thought provoking, visceral, funny, enthralling. this is a time travel story that totally hangs together. it's devastating at times in its critique of end-stage capitalism and the politics of fear. a scary story but ultimately an optimistic one.

as an added bonus, the audio performances are top notch, especially the interview interludes.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 07-01-20

Interesting and unique story... right up until th.

This was an interesting concept and good characters development. A little heavy on the anti-capitalist spiel, but it worked fine for the character. The conclusion was a let-down. There was no resolution.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-12-19

twisted circle

It's a combo of Twelve Monkeys and Jacob's Ladder rolled into a story that is a little too close to reality of the corporate world today for comfort.

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  • Ezraxiv
  • 22-11-19

One of the best of 2019

This book was phenomenal from start to finish, great pace, complex but not overly confusing. if you like a time-bender set in a militaristic dystopian future, this will be just the thing. Narration was first class as well, Cara realty nails it!

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Profile Image for Jared cagigas
  • Jared cagigas
  • 19-11-19

Great Listen

Amazing book, caught myself listening to it any chance I could get. When the journey was complete, I caught myself a bit upset that it was over. Couldn’t help but wish it was a bit longer, gritty and exciting. Defiantly give it a listen!

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Profile Image for Andrew Niesent
  • Andrew Niesent
  • 12-11-19

Good Book

I’ll be honest, it took me a little bit to get into this book. I started listening to the first couple chapters and then put it away and started listening to other stuff. I couple months later I figured I would get back into because I was caught up on other series’ that I listen to. I am glad I did and I am glad I didn’t give up on it entirely. This is a smart book and the author is a great storyteller. It has a Pulp Fiction kind of fill as the main character jumps through time and space, but everything comes around full circle. It is a great book and I really enjoyed the characters and it was a really cool story.