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#60 God's War by Kameron Hurley

Nyx can't remember a time when her world was not consumed by war. Still she soldiers on, first by fighting on the front lines, and GodsWarthen by working as one of the Queen's Bel Dames (think government sanctioned mercenary). Then Nyx's life takes a turn for the worse, leaving her stripped of her title and thrown in jail. After getting out, she forms her own team of independent mercenaries. When the Queen calls upon her to track down an alien located in enemy territory, Nyx agrees to take the job, but will she emerge with her life intact?

I read God's War as part of calico_reaction's book club for the month of June (it just took me a little longer than I intended to finish it). What first drew me towards this title was the setting. God's War is a sci-fi book that takes place on a planet called Umayma. The planet's inhabitants are primarily Muslim, although actual interpretations of the faith can lead to radically different results. This leads to a holy war between the Nasheenians and Chenjans. Between the constant loss of life in battle and the threat of radiation, life on this planet is decidedly gritty and grim. What adds an interesting flavor to this already unique world is the magic system, where magicians have a psychic connection to local insect population. I honestly can say that I don't think I've ever encountered a sci-fi universe quite like the one presented in God's War. Between the unique setting and the authors daring tackling of issues such as religion, homosexuality and war, God's War is often a fascinating read.

At the same time, God's War is a book throws a lot at you. There are times when it worked for me, and times when it didn't. Very little time is taken to provide exposition, so I occasionally found myself confused by what was going on. God's War is also a very dark book (one of our first scenes with Nyx involves her beheading an adolescent boy). This normally worked for me, given the context of a war torn world. Still, there were times when it felt a little over the top (mostly while dealing with the villains chasing Nyx). Characterization is also a little tricky. I liked Nyx and Rhys and found their relationship to be very interesting. I had a much harder time connecting to the sizable secondary cast.

God's War is a complex book. On occasion, I found it to be a bit of a confusing struggle, but for the most part, I enjoyed it. This is primarily due to the unique setting, magic system, and the relationship between Nyx and Rhys. I would consider picking up the sequel in the future.

Rating: three and a half stars
Length: 287 pages
Source: half.com
Other books I've read by this author: this is my first

Next I will be reviewing The Big Four by Agatha Christie and Fables, Vol 8: Wolves by Bill Willingham

xposted to temporaryworldsbookish, and goodreads
Tags: xxx author last name: i-q
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