Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Death's Head.

Well, I know I’m enjoying a book when everything else stops until I’ve completed it. This had its faults, but probably the same faults as mine in that the reader is too hooked into the action to take in all the detail. I was confused about the political set-up here until the end, and the snake heads were right out of Stargate Atlantis, but none of this was enough to distract me for long.

David Gunn’s Death’s Head started off loaded with violent action and horror and continued in that vein, so I was hooked from about page two, then hooked landed gutted and fried in batter as soon as the talking gun put in an appearance. Yeah! Fuck the literarty-farty crap in the SFF world that has the self-proclaimed arbiters of taste creaming their panties. Take those oh-so-worthy tomes and shove ‘em where the sun don’t shine. This took me right back to the fun I had reading E. C. Tubb’s Dumarest saga, Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter on Mars or the old Robert E Howard Conan books!

Only those were books I enjoyed as a teenager … um, perhaps I haven’t grown up … do I want to? Nah.

Nice to read unpretentious solid cover-to-cover entertainment without any concessions to the pc-focus-group-bullshit age we live in. Nice to read something that isn’t a dreadfully sincere allegory on our times, or a sophomore comment on this that or the other political, social, racial, religious or environmental situation by some prick having an attack of literature.

It's often the way when describing books to compare them to other books, or films - whatever. This I would call Starship Troopers meets Commando.

Great fun.

8 comments:

Rasselas said...

Sold.

Chris said...

Check out amazon.co.uk, with one reader review stating, "Peter F. Hamilton meets Neal Asher". :-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I loved this book as well. Excellent piece of SciFi entertainment. Doesn't get much better than Death's Head.

Jeff said...

dammit, guess I have to swing by the bookstore at lunch now :)

The Wounded Lion said...

Picked it up after work today on your recommendation, and am about half-way through it as we speak.

So far, it's good, solid Sci Fi adventure. There's nothing hugely new, but everything fits together nicely, and it licks along at a good pace.

The talking gun is strangely reminiscent of the sarcastic AI's imagined by yourself and Ian M Banks' Culture novels - perhaps that's why you liked it, almost a homage? ;-)

The Wounded Lion said...

Well, I polished it off this afternoon - a satisfying read, and I'll be keen to pick up the sequel.

Hopefully any such sequel will flesh out the author's imagined universe a bit - he has some interesting ideas, but as Neal says they tend to get a bit drowned out by all the shooty-bang-death stuff.

Reading the last few chapters certainly beat the heck out of the 2 hours I spent at work listening to a suicidal Chinese fella's equally fictitious ramblings. Perhaps I should lend him my copy.....?

Jeff said...

Done and thanks, fun read! I hope he gets his ass in a chair and writes a sequel or 3 soon.

Don't need your deep thinking cap for this one, but fun, fast and worth the cost of entry. A little heavy on the miracle/magical solution out of nowhere, just don't question things (like why a gun that smart would not be encoded to the original user and theft proof), sit back and enjoy it.

jon said...

Just picked this up and blew through it in 2 days. Definitely some good scifi pulp going on here :)

Of course the US version has significantly less exciting cover art. Lame...

j