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Death's Head: (Death's Head Book 1) [Hardcover]

David Gunn
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 11.12 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 May 2007 Death's Head (Book 1)

The cage will kill you. And if it doesn't, well, then thirst and the blistering heat of the desert sure as hell will. Or drive you insane.

Few legionnaires survive the cage. Fewer still live long enough to face the whipping post. Of those who do, few are in a state to know what is happening to them. One who does is an ex-sergeant in the legion étrangere. A stubborn, insubordinate son-of-a-bitch, Sven Tveskoeg feels the first lash fall, hears the desert tribes attack, and watches them slaughter his comrades before his comrades can kill him...

Rescued from certain death, Sven joins the tribes. Until his ruthless skills come to the attention of the Death's Head, an elite special ops force so feared the mere sight of their uniform makes whole regiments surrender. The Death's Head want Sven to sort out an impending military disaster.

It soon becomes clear that all is not as it should be. Sven is a pawn in a deadly game, and pawns have a bad habit of being sacrificed. But Second Lieutenant Tveskoeg, Obsidian Cross 3rd Class, is nobody's sacrifice. And even a pawn can checkmate a king...

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (7 May 2007)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0593058321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593058329
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,255,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'An unashamed, balls-to-the-wall science fiction/action book that
makes no apologies for being violent, graphic and at times a little
crazy...A fun ride.' -- SFFWorld

'Crunchingly hard...shocking, exciting, murderous fun with more
than little intrigue to keep you guessing. This is how cults are born.' -- Daily Sport

'Powerful and explosive...Lieutenant Sven Tveskoeg [is] one of the
classiest fictional hard men I've come across in a long time.' -- SFRevu

`A book for boys who grew up with Commando!...The plot kicks off
at an absurd speed and never really lets outrageous read: violent,
witty and immense fun.' -- DeathRay magazine

Book Description

Action-packed, testosterone-fuelled, explosively violent adventure that's going to leave the thriller world reeling...

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frenetic Fun 9 July 2008
There is a certain sub-genre of military sci-fi book from the Weber style stable, involving massive armadas, intricate strategies & the fate of galaxy. This is not one of them. From the start it's guns and gory all the way. The anti-hero Sven, graduates from desert wastes to the jaded human capital city and manages to notch up an impressive trail of violence & mayhem. The talking gun with an attitude that he acquires fairly reminiscent of some of Mr. Pratchett's more fantastic creations.

It is refreshing that the author weaves such a fine line between over the top action and out-and-out parody, though towards the end I was wondering when it will be converted in a Doom type video game. Whilst the science is minimalist, the fiction is enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talking gunn... 16 Aug 2007
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. 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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting read, but only up to a point 5 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came in late to Gunn's Death Head series, so was able to order all three volumes and read them in a sequence after having had a glimpse of what I would be getting through previous reviewers. There are some good ideas and some good bits to it, although I did get the impression of reading a half-finished, unpolished book, and, at times, a half-baked story. If what you are looking for is a fast-moving piece of military Sci-Fi with a though, mean and dangerous anti-hero, then this might be the one for you. However, even with all these qualifications, both Richard Morgan and Sven Hassel have written better books and better stories.

The first book is probably the best of the three. The talking gun is great and sometimes amusing, although I felt that a lot of the supposedly witty wordplay was rather lame. The author writes in what I would term a minimalistic style. While it enhances fast-paced action, this is sometimes a pity because it leads to flat characters - or even stereotypes at times - and you don't really learn much about the universe in which Sven's adventures are taking place. You even sometimes get the impression that this is fighting for the sake of it.

The good thing about this book is that it is what I call a "brain-washer" - the kind of book you can pick up at lunch, after work or during the week-end and which will take your mind off anything else. It is simple, graphic and undiluted action, gore, sex and violence but don't look for anything further than that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars " Brutal, Violent, sarcastic...... great read ! 30 May 2008
Guns, violence, explosions..... Deaths Head, great book , has a bit of a strange start, but once he links up with the Deaths Head the fun begins! Not gonna go into detail about the book, its well worth reading ! Buy it !
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a rip roaring adventure ! 19 Jun 2007
This novel has the gutter charm of Sven Hassel; the rip roaring pace of Matthew Reilly and the galactic span of EE Doc Smith.

From the electric beginning to the pulsating middle to the thoroughly enjoyable ending this book took me just 36 hours to read.

Mr Gunn's book has action at it's heart but mixes it with well drawn characters and a plot that is at the same time down to earth and spanning the galaxy. Sven's humanity (is he human ?) shines through at every turn

Please tell me that this is the first of a long line of Svens novels. I need more !
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking good adventure 11 Jun 2007
This book does exactly what it says on the cover. It's fast paced, witty, and hard as nails. The main character Sven is the kind of man you wouldn't want to cross, but definitely want backing you up in any fight. I loved it. And I can't wait for part two.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's armed. And he's very, very dangerous.... 2 Jun 2007
With a Tag Line like that, I wasn't actually sure what to expect from this first time auther David Gunn, but, let me tell you, if you like your sci-fi hard and fast, this is the book for you, there's not really a lot you can say about the plotline that doesn't give certain aspects of the book away, so, I won't go into details on that, however, this is a gritty romp through the underbelly of Sci-fi, showing a darker side than perhaps a lot of people are used to, this is a war book written under a sci-fi cover, and, a very good book at that, this is apparently the first in the trilogy, and, I must say, I shall be looking out fondly for the next two books.

Gunn sets the pace incredibly well, never a dull moment, as we march at a pace befitting our hero through this novel and Sven (the lead character) is pure genious, open your hearts, for this is another Sci-Fi great, if you haven't read this yet, you should, if you have read this... ah hell, read it again, you know you want to ;)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sven Hassel in space 30 May 2007
If you have ever read a Sven Hassel book you will immediately be at home with this one, even the lead character's name, Sven, is in place (I can't believe this isn't deliberate). It is bluntly the SS in space and no worse for it. Plot is fairly light, focus being on the action (of which there is lots) and characterisation limited; Most interesting character (after Sven himself) is probably the talking gun that will remind many of Gunnar in Rogue Trooper. The writing style is pretty minimalist too which is probably a positive as it allows the story to speed along at a very fast pace. Is obviously being set up for follow up works, I think it will make for a very fun but dumb series. Despite its faults I couldn't help really enjoying it, which is the point after all!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 're read
Read this a long time ago just picked it up.again and forgot how good it is. Easy read full of action and fast paced. Love the gun!!!!
Published 1 month ago by jonathan
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read
Cracking read, lots of action, never a dull moment! It was easy to immerse yourself in this world! & get involved with the characters
Published 6 months ago by Mr. J. Burchell
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top 2011 books
I am not a military sci-fi enthusiast - it was the name that made me pick this book up. It was the speed of action & humour that kept me reading. Read more
Published on 22 Dec 2011 by HL
1.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, badly written
Having read the other reviews I was expecting a rollercoaster ride of violence and witty wordplay. Unfortunately this is not the case. Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2011 by Norman De Plume
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this series in order
I read the 3rd one first and felt I was missing out on the back story. A lot of references to past battles that would have made sense had I read the first book. Read more
Published on 13 Aug 2010 by trustmeiknow
5.0 out of 5 stars So good I immediately ordered the sequels
I had read a review of one of the sequels in the SFX and was intrigued, so I ordered the first in the series "Death's Head". Read more
Published on 2 July 2009 by Mr. R. J. Garden
4.0 out of 5 stars unputdownable
If you like your sci fi fast n' hard then buy this NOW! with fights a plenty and a talking gun what more could you ask for!!!!
Published on 7 Jun 2009 by emilio gespatcho
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
Death's Head is set in a (slightly too realistic) dystopic future, where some of mankind's least attractive features are allowed a free reign. Read more
Published on 15 Feb 2009 by Flemming Nielsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the most fun I've read in ages
It has been many years since I've picked up a book that was so much fun that I just could not put it down (as cliched as it sounds). Read more
Published on 23 July 2008 by Kain Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sci-fi - strongly recommended
An excellent sci-fi novel. Elements of Ian M Banks in the fact the the United Free are similar to the Culture living in a near utopia yet in other parts of the galaxy people live... Read more
Published on 14 May 2008 by M. Clare
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