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War in Heaven [Hardcover]

Gavin G. Smith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 17.28 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Sep 2011

The high-powered sequel to VETERAN sees an unlikely hero make an even more unlikely return to take the reader back into a vividly rendered bleak future. But a bleak future where there are still wonders: man travelling out into the universe, Bladerunneresque cities hanging from the ceilings of vast caverns, aliens that we can barely comprehend.

Gavin Smith writes fast-moving, incredibly violent SF thrillers but behind the violence and the thrills lies a carefully thought out story and characters who have far more to them than first meets the eye.

Never one to avoid controversy Gavin Smith nevertheless invites you to think beyond the initial shock of what you have just read. But in the meantime? Another fire-fight, another chase another flight of imagination.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (15 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575094702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575094703
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 902,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"As for SF supposedly being a dying genre; that's hard to accept when SF debuts of this quality are being published. Highly recommended." --"Speculative Horizons" on "Veteran" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

VETERAN was a slam-bang dive into a violent SF future. Now things get serious.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original 22 Sep 2011
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
The second book in the series by Gavin Smith that continues his heavy military theme in a bleak Sci-Fi future. As with the first it's cleverly devised, the plot has an incredible pace and the character is attractive enough to perhaps be the person to guide the reader through alive to the final pages. Add to this some clever descriptiveness, cracking dialogue alongside some clever twists and it's a story that was satisfying as well as hitting that need to give you a real adventure.

Finally add to this a better product than the original for me (as most of the work for the set-up has already been done) and it was a title that I enjoyed reading. Great stuff.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dystopian Roller Coaster 25 Sep 2011
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
War in Heaven is the second book of a trilogy by Gavin Smith. The first of which is Veteran. If you liked the first book you will love the second. It carries on from where the first left off, although for those people who start mid sequence there is a few pages of catch up that allow the new reader to get the gist of what happened previously. It is also a useful recap for those of us who read the first volume a while ago and want to pick up on the finer plot points.

If you found the first book dark, which I did, then the second book is even darker. It is leavened by moments of humour, but even they are not for the faint hearted. The book is powerful, visceral and never lets up for an instant. It is like being on a massive, dystopian roller coaster, mostly where things go from bad to worst for the protagonist and his team.

It is brutal, bloody and heavy on the violence. There is no let up of pace and you really are committed for the whole thing. My husband read it in a weekend and loved it. I read it afterwards and thanks to the interference of children took longer which made things more disjointed for me. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had been able to read it as a whole like he did, as it is something you really need to immerse yourself in, the world that Smith creates is so total and very demanding.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly amazing 17 Jun 2012
By Strv 74
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read Gavin Smith's "Veteran" last week and gave it four stars. Since I already had "War in Heaven" in my library and was still well into the story I decided to start with it immediately. "War in Heaven" is a large trade pocket of more than 500 pages. I thought it would take a while to get through it but I was wrong.

"Veteran" was good but "War in Heaven" is so much better. We get to know the main characters a lot better and being already filled up with "Veteran" there is no time lost in getting into the flow of the story. Gavin Smith has managed to write a fantastic action packed space opera of a truly magnificent format and you just can't relax and leave the book. The Bad guys are truly bad, the heroes are somewhat better but above all people that feel real. The Technology is fantastic without making you feel unable to understand how it worked. The Story line flows perfectly and there are enough surprises to make you jump again and again. I truly loved how he made the future Russian Spetsnaz forces appear.

Of course you wonder why they all refused to use nuclear weapons (they were "bad"?) even if the destiny of the Earth were at play. But ok, lets accept that as a fact. You also wonder why the hero and his girl-friend are driven by a moral code from 50 years ago instead of a future one but I found it charming.

Given the end these two books are probably not going to be followed by another one with the same main characters but I am not worried that Mr Gavin will run out of ideas to build his next book around.

If you like science-fiction and space opera do not miss these two books. I will not miss his future works. Amazon UK already lists "The Age of Scorpio" as coming out in November.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard Edged 25 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this, even if the hard-edged violence isn't something I normally go for. By itself this would have been cause for me to drop this like a stone, but the sharp, intelligent writing carries it through well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Builds brilliantly on Veteran 27 Jun 2014
By Baron
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr Smith really finds his feet with this novel. Any of the rough edges that may have been found in the first book have been filed smooth for this one, with a flowing narrative that pulls you through a twisting story that keeps you guessing all the way through to the end.

The world and characters from Veteran are fleshed out in even more detail in the refined way the extra space you have in a sequel allows.

A fantastic page turner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing read 21 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From start to end I was captured by Gavin Smith War in Heaven, the plot has twists and turns and full of explosive action and unpredictable. Briliantly written and I highly recommend. I bought this book along with the Veteran which should be read first. I will be buying more books from this author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Story is better than action scenes 24 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked the story - distopian future, cyber-punk-style underdogs battling against a messy background. War and space and stuff. But I found the action scenes were just an interlude to get through. They might work better in a film, less so in a book Perhaps the author should have more confidence in his characters and plot and use the violence more sparingly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gun Toting Sci-fi at its Best 15 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
War in Heaven is Gavin G. Smiths second offering and undoubtedly a better written book than its predecessor. Its the same ultra violent dystopic sci-fi but the prose flows better, the characterisations are (mostly) deeper and more sympathetic and the quieter sequences in the books, when plasma, laa laas, HEAP grenades and railguns aren't flying, are handled with more aplomb, avoiding the over long digression and slightly cliqued moralising that I thought did have a tendency to intrude in Veteran.

The action sequences (of which there are many) are deftly handled and bombastic and smattered with some genuinely unique set pieces. The interactions between the characters take on more importance too as their goals and motivations compel them into actions that they (and we) really don't like.

Of course its not perfect. Despite being action heavy the plot is actually at its heart quite complex and though generally well handled there are one or two notable "Deus Ex Machina" moments. Solutions to seemingly intractable problems literally delivering themselves out of nowhere is never a good thing but the book builds up so much goodwill as you read it you'll probably, like I was, be prepared to forgive them.

And the twist at the end...Well, I've never been one for trying to second guess books as I read them but I never saw it coming and was genuinely surprised and more than a little saddened by the final reveal.

Lets be honest, if you read and enjoyed Veteran there's no way you're not going to read this. If you haven't read Veteran then you really should because while Veteran was an entertaining if flawed debut this is a genuinely good sci-fi novel and deserves to be read.

Fingers crossed Gavin Smith hones his style even more for his next outing. Can't wait.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked veteran you'll love this
Great follow up to veteran, Smith does a superb job of moving the story along and brings it to an excellent ending.
Published 8 days ago by P. Gallacher
2.0 out of 5 stars War in heaven
Sorry I just rather lost interest and haven't even managed to finish the book yet. The characters are a bit too unbelievable and for me the authors just made the mistake of... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Malcolm Roy Ash
5.0 out of 5 stars A sequel better than the original
I had really enjoyed Veteran and was surprised that this was even better. The fact we'd beaten another species meant that I was not sure how he would follow this up - in fact the... Read more
Published 21 months ago by A. J. Sudworth
5.0 out of 5 stars War in Heaven
Absolutely stonking sequel to one of the best bits of SciFi I have read for quite some time, reminiscent of John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" series. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jim McKnight
5.0 out of 5 stars stands out
another slice of excessive characters a huge megatonnage of violence,a nicelly bleak dystopian future.wheres my bullworker .this is slick sci fi. buy it read it.
Published 24 months ago by m. dosa
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible Hard Sci-Fi
Firstly there is little point reading this without having read the first book 'Veteran' as this immediately follows on from that. Read more
Published on 11 Feb 2012 by M. G. Chisholm
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent conclusion to Veteran
Having read Veteran I had to buy the sequel as soon as possible and was not disappointed.

The action sequences are numerous, some in flash-back as the central character... Read more
Published on 1 Feb 2012 by Mr BD
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