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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original
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...
Published on 22 Sept. 2011 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog

versus
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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 developing future humans in ways they are unlikely to go. everyone becomes some sort of superhero who has designed their body to inflict maximum violence. This makes it all just too unbelievable and...
Published on 23 Jan. 2013 by Malcolm Roy Ash


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original, 22 Sept. 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War in Heaven (Paperback)
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 Sept. 2011
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War in Heaven (Hardcover)
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
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This review is from: War in Heaven (Paperback)
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 A thrilling and emotional ride., 4 Sept. 2014
This review is from: War in Heaven (Veteran) (Paperback)
So having leapt back into Sci Fi with Veteran, in what turned out to be very much the deep end, I found that despite the violence and the darkness I found myself clinging on with the characters who just kept you going and it was the characters I didn't want to leave. Fortunately for me (and you) Gavin G. Smith wrote War in Heaven; a thrilling follow up to Veteran, emotional and exhilarating. If you read Veteran you must read War in Heaven.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard Edged, 25 Mar. 2013
By 
paul crowe "smoggy paul" (sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War in Heaven (Kindle Edition)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked veteran you'll love this, 25 Aug. 2014
By 
P. Gallacher (Shropshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War in Heaven (Kindle Edition)
Great follow up to veteran, Smith does a superb job of moving the story along and brings it to an excellent ending.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good finale to the story, despite some minor issues., 11 Nov. 2011
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War in Heaven (Hardcover)
There is a war in the digital realm. The nefarious military leader Rolleston has unleashed Demiurge, an ultra-powerful AI which seeks to control and consume everything else on humanity's computer networks, to guarantee himself ultimate power. A band of opponents and self-appointed freedom fighters, led (reluctantly and often shambolically) by ex-soldier Jakob Douglas, have fought back by unleashing their own AI onto the net to expose everyone's dark and dirty secrets, which has not gone down well with the great and the good who rule the Solar system. Of course, Jakob also had to go and call this AI 'God', utterly enraging the (very large) religious portion of the human race as well. Still, God has won the first round, banishing Demiurge, Rolleston and their followers to the colony systems.

With Rolleston and his forces gathering strength in the colonies and preparing for a fresh assault on Earth, it falls to Jakob and his colleagues to pursue them and finish the job that they began. But with Jakob's allies including an alien race who until recently had been slaughtering humanity relentlessly for decades, a drug-addicted journalist and a bunch of superstitious hackers, this mission will not be an easy one.

War in Heaven is the sequel to last year's Veteran, Gavin Smith's well-received debut novel. Refreshingly, this is the conclusion to the story (no trilogies here, thank you very much) and the story ends in a pretty definitive manner which seems to limit the chances of a follow-up. As such, those who've held off on reading Veteran until the story was completed can now proceed with confidence.

Like Veteran, War in Heaven is a hard-edged novel mixing elements of space opera, military SF, cyberpunk and horror. It's heavy on the action, but also features a decent amount of character development, with the character of Jakob (our first-person protagonist) being repeatedly taken apart and his motives analysed, along with those of his friends, though often in a manner skewed by Jakob's own perspective. This focus on characterisation as well as on action and battle sequences helps give depth to what could have been a fairly straightforward military SF novel. Unfortunately, there are a few too many moments (and a few more than there were in Veteran) when this introspective edge slips over into characters pointlessly sitting around and talking about the plot for pages on end instead of getting on with business, which tends to result in slightly uneven pacing. The novel has a stop-start feel, increased by is episodic structure: the book is divided into several distinct sections, set in different locations with different tasks to be accomplished.

Smith encourages you to overlook that through some interesting musings on morality and taking responsibility for your actions, as well as a lot of black humour and some nice meta-commentary on science fiction cliches. There's some clever plot twists and the resolution to the story is reasonably well-set-up, though the full impact of some massive events that happen during the finale is lost due to the limits of the first-person perspective. He also delivers great action sequences, involving personal combat, mech battles and space engagements, and succeeds in keeping these elements fresh and intriguing.

War in Heaven (****) is a worthy successor to Veteran and concludes the storyline begun there in a very solid manner. Smith is a talented writer and a strong new voice in the SF field, but some problems with pacing and over-exposition lightly mar this first duology. Certainly he is a writer to watch. The novel is available now in the UK and on import in the USA.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Builds brilliantly on Veteran, 27 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: War in Heaven (Kindle Edition)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Story is better than action scenes, 24 Jan. 2013
By 
S. Maller "(Steve)" (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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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
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This review is from: War in Heaven (Kindle Edition)
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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War in Heaven (Veteran)
War in Heaven (Veteran) by Gavin G. Smith (Paperback - 14 Jun. 2012)
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