on 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.
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.
on 16 August 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.
on 19 June 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 !
on 22 April 2008
This is exciting action stuff with dirty, bloody and gritty battle scenes, where some thrive after their first kill and others just keep on vomitting and pulling the trigger. At times a character may seem stereotypical (The Death's Head corps General and the lone Legion survivor) but they are mostly three dimensional, rather than comic-book types, and there are still plenty of surprises as betrayal is around (almost) every corner. Early on in the book, much is assumed (eg what "Uplifted" and "Enlightened" mean, but enough is revealed for it not to get in the way of the story until all(?) is revealed at the denouement. Other reviewers have given a taste of the plot and similar writers, so not too much repetition here, but this is "Commando" or even Jack Reacher in Space rather than Honor Harrington or Lt Leary. Get it and get down and dirty.
on 2 June 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 ;)
on 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 !
on 15 February 2009
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. The novel is filled with vicious characters engaging in hard-fought battles against even more vicious enemies. There are very few of the `heroes' in the novel that you would want to have round for dinner - unless there's something really wrong in your home - but as main characters in an action-packed sci-fi novel, they are great.
This novel comes very close to being the best military sci-fi I have ever read.
To be brief: If you want fast-paced and gritty action, believable sci-fi tech and great characters, this is the novel for you.
Brand New author with an apocolypic futuristic world sort of Mad Max meets the Warhammer 40,000 with this tale. Gripping from the outset, the combat is believable and with a certain realism brought to the fore, if the author blurb is to be believed, by a real Merc.
Fast paced, high on combat with a touch of sex, sort of James Bond in the dirtiest guise ever prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve the mission. If your looking for something different this is certainly it, with some tips of the hat to similar authors such as Sven Hassel and perhaps modern authors like Andy Remic. This is perhaps going to be one of the dark horses of the year.
on 11 June 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.