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War in Heaven Hardcover – 15 Sep 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (15 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575094702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575094703
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 4.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,384,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Gavin Smith's writing is a brutal kaleidoscope of imagination, with the raw energy of a heavy metal album cover: equally dazzling with bloodthirsty ancient Picts and the fallen post-humans of tomorrow. (Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Causal Angel)

Age Of Scorpio announces loud and clear that in Gavin Smith an exceptional talent has arrived to uplift SF. The book is a master class of twisting plot lines that celebrate both the weird and astounding, amid a future that's deeply unnerving yet equally compelling. (Peter F Hamilton) --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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read Veteran in one sitting, during a period of insomnia back in 2015. I was fairly certain I enjoyed it, and so I bought book 2. Sadly I gave up on it about 120 pages in. I'm not sure if Veteran was actually rubbish and I didn't notice because of the lack of sleep, or if this is just disappointing. The bit I read consisted of out narrator, a bionically enhanced squaddie in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future, who doesn't enjoy the ultraviolence he seems to be unable to involve. His pleasures include drinking, moping about his ex-girlfriend, and trying to play the jazz trumpet. This squaddie spends all of the 120 pages I read going places and talking to people who are little more than caricatures and then having fights. I was bored out of my mind. The single thing that annoyed me most was the character of the journalist, "Mudge", who represents everything I loathe about writing about drug use. Mudge's main personality trait is that does lots of drugs. This gets wearisome really quickly and by the point I stopped I would personally have spiked his supply with rat poison just to be rid of him. If I wanted to be surrounded by drug-addled journalists with hard-ons for themselves, I'd move to Hackney.

Two stars, because I think I enjoyed the first book.
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By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Sept. 2011
Format: 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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first book was fantastic, I bought it on spec in a good old fashioned bookstore from a shelf. I originally ended up with this second book in paperback signed by the author, but I was pleased to be able to buy it again on kindle. The solidness of the military elements carry a real thump, but are added to by the esoteric and religious overtones that come with the series. It is a book I feel the torment of the characters, the resignation to their fate at certain times and the gradual falling apart of everything. It fits with the gaming generation in its technology too. Read them both, they are fantastic.
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