26 February 2013

Passage at Arms

A War Correspondent ships out on a small, stealthy warship to report the facts from the front.  Along the way the story is really about the crew as they struggle to come to terms with the war, their place in it, and the decisions their superiors are making which impact on their survival prospects.  Sound familiar?  If you seen or read Das Boot  then this book will read like a SF version of it.  So much so in fact that I could guess what was coming next and was rarely off track much.  It even has the bar scene at the start.

I really wanted to like this book, as stories about small crews in adverse situations quite intrigue me (maybe because of too much Biggles as a kid?!?).  But this book just didn't work for me as much as it could/should have.  I found the crew relatively unengaging and there was a little too much technobabble at times which detracted rather than built upon the SF theme.  On the positive side, I thought the use of a first person narrative story worked really well, the intensity of the situations were well written, and it really picked up once you were 3/4 of the way through it.

Overall, its worth a read if you have nothing else on your list, but don't rush to get it.



  1. I didn't mind this one. I haven't seen Das Boot but it was instantly recognizable as U-boats-in-space. I'm not a Glen Cook fanboy in the least, but this one has grown on me.

  2. Im glad to know that I wasn't the only child addicted to Biggles (was? who am I kidding, still am).

  3. There are a lot of us Niggles chaps around.

  4. I think I still have 40-50 Biggles books in my cupboard

  5. ..if you have an e-reader downloads of all Biggles books ever written are "available" online if you know where to look...

  6. Really Liking the man cave and your collectible (: