I have read three or four of Dan Abnett’s books in the past, several Gaunt’s Ghosts novels and Xenos from the Eisenhorn series, all of which were set in Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K universe. Recently Abnett has released a couple of books that are purely his own creation. Firstly there was Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero, an alternate history tale set in an Elisabethan Clockwork world and featuring a lead character that has been compared to Blackadder. My copy is still woefully lurking in my too read pile. However, I have read Dan Abnett’s new book Embedded, which is released tomorrow (23rd of April).
Embedded is military science fiction of the highest quality, managing the merge in some corporate rivalry and journalistic shenanigans along the way. The central character, Lex Falk, is an award winning journalist who is investigating reports of escalations in tension between two corporate sectors on a reasonably new colony world. After much of the usual fobbing off by the military press liasons Falk is offered a backdoor way into the thick of the action. He will have his mind transferred, theoretically only as an observer, into that of a frontline soldier, who has agreed to the procedure.
As would be expected, things do not go exactly to plan and the story moves from science fiction espionage thriller into an all out fight for survival, while still pursuing the main secret at the heart of the whole plot.
There are plenty of twists and turns in the plot and characters never feel invulnerable (even Falk). The story seems follow a certain path at times only to be thrown in a completely different direction just when you least expect it. The tension certainly builds nicely over the second half of the book leading up to the final big reveal, which although not hugely original is handled with style and flair.
I have absolutely no reservations in recommending Embedded to any fans of science fiction in any of it’s many flavours, not just military sci-fi fans...
I read an ebook review copy and you can be assured, I am aiming to track down one of the limited edition hardbacked copies of Embedded that are available from Forbidden Planet.