I've been meaning to read this book since it came out, but for some reason I've only just now got around to it. I'm a big fan of Mr Abnett's work, from his comics as well as his novels, and so a chance to read something 'of his own' creation was very appealing to me. Here is the splash from the book jacket:
'The colony planet of Eighty-Six looks as dull as all its fellow new worlds to journalist Lex Falk, but when a local squabble starts to turn violent and the media start getting the runaround from the military high command, his interest is seriously piqued. Forbidden from approaching the battlezone he gets himself chipped inside the head of a combat veteran. When the soldier is killed, however, Falk must use all his resourcefulness to get back home again... and blow the lid on the story of a lifetime.'
Mr Abnett delivers the goodies with this book, it is very well written and even though it is set in another time and place you as the reader never feel lost or jarred during the story. If you read my review of Scoundrels, the Star Wars novel, you'll get where I'm coming from with this statement. As crazy, technical or futuristic as this story gets, you never get thrown out of the 'world' you are experiencing, which is tricky to do when you are writing science fiction.
One of the things I liked about this story is that throughout I had a feeling that something wasn't quite right, just there at the back of my mind. Then, about three quarters of the way through the story the main character, Falk, says one name and it all falls into place! The whole book is like this, just fantastic set-up and pay-off throughout and no making a song and dance about it either.
As soon as I finished reading this book I did a quick internet search and found out that Dan Abnett is working on the follow up, which I will be in line to pick up a copy. All-in-all a brilliant sci-fi-mystery-action-thriller: 4 out of 5.