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The Light Brigade

Written by: Kameron Hurley
Narrated by: Cara Gee, Jackie Sanders
Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the Hugo Award­­-winning author of The Stars Are Legion comes a brand-new science-fiction thriller about a futuristic war during which soldiers are broken down into light in order to get them to the front lines on Mars.

They said the war would turn us into light. I wanted to be counted among the heroes who gave us this better world.

The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back...different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief - no matter what actually happens during combat.

Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.

Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero - or maybe a villain; in war, it’s hard to tell the difference.

A worthy successor to classic stories like Downbelow Station, Starship Troopers, and The Forever War, The Light Brigade is award-winning author Kameron Hurley’s gritty time-bending take on the future of war.

©2019 Kameron Hurley (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Military sci-fi for a humanist era

Hurley is (in my experience) nearly unparalleled as a world builder. She has an incredible capacity to make a place feel real, to anticipate the quirks and divergences her concepts demand. That is combined here with a message that has never been more relevant, about social control, corporatism, and the untrammeled evil of the use of force for dishonest purpose.

1 person found this helpful

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good

I enjoyed this book and the main character is so well thought out and good! very strong character development overall as well I liked it.

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cool story, but the reader was a bit flat

Definitely worth a purchase for the story alone, but the readers voice was very flat, lacking nuance from one character to the next. There are sections of dialogue where you can't really tell who exactly is speaking because the performers voice is so similar from one character to the next, and there's no way to distinguish which person is speaking at any one moment as a result. otherwise it was a pretty good reading and I would still recommend the purchase.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael R Lynch
  • 2019-03-20

Good

First time reading this author. Overall I really enjoyed this book and finished it in two days of driving my truck. Story was fresh, narrator was awesome, and you really felt the weariness of the main character as the story progressed. The characters didn’t feel flat or filler but really felt part of the story. I recommend this book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michael G Kurilla
  • 2019-06-05

Unending war for all the wrong reasons

Kameron Hurley's The Light Brigade is a solid entry on the futility of war in the same vein as Starship Troopers, The Forever War, and Old Man's War. In this dystopic future, Mars has been colonized while Earth governments have slowly given way to a small set of corporations who impose a rigid caste system with the bulk of the population making up the have-nots. Supposedly, Mars has rebelled, attacked Earth, and 'blinked' away 2 million people. A young girl, Dietz, with nothing to lose, joins the military to fight Mars. Soldiers are converted to light which doesn't always work correctly, to traverse the distance to Mars. The title refers to the term for those soldiers who return different. Dietz is one and finds herself being transported out of time such that she experiences futures and pasts different from her comrades. As these jumps progress, she gradually begins to suspect that all is not what it seems and concludes that the 'war' may simply be an excuse for corporate competition as well as population control.

The major sci-fi element is the light conversion, although this is never explained and neither is the weird time displacement. The real appeal is the dystopic future of a world ruled by corporations in a life and death struggle against each other, while the bulk of the population suffers without recourse. The disjointed time segments are at first confusing, but gradually can be pieced together as Dietz slowly appreciates the true state of affairs.

The narration is well done with a decent range of characters. Given the complexity of the plot, close attention is required.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dave D
  • 2019-04-18

Spoiler free review

Its an interesting journey with lots of twisting turns and drops that end in a cul-de-sac. Not for readers who cant ignore a time paradox. The ending was too disappointing for me to recommend. The production was fantastic along with Cara Gee's performance.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Adam
  • 2020-01-07

Interesting and unique story... right up until th.

This was an interesting concept and good characters development. A little heavy on the anti-capitalist spiel, but it worked fine for the character. The conclusion was a let-down. There was no resolution.

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  • Chester Johnson
  • 2019-04-24

Meh......

This book is part Starship Troopers part Edge of Tomorrow without the aliens, with a smattering of Communist Manifesto thrown in. Very slow evolving storyline, the author does a very good job making you connect with her characters, and the time hopping makes for an interesting story, but it never really felt drawn into the book. A 2 1/2 out of 5 star read based solely on the authors character development.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jaime T.
  • 2019-03-25

Good stuff! Really enjoyyed it

First of all, I'm a fan of Cara Gee and was super happy to hear and see that she was the narrator of the story ( check her out on The Expanse). Back to the book, this is my first Kameron Hurley book and I'm very happy to say that I will be looking forward to her next one. Very interesting concept to a story and very much enjoyed it. Check It out.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jlmj
  • 2019-03-27

wow!

just finished listening and find it hard to come up with words to describe the impact. here's some: thought provoking, visceral, funny, enthralling. this is a time travel story that totally hangs together. it's devastating at times in its critique of end-stage capitalism and the politics of fear. a scary story but ultimately an optimistic one.

as an added bonus, the audio performances are top notch, especially the interview interludes.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Littlesavage
  • 2020-03-13

Greatest Audible EVER!!

Words cannot express enough how wonderful this book and narration was. Is. Will be.
Lovlelovelove Cara Gee's performance. Seriously. Her voice, her strength of character, resonates thru the protagonist's voice. I could clearly hear the joy, the grief, the anger and frustration, even the love she's experienced thru the filter of Dietz. Amazing. Please narrate more. (I'm totally gonna watch the Expanse now.)
The story itself, phenomenal. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but I felt it all the way thru. It hits all the way home for me. Its absolutely riveting and makes you want more. Wakes you up and let's you know you're not alone. We may be experiencing this differently, but we're doing it all together. Ties very closely with what is happening today, with the state of the world, and even with the Covid-19 pandemic. Heh. Couldn't have timed my choice to read/listen to this now if I had tried.
Get it. You won't be disappointed, but you will regret it if you don't.

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  • RSG
  • 2020-03-01

Great road trip/commute

Easy to follow and stimulating! You'll be confused for the first half and be itching for the resolution. the reader can pickup the breadcrumbs and realize the significance of small events early on

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  • Mitch
  • 2020-02-18

Pseudoscience and a very low faith in the ability of people to know what is good

Dystopia in the future. Capitalism (along with all other forms of social interaction) doesn’t work except for those who it does work for... or... the author doesn’t understand politics, the human psyche, military tactics/strategy, or how to write a satisfying ending (unless you think super simple is a suitable conclusion to dystopian writing).

There are some interesting concepts, but they aren’t explored much. It’s just fighting and a surprising lack of calendars and a big brother that is all powerful, except basically any time it gets in the way of the story.

File it in young adult dystopian section and then don’t recommend it.