Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigade... is an important, critical look at the role of how war bends and warps modern society. It...has the potential to become the next great Military SF classic ... The Light Brigade caused an immediate, visceral reaction in me as a reader. It’s like a punch in the gut from the first page. Hurley hounds the reader with a relentless pace, introducing them to a bevy of characters and never slowing down. It’s brutal from its first pages, and never lets up. As the pages turn, ideas pile up, and Dietz forms genuine relationships with her fellow soldiers, and Hurley does a beautiful job exploring how they deal with death, loss, risk, and release. Her prose is punchy, and the dialogue sharp and urgent, providing a feeling of really being down there in the trenches with the soldiers ... Never does [the book] trade its thematic explorations for character development or vice versa—they are one and the same ... The Light Brigade is a standout novel in Kameron Hurley’s already impressive career. It’ll get your pulse pounding, your blood boiling, and your heart aching. It’ll make you angry, scared, and, at the most unexpected moments, hopeful. The history of Military SF novels is long and storied, but Hurley’s work can stand up with the best of them.
Mixing a gritty and muscular writing style with an intricate and time-hopping plot with echoes of Philip K. Dick’s Now Wait for Last Year, The Light Brigade is an enthralling portrait of a devastated near future. Highly recommended for not only sf fans but anyone interested in a thrilling and troubling vision of the future.
Has the kind of gimmick memorable enough to stick in the mind after a glance at the jacket flap ... It would be easy to hang an entire novel on the strength of this conceit, with its blazing metaphorical resonances and its attendant drawbacks, which would do Cronenberg proud. Instead, Hurley uses it as the starting point for an old-fashioned tale of time displacement ... As complicated as this device may seem, it works because it remains fully in service to a story about war and its human cost ...The wider cast, though intriguing and full of individual quirks, never come through for the reader in the way Dietz does, with good reason. The isolation inherent to living out events in the wrong sequence forcibly evokes the isolation of active duty ... While Hurley leaves several character elements to be unwound with the story—blink and you’ll miss the fleeting mention of the protagonist’s gender—there is nothing coy about The Light Brigade At times, the author’s bloody-minded determination to deliver the message risks turning the story into a lecture, most noticeably in a subplot composed of transcribed conversations with a prisoner of war who monologues like a Bond villain. At its best, however, Hurley’s verb-laden first-person is as immediate and inescapable as a resounding sock in the jaw. At nearly 400 pages, The Light Brigade nonetheless goes down quickly, which is just as well—the nonlinear plot will have you calculating when to fit the reread in.