Elizabeth Bear – Hammered

It took me about a quarter of the book to really get sucked into what was happening–there are several plot threads running right from the start, and I couldn’t quite see how they were connected–but I liked it once I got with its flow. Judging by its cover (a bad thing, so I’m told), which shows a woman from the neck down wearing a military-style jumpsuit and holding a pistol in her metal cyborg hand, you think this might be on the militaristic side of SF, but it isn’t really. The main character, Jenny Casey, is ex-military, and a lot of the plot surrounds the Canadian army trying to reel her back in, but there are no big space battles in sight.

What you do get is a scene-setting novel filled with interesting characters who are being drawn against their will into a Cold War-style secret project to be the first nation to build and fly a starship. It is very clearly the first novel in a sequence (trilogy?), and it doesn’t really end–the last pages open up a vista onto what is to come in book two. Which is now sitting in my Amazon shopping cart.