Dogs of War, Adrian Tchaikovsky

Well, friends. Clearly, that hope for a more regular upload schedule over the last few months of the year worked out well. Hah. Honestly, I just got busy and had to prioritize: unfortunately, teaching; my PhD; other research; and family/work matters took precedence over my book reviews and that is just life. Right now, however, I am currently on vacation (from everything oh my god the guilt of not working is crippling) and I thought I would get a few reviews ready for the books I managed to read over the last few months.

Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky was a recommendation from my OtherMother, who read it extremely fast and pressed it upon me on my next weekend visit home. Like her, I read it almost all in one go and found the premise incredibly intriguing. The story follows a pack of bio-mechanical animals, that have been ‘upgraded’ (for lack of a better term coming to mind) into soldiers. Particularly, the story is told by the pack leader and discusses his life and development, his alliances and his enemies, his triumphs and his struggles, and ultimately his end.

I wasn’t expecting to like the book as much as I did, honestly, and I would absolutely have never even picked it up if my OtherMother hadn’t recommended it to me so highly. It’s a liiiiiiiiittle to close to ‘work’ for comfort, and normally I stick within the realm of fantasy for non-work leisure reading, but I really enjoyed this book.

It deals with themes that, at least in my opinion, are not ordinarily dealt with in modern literature. Themes such as the rights of those who are created: if humans give a mammal close to human sentience and abilities, and that creature learns to think for itself beyond command response, does that being then have similar or the same rights as we do? Rex, the main character, struggles throughout the book with loyalties to several parties; how to respond in the case of that loyalty being spurned, returned, or manipulated. It is an incredibly intriguing psychological work as much as a well-written scifi novel.



Inset image: from Google Search of the cover because I can’t find the actual book!

Categories: Science Fiction

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