Tor. Mar. 2023. 480p. ISBN 9781250851239. pap. $19.99. SF
Dewes’s latest (after The Exiled Fleet) showcases humanity at war with intelligent machines. Sergeant Adriene Valero is caught in an endless cycle of battle, death, and resurrection. The compounding trauma has left her wanting an end to it all. Upon transferring to a new unit, she is given a virtual-intelligence assistant, but things become complicated when her VI achieves its own sentience, and Adriene finds herself unwittingly drawn into a web of intrigue that will test her and her team to their limits. This is a classic military science fiction novel that manages to build a fresh and forward-looking story about the costs of “forever” wars and the existential anxiety of artificial intelligence.
VERDICT Many recent novels are also grappling with the ethics of AI, and Dewes’s novel shines in the field. Witty and readable, it features an endearing cast of characters and fast-paced action and will have broad appeal to fans of sci-fi beyond its MilSF genre.
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