Friday, April 1, 2011


EmbeddedEmbedded by Dan Abnett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Something strange is going on on the colony planet Eighty-Six and reporter Lex Falk is determined to figure out what it is. Falk gets his personality embedded in the brain of soldier Nestor Bloom. Falk observes Bloom's activities until Bloom winds up shot in the head and Falk is forced to take over the body. Can Falk get his dying body and Bloom's comrades to safety and uncover what's going on on Eighty-Six before he dies?

One day, I was checking out the Firstreads giveaways when I saw this book. While I've never read any of Dan Abnett's work, I've heard of him. He's written a ton of Warhammer stuff, had a pretty good on Legion of Superheroes, and whatever that space crossover thing Marvel did a few years ago. So I entered the giveaway and won it.

Remember that summer in the late eighties when body swapping movies were all the rage? Vice-versa, Like Father, Like Son, and that one with George Burns in it? Embedded is like that, only with guns. Aside from the aforementioned body swapping, Embedded is a fairly standard military sf adventure. There are some great firefights and quite a bit of humor, including gems like: "What happened to your face? I got shot in it." Falk seemed like an asshole at the beginning but I got behind him once he bonded with the other soldiers. The tech was pretty good too, from the body swapping Jung tank to the soldiers' gear. I think Abnett did a great job portraying how it would be to be trapped inside an unfamiliar body.

Did I have any gripes? Only that it took forever to get moving. The book's 350 pages long and it took over 100 pages for the body swap to finally happen. If Abnett would have shaved off thirty or so pages from the beginning, this would have been an easy four. As is, three is as high as I can go.

For military sf fans, this should be right up your alley. It's not going to make you forget Old Man's War or Armor but it's still pretty good.

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