Book Reviews, Sci-Fi

My Experience with Ironclads // A special limited edition novella

Do you read novellas?! Well if you’re a fan of military sci-fi then you’ll want this one!



by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Published November 7th 2017
by Solaris

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A limited edition military sci-fi novella… Ted Regan has been sent by the government to help a corporate family in the Sweden /Finland area to recover their missing Scion. This corporate son should have been protected by the ironclad! His suit is way out of the league of Regan and his men but he must go behind enemy lines, find the missing Scion, and uncover what happened.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This has not influenced my opinion.

My opinion Splat Logo

GAH! I love this cover! As a lover of fine graphic arts I just had to read what this book was about…

Unknown to most people who know me I had a secret passion for military sci-fi fiction set in the future! I LOVED John Ringo’s work and yeah I still have a crush. I ALSO happen to know Adrian Tchaikovsky’s work as I’ve read some of his Shadows of the Apt series and I quite admired his world building. So when I saw this book to request I HAD TO HAVE IT! I didn’t know that it was a novella or limited or anything… though now I know there really was a very real reason to be urgent about reading it… And I’m HAPPY I DID!

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I wasn’t really a fan of the setup. The writing style took a while to adjust to as it felt like a pseudo military voice was telling me everything while nothing was happening. When I fit the first battle though I knew that it was worth sticking with…

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Well I was still struggling at 35%… It was reading like your average military sc-fi story with a rather ho-hum group that didn’t stand out to me with a plot that was slow going. At this point I was still struggling to get through the writing style and all the TELLING (which is a pet peeve of mine!)

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Then just 5% later I AM LOVING THIS NOVELLA! This is a regular-Joe group with experience working with what they get as far as gear goes doing the crappy jobs in a future world that we’ve seen glimpses of even if not this exact rendition. Once all this was firmly established the STORY GOT STARTED! And I loved where it went!

#1 – Viina killed it!

Like literally and figuratively… she was my favorite character and such a stunning addition to this story… Literally this could be the beginning of a GREAT SERIES because of her.

#2 – Cormoran diversified the drones…

She is this badass corporate black woman who shouldn’t be on their team but is and she uses drones like a pro! She added a ton to the story where normally we just have a grunt sitting there.

#3 – Mega-Scion Killer on the loose.

As a turning point goes I LOVED it! And a lot of that had to do with Regan finally pulling his weight as the narrator and giving us MORE than info dumps on the world and allowing his personality to shine through!

#4 – The TWISTS were EPIC!!

I’m not going to reference them AT ALL… you want to go into this blind with just the barest clues of what to look for (see #1-#3 above!) This is a single mission… can you imagine an entire book of this?! (YES I CAN!)

As a Reader…

Wow! That ending! That was a cool little story! I love the Finns… not sure which I would rather see again… Regan or the Finns, both maybe! The narrative was different… I did get used to it, but it’s rather a waste unless this is a series… Scions and the corporate takeover of the world make for solid world building.

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You May Enjoy This if you go Gaga over BannerMechs! Military! Sci-Fi! Adult! Male Protagonist! Future! Diverse! Stockholm!

My thoughts as a writer Typewriter Pink Purple Logo

Hooks are SOOO essential! I know this has a target audience who will be willing to endure through a slow start… but WHY make them?! As a writer I want the experience to be complete from start to finish… I don’t want it so like real life that there are tons of boring bits that a reader must endure… I can leave off reading if I want that.

The funny thing is this makes a GREAT HOOK to a new series…


⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Premise & World Building
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Cover & Title
⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Development & Storycraft
⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Writing & Narrative
⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing
⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Relationships
⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Feelings

Star Rating wordsRating Star 8Rating Star orange4Rating Star 7Rating Star orange2

Bottom Line words

Military Sci-fi World Worth Expanding…

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How do you feel about military sci-fi?

Do you mind a slow start?

Are twists essential for you to enjoy a book?

Thanks for reading XOXO

Dani Signature


7 thoughts on “My Experience with Ironclads // A special limited edition novella”

  1. So glad to see how much you enjoyed this, Dani! I have Adrian Tchaikovsky’s book on my TBR and it’s so nice to see you test how his latest novella. It does sound like there are things that are heavy on the conscience and readers should be ready to endure them in order to enjoy this. Honestly, for this genre, I feel like it’s something you see a lot too! But man, telling rather than showing is definitely something that’s hard to tolerate for myself too. Great review, as always! 🙂

    1. Which book of his do you have on your TBR? Is it this book or another? I would be sooo interested in hearing your take on the narrative style with the way the telling was used… a man may have a different take than me?! I don’t know. 😉 if it’s this book on your TBR supposedly they are limited?! So I was glad to have grabbed this arc…

      1. I have the Empire in Black and Golf on my TBR (that series sounds like a lot of fun). Limited? That sounds like a challenge! Just kidding. 😛 I’d definitely pick this up if it crosses paths with me, but I don’t think I’ll actively hunt for it. I definitely would prefer if Empire in Black and Gold was my first experience with this author. 😀

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