Monday, December 24, 2018

War Cry by Brian McClellan - Book Review

From the publisher: Brian McClellan, author of the acclaimed Powder Mage series, introduces a new universe, new armies, and new monsters in War Cry

Teado is a Changer, a shape-shifting military asset trained to win wars. His platoon has been stationed in the Bavares high plains for years, stranded. As they ration supplies and scan the airwaves for news, any news, their numbers dwindle. He's not sure how much time they have left.

Desperate and starving, armed with aging, faulting equipment, the team jumps at the chance for a risky resupply mission, even if it means not all of them might come. What they discover could change the course of the war.

I've put off writing this review for about 6 months, mostly because I didn't know what to write. I really enjoy Brian McClellan's Powder Mage stories (both novels and short stories), so I expected to like War Cry as well. This novella length introduction to the world of War Cry had an interesting premise. However, something in it just didn't connect with me. I'm not sure if it was the characters, the short format (which prohibited full immersion in the world), the writing style, or some combination of all of that.

War Cry follows Teado and his squad as they try to wait out the enemy, in a war that has been going on for years. Teado is a shape changer, and other members of his squad have powers, too. But, none of them really stuck with me; I don't have a lasting impression of any of the characters. I remember a few of the details of the story (a battle, a plane crash, a long journey across the wilderness) and an somewhat interesting, yet bittersweet, ending. There was definitely potential there, and plenty of room for more stories. I would probably even give this world another shot (after all, I didn't get totally sucked into the Powder Mage series until the second book).

Overall, I would give War Cry by Brian McClellan an average rating. It was just okay. As an introduction to a new world, it was alright, but didn't capture my imagination. It actually seemed like a story that had been written for a themed short story collection - Book of Swords; Unfettered - that type of thing). Anyway, if you enjoy Brian McClellan's writing, you should give it a shot; you might connect with it more than I did.

I received a preview copy of this book from Tor Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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