Are you a fan of dark themed sci-fi? Did you like the Stargate series? Do you think that Stargate Universe ruined the franchise? Do you think a dark spinoff was possible, but slightly better than the one in which everyone is trapped in the Destiny spaceship?
Welcome to Slow Bullets. Consider it Stargate Universe done right. Actually, way right without all the YA style love triangles with an exceptionally brilliant scientist and a young superstar mathematician.
Slow Bullets tells a story where humans have colonized space. Different planets have different thinking and religions. There is a war going on and our protagonist Scur has been conscripted as a punishment for what her parents did — which has to do with religion. I would say I am not surprised as religions do play a very very important role in any culture.
The war ended, she and other soldiers were captured, put on a vessel and sent for processing. The ship broke down and they woke from statis. Now imagine a ship containing Scur’s people, her enemies and the ship crew stuck up in space. They arrived above a planet which looked way different than what it was supposed to be and look. Before being taken aboard the ship, she was tortured with by injecting a slow bullet in her body. The person who did this was also on the ship. Slow bullets are small bullets already put inside the body of every solider as their identification. It can also be used as a device of torture.
As the expectation from any book goes, Scur would forgive her enemy and come to terms with it, work with him and save the next day. Reynolds knows it very well that the passion for revenge cannot be extinguished by mere situations. Just like how we saw in Battlestar Galactica (yeah, the rebooted one), that dirty politics, revenge and pettiness finds its place even when a group of people feel they are going to die. Scut did put enough effort and manpower to hunt down her enemy aboard the ship, but the elected leaders on the ship (one from each faction) decided to hold a fair trial. Would Scur let it slide? She did take her revenge, but in a manner which one would not expect.
The book takes us through the minds of people who are stuck on a decaying ship, trying to save the information in the memory banks, knowledge which defines who they are and what they are connected to. Unlike the utopia which is expected to prevail when people are faced with death, the only thing which prevailed is chaos, fistfights, revenge and other human characteristics.