source for free and $1 books


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of THE YEAR OF OUR WAR by Steph Swainston

    EOS, February 2005

    For centuries, humans have claimed an uneasy stalemate with the huge insects who invaded their world. A Circle of immortals, picked as the very best of their professions, stands at the top of the defense, but mortal kings and warriors form the largest part of the war. When a strong King is killed by insects and his incompetent brother takes over, the bugs launch a huge offensive, sweeping through human-occupied lands that had never been threatened before. Worse, the insects seem to be appearing faster than they could possibly breed. Could this be the end of an entire civilization.

    Immortal messenger Comet (original name Jant) battles with insects, the petty intrigues among mortals and immortals, and his own 'Cat' habit that threatens to kill him. Yet Cat serves a purpose--along in the world, he can travel between the mortal world to the world of 'Shift,' a world where the war against the insects is actually being won. Unfortunately, no one believes Jant's drug-dreams.

    Author Steph Swainston creates a fascinating world and culture in THE YEAR OF OUR WAR. The 'Circle' of immortals, each best at what they do, is a well-thought-out idea. The concept of the challenge, allowing mortals to aspire to immortality, creates a bit of a democratic process. Comet/Jant makes a really interesting and multidimensional character, and Swainston's use of shift allowed back-story to be woven seamlessly into the main plot.

    Although I enjoyed this book a lot, I found the ending a bit abrupt. I would have liked to see something more clever or thoughtful that would precipitate the dramatic conclusion to the centuries-old war with the insects.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 2/27/05

    Ready to buy it? Click the button:

    Want to learn more?
    Click this link and see more reviews, similar books, and other Amazon information on THE YEAR OF OUR WAR from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for THE YEAR OF OUR WAR from Barnes and

    Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name.