All in all it is a light and fun read with not too much depth.
Whilst on holiday recently, I picked up the first two Death's Head books by David Gunn, purely based on the quality of the cover and the artwork. All I can say is they were full of graphic violence and sardonic wit and are nothing short of Fun, Fun, Fun! So on to the next instalment 'Day of the Damned.'
'Lieutenant Sven Tveskoeg is a killing machine whose DNA marks him out as less – or perhaps more – than human.'
In this story Lieutenant Sven Tveskoeg and the Aux are on leave in Farlight, capital of the Octavian Empire. We discover the Emperor is missing and there is rioting, slaughter, civil unrest and a civil war thrown in for good measure. Let us not forget the U/Free, a technologically superior race who act as mediators between the Octovian Empire and the Enlightened, but in reality are morally bankrupt. Throw in betrayals, double crossings and a few surprising twists and turns and then take stock of the title 'Day of the Damned' which says it all really.
Once again the story is told in the first person, which for this genre works perfectly. The first person viewpoint draws you right into the action and you are given the sense of being there with Sven. The plot and writing move along quickly too, and if you don't mind the constant graphic violence, then it will soon pull you in to this extremely violent, though often sardonically humourous way of life. Although you only get Sven's viewpoint he is a character in a million. Armed, and I mean one-armed with his Sig gun, an illegal though highly intelligent weapon and you have the recipe for a perfect comedy duo. Chuck in a mechanical arm and you have a cross between Riddick and Rambo. However, he is not just a killing machine, underneath lies a man with a conscience, though somewhat corrupted. This is noted in the way he feels completely protective towards Aptitude, after having previously killed her husband. I also like the fact that the character Sven is not the smartest kid on the block.
'He doesn't like being patronized. It took Aptitude to tell me what that means. Before that, I just thought it was people being rude.'
So, are you going to like this book? I certainly did, though if graphic violence in a cartoonish sort of way is not up your street then you might struggle with the total insanity of it all. The plot has more of a storyline than the previous two books and the ending leaves scope to take future books on a different course. So all in all it is a light and fun read with not too much depth.
For me, the initial selling point for the Death's Head books was the brilliance of the artwork.
Review by Allan Fisher
1 positive reader review(s) for Day of the Damned
Wolfgang from UK
I'm not a fan of this sub-genre, but I picked up the first book because of the subliminal reference to the SS on the cover. I started reading & couldn't put the book down. Then followed up with Maximum Offence & this. The interactions between Sven & his Sig-37 are for me the best parts of the books, so when Sven left the Sig with Aptitude that did reduce the pleasure of the action for me. I also missed the interruptions of OctoV into the storyline - Leona was not a good substitute. You learn a lot more about the interractions between OctoVians, Uplifted & U/Free in this book. Who will turn out to be the worst villains is something I hope we will eventually find out, as all 3 groupings appear to be pretty unpleasant. But, as nothing has been heard of David Gunn since 2009, I am not holding my breath. Perhaps he followed Sven through that doorway in General Luc's stronghold? If not give us a publication date for book 4 please.
8.7/10 from 2 reviews