Another War

Author: Simon Morden
Telos Publishing
RRP 7.99, US $8.95, Cdn $11.95
ISBN 1 903889 93 6
Available 16 June 2005

It starts with a mystery: an old manor house is surrounded by an impenetrable bubble, and all that lives within it seems to wither and die. Investigating, the Army find two men inside the house - men who vanished some 100 years ago but who have now reappeared, and as young as the day they disappeared. There are rumours of a machine which could puncture the dimensions, allowing man to travel beyond the bounds of the Earth and for other things to travel here...

Another War is an interesting addition to Telos's growing range of original sci-fi novels. Simon Morden builds the suspense well from the start with the mystery of the manor which had disappeared several decades before, but now seems to have reappeared. Just what exactly happened to the occupants of the manor, and what threat they pose to 21st century Earth, is unravelled over 130 pages.

The army heroes, unlike most tales of this nature, are not two-dimensional characters. Far from being clichéd, Morden adds a little humanity to the men who are supposed to have no fear.

I loved the early investigation of the manor - where the army had to find a way around getting inside the force field and the almost Scrap Heap Challenge style way they built a contraption (almost A-Team style) on the spot to enable them to gain access to the grounds.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the threat to the human race, the Ankhani, didn't run around Aliens style dispatching humans left, right and centre. While they still proved to be a formidable enemy, their process of domination was much cleverer than that.

Another element I loved was the battle suit which is donned in the final pages of the book. I really liked the idea of a gigantic suit of armour that an average sized man could wear that gave him the strength and appearance of a giant god.

If I have one complaint, it's that this book wasn't long enough. I really became engrossed in the characters and events as they unfolded, and was surprised at how quickly I plowed through the pages, and I was a little disappointed that I'd reached the conclusion so quickly.

Yet another intriguing release from Telos.

Nick Smithson

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