In The Never Wars—a mind-bending mix of Interstellar and The Expanse—a group of disgraced Special Forces are given one chance to redeem themselves. The question is whether they’ll survive long enough for it to matter.
Special Forces are used for crazy ops, but orbiting a black hole to slow down time and fight Earth’s dirty wars in the future? That’s new, even for them. But that’s the mission for Owen Quarry, Anaya Pretorius, and the rest of COG, a company of elite, disgraced, soldiers from around the globe.
They join a defrocked company commander, an AI warship with self-confidence issues, and a crew of misfit troupers on a dizzying time-quest: prove the concept of stationing armies in space-time.
If they complete ten missions, they’ll be redeemed as citizens in good standing.
But the cost will be heavy—in time and in souls. And as one of their own hunts them down and another rises from the past with a key to freedom, Quarry and Pretorius find that redemption and survival are two very different things.
For this well-crafted space adventure, Pedreira (Gunpowder Moon) masterfully meshes far-flung military sci-fi with sharp analysis of human personalities trapped in a century-spanning political maelstrom. In the far future, a new special forces unit comprising disgraced ex-troopers recruited from jails and exile and promised redemption is tasked with the potentially suicidal mission of orbiting a fearsome black hole 90 light-years from Earth, thus slowing down time and enabling them to fight in future wars against hostile alien empires. They must hit their targets—often with weapons and tactics that have become obsolete—and then disappear. The crew—among them canny former woodsman Owen Quarry, tracker Anaya Pretorius, and their defrocked commander Thaddeus Crooks—face one bloody battle after another, supported by their ship's AI, Cog, who can appear in human form. The firefights and relationship dynamics ring equally true, and the clash of political orders and military discipline with individual moral conviction resounds with heartbreaking intensity. SF fans will find Pedreira's mind-bender impossible to put down.