The world of Kameron Hurley's Bel Dame Apocrypha series comes fully alive in the second installment's rich language of burnous, bakkies and beetle biotech. Desert planet Umayma is a patchwork of the arcane and high tech, the ancient and imagination, where gene pirates and black-market zygotes exist alongside shape-shifters.
Against the backdrop of the ravages of unending holy war, Infidel's tale of political intrigue and brutal violence is led by veteran assassins and cunning survivors, with Emily Bauer's performance capturing the grit and shifting motivations in the complex cast.
Far more than a mindless shoot-'em-up, the result is an alternate reality that bustles with energy and contradictions that turn faith, gender, and honor on their heads.
The only thing worse than war is revolution. Especially when you're already losing the war....
Nyx used to be a bel dame, a government-funded assassin with a talent for cutting off heads for cash. Now she's babysitting diplomats to make ends meet and longing for the days when killing was a lot more honorable. When Nyx's former bel dame "sisters" lead a coup against the government that threatens to plunge the country into civil war, Nyx is tasked with bringing them in. The hunt takes Nyx and her inglorious team of mercenaries to one of the richest, most peaceful, and most contaminated places on the planet - a country wholly unprepared to host a battle waged by the world's deadliest assassins.
In a rotten nation of sweet-tongued politicians, giant bugs, and renegade shape-shifters, Nyx will forge unlikely allies and rekindle old acquaintances. And the bodies she leaves scattered across the continent this time...may include her own. Because no matter where you go or how far you run in this world, one thing is certain: The bloody bel dames will find you.
©2011 Kameron Hurley (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
If you enjoyed God's War (Bel Dame Apocrypha, Book 1), get Infidel.
Infidel continues Hurley's intriguing world and the people that inhabit it. I really love the blend of science fiction, fantasy, and political intrigue. The concept of a world war lasting two to three centuries blows my mind (the implications of how that affects the development of cultures are well and subtly addressed, but it's still an idea that makes one pause and really think about the end result of a planet-wide lifestyle of violence).
The notion of the book's main protagonist (Nyxnissa so Dasheem) as a broken, imperfect, morally-questionable human being is one that appeals to me greatly. She's not exactly likeable, but you can't help but care about her and become invested in this character. Her personality and outlook have not much changed since the first book in the series (God's War), but, in my opinion, she seems to be starting to have those niggling seeds of personal change taking root in the back of her mind.
I am extremely interested to see where the final book in the trilogy, Rapture, eventually takes us and how the underlying political theme finally plays out.
I read God's War, the first book in this series and when I saw that Audible had Infidel I jumped at the chance. I should have listened to the sample first. Kameron Hurley is a brilliant writer who takes you on a fast ride thru a dark and bloody desert world. The problem is not the book, the problem is the reader. She sounds like a stripper named Candy in a film noir story. It is high pitched, grating and painfully annoying. Perhaps, if I were listening to the three little bears and was five years old this voice would have been appropriate. No, not even then. Definitely not for a story about female assassins. If I could get my credit back, trust me I would.
Audible please read the books before you select the reader. This is a "big person" book and needs a grown woman as a reader.
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