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on May 01, 2013 :
Charlotte's Army is a novella by Patty Jansen set in the same universe as several of her other works but which stands alone. I've previously reviewed her novel Shifting Reality and short story "The Rebelliousness of Trassi Udang" from the same universe.
Since I first heard about it, I've found the premise of Charlotte's Army interesting: an army of artificial (clone-like) soldiers were all created with the same flaw. All of them are in love with Charlotte, one of the army's senior medical staff. I was interested to see how it would all play out and what caused the flaw. The fact that it wasn't Charlotte's fault was kind of gratifying since she was quite a likeable character.
Other issues explored in this novella were how human the constructed soldiers really were. The human soldiers in the story generally treated them as second class and highly expendable citizens. Where the top brass see erasing one of their minds as nothing more than recalibrating a piece of machinery, Charlotte sees it as deleting a real person. It was an interesting dynamic.
Charlotte's Army was a quick, enjoyable read. It rounds out the world I've read about in Shifting Reality nicely (although I want to stress again that it completely stands alone). I highly recommend it to science fiction fans and anyone interested in giving the genre a go.
4.5 / 5 stars
You can read more of my reviews on my blog.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on March 23, 2012 :
I downloaded this from Smashwords for free. I have read books by Patty Jansen that I really liked so I took a chance. This is probably a book guys who like sci-fi would like. I suppose the word Army in the title should have been a give-away. I don't like my sci-fi to involve politics or war. I did like that the main character didn't want to erase the memories of war from her patients. The mind control was an interesting if not controversial plot element. Sorry I couldn't be more into it. Maybe it was just the frame of mind I was in. Maybe I need to be wired in to join in Charlotte's Army? :)
(review of free book)