Review: A Song For No Man's Land by Andy Remic

Review: nomansland

I've spent a while trying to gather my thoughts on this book and what to say about, but I can't help but surmise that it's a story with more pages than content. Quite a lot of it feels like a song stuck on repeat, but one that occasionally and magically teases you with bits of other important and interesting notes before returning to the same-old, same-old.

Set during World War I, we get plenty of combat scenes as our lead protagonist, Robert Jones, fights in the trenches, alongside his friend and fellow soldier, a big man with a big personality named Bainbridge. They have an easy friendship that becomes strained as the war goes on, each man seeing their share of injuries and...other things. Strange things. Monstrous thing. There's...something...lurking in the woods and haunting the battlefields, although too often this feels like a minor footnote in Remic's narrative until the big finale and a resolution that leads neatly into the larger auspices of this series.

While there are plenty of great depictions of life on the front-lines of The Great War, I couldn't help but feel like there was something missing. The focus on the battles, too, began to feel a bit stale by book's end, and I can't hep but wonder if Remic was stalling a bit to fill a word count requirement.

That said, the final chapter provides a nice bit of illumination and meat to the mythological structure underpinning the nature of the war in Remic's hands, and sets the stage for the next book. A Song For No Man's Land, in its resolution, feels more like an appetizer for Return of Souls, which I'll be diving into shortly. I suspect there's a promising series to be had here, but at the moment I'm enjoying the ideas (dark but intermittent bits of fantasy set against the front-lines of WWI) more than the execution.


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Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

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