Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Charlotte's Army by Patty Jansen

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

First published: 2011, self-published
Series: Set in the ISF-Allion Universe but stands alone.
Format read: ePub on iThings
Source: Purchased from Smashwords a while ago.
Disclaimer: Although Patty is a friend I have attempted to write an unbiased review
Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge, Australian Science Fiction Reading Challenge

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