Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Front Lines by Denise Little

In the short story collection Front Lines, edited and compiled by Denise Little, Corporal Kenso is a weary soldier fighting to protect Earth's colonies from the fierce, alien "Slimies" that are relentlessly attacking the Milky Way. Mollie is a young girl whose incredible, strange powers of healing force her to be out on a battlefield every day, helping to fight a war she doesn't believe in. Leefa Ka is the warrior daughter of the chieftain in her village who foolishly has ridden into a cursed forest haunted by those dead in battle to prove her courage to her father. Lieutenant Conner Davis is the only man left alive in his unit on Aldebaran, one of Earth's colonies that has rebelled and begun a civil war. All of these people are scarred by the myriad horrors of war, the main theme of Front Lines.

As a fan of most different kinds of genres, I liked this book and was hooked by many of the stories. Like with any short story collection, there is a wide range of styles, from humorous to serious and all kinds in between. Because most of the stories are science fiction, I would recommend it to science fiction fans because many of the stories have to do with futuristic warfare on different planets or against invading alien species. Also, most of the stories aren't clich├ęs that have been written about over and over again; they shed new light on being on the front lines of a battlefield, something that most Americans probably haven't experienced. Warfare is a tough subject to both think about and write about, but most of the stories in Front Lines do a great job of making the subject realistic-you often feel as though you are one of the soldiers fighting a hopeless battle against creatures that seem to have no weak points to strike out at. The book really connects well with its readers, and you want the soldiers to succeed in the wars that they each fight. Although the main theme of the book doesn't, in the end, quite hit home as strongly as it's supposed to, it's still a strong presence throughout and will make you think about it as you read. If you're looking for something that's fast-paced and action-packed, but also thoughtful and serious at the same time, take a look at Front Lines.

There are many scenes of violence, seeing as this is a book about war.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Richmond, VA USA