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- About The Book -
Fifteen Hours is written by Mitchel Scanlon. It is based in the 41st millennium, the setting for the Games Workshop game, Warhammer 40,000. Therefore fans of the game will find this book more interesting, and perhaps more useful in building background knowledge than just those interested in a sci-fi read.
- The Plot -
The book starts at the end of the story, it describes where Larn, the main character, is and whats happening around him. The story then starts completely and goes through how he got there. Larn is a 17 year old, and a farmer, helping his parents on his homeworld, until he is called up into service into the Imperial Guard as part of a Cadian Platoon. Having never experienced warfare before, Larn and others are removed off the planet from their friends and loved ones and are trained how to fight and have the mentality of guardsmen. There training continues as they are shipped to the first planet to fight on, that is until their course is accidentally changed and they crash land on a planet where the war has been going on for years. Their sergeant is killed in the crash and most of his comrades are killed in their first dash to friendly lines. Upon meeting some guardsmen already present there, he finds himself one of the only survivor and is merged in with an existing unit there. He is shocked at the brutality present there and how real action is so different to the training he has been given. He is stripped of most for his possessions and told to return in 15 hours, if he survives. Whilst he waits for the Big Ork attack he learns more about his comrades and the history of the war they are fighting and how it has come to be that it is still going on years after it started. We also enter the mind of the main commander in charge of the war and see why it has taken so long and gone so badly.
- My opinion -
Throughout the whole book all the characters you meet and Larn interacts with are described with detail and important aspects of their personality are brought out through this and the actions they carry out. It is almost sad to see some of the characters you get to know be killed off like Sergeant Ferres. I found the book a bit slow to get started but the pace does slowly gain, especially at the end. It is however a little predictable which may spoil it for some. As a warhammer 40,000 player though it does give some extra insight and background knowledge into the world and its specific armies.
- Extra Info -
This book is produced by black library, has an ISBN of 1-84416-231-1, has a RRP of £5.99(though can be found cheaper) and is 254 pages long. Some covers to the book may be different to the one in the ilustration (mine is blue with some different artwork in the middle). Fifteen Hours is Mitchel Scanlon's first novel, though has written stories for the comic Inferno.