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Grunts (Mary Gentle)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Grunts is a strange mix of traditional swords-and-sorcery fantasy with modern military marine corps ideology. The plot is a bit chaotic, as it follows a group of standard fantasy orcs who stumble upon modern military equipment cursed to transform whoever uses it into US marines. I enjoyed the imagination and unique blend of contrasting styles, but the story wasn’t especially satisfying or engaging. The book relies on a constant stream of both absurd and dry humor, which is something of an acquired taste. I found it quite funny, but I recognize that others probably would not. There is quite a bit of over the top violence as well, which may unsettle many readers. I’m not exactly sure if there is a more engaging way to bring these two very different concepts together, but as a reader I always felt somewhat removed from the story, like an audience member rather than a participant. I would still recommend this book, despite its flaws, to those not averse to gratuitous violence, due to it being quite readable and very imaginative.

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Posted in Sci-Fi/Fantasy