Silver Soldiers by Dave Eastman

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A much more enjoyable Expendables! Campbell is a retired soldier and is enjoying his relatively peaceful life when his grandson visits with his new girlfriend, and suddenly Campbell is thrust back into action. Teaming up with his old comrades, the ‘Silver Soldiers’ set out on one last mission, coming up against brainwashed cops, a psychopath with a badge, as well as aching, tired bones. A very funny story with lots of action!

Humour seems to come really easily to the author so it was really a lot of fun to read. Even when there were literally bodies flying through the air, Eastman always managed to keep things light so you aren’t bogged down by the action in the book.

There were a few things that prevented me from giving it 5 stars. The first was the setting. Besides a few vocabulary choices and a few direct mentions of location I totally forgot that the story was set in the UK. I’m not sure if the author is English so maybe it’s just my unfamiliarity with the dialect. Also, it takes place in the future and no year is given but the author seems to hint throughout the book that it is relatively far in the future? This is a minor complaint but Campbell receives an iPhone 11 near the beginning of the book, which would put the story’s events only 4 or so years off. Seeing as the cops are heavily packing in this book while present-day cops often don’t carry a weapon, 4 years seems awful short for a complete reversal of the London police system.

Another issue was the comments about the female characters. I’ve noticed in a few books that when characters are being deliberately shown in a bad light, such as by the opposing side, women are almost always called out on some basis of their gender while male characters will be identified with more neutral terms. Such is the case in this book, as the women were commonly (constantly) called a certain curse word that often applies solely to women. Other uncomfortable sexist stereotypes were carried throughout the book, like Campbell’s opinion of women being a part of the home and having issue when they become “decidedly shrill” (175). This was a book about old people so I don’t know if these comments were just reflecting their age or not, but it didn’t seem that the author was making any attempt to combat the stereotypes.

A tip for authors: be a little creative and stop using the b* word when you want to insult a female character. There are better options in these situations than attacking their gender.

I know it looks like I actually hated it based on my comments here but I did really enjoy the story and action of this book. It just got on my nerves that these comments always had to accompany the female characters. However, since the book is largely dominated by male characters, these comments aren’t that prevalent (which isn’t a great excuse but there you have it!).

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

 

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