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John Birmingham’s THE CRUEL STARS

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

I am a massive John Birmingham fan. From his classic He Died With a Felafel In His Hand to his insightful and entertaining “gonzo” journalism through to his techno-thrillers I have read and enjoyed it all. As well as wiring cutting-edge thrillers John Birmingham is also at the cutting-edge of publishing experimenting with ebooks and even self-publishing. But in 2019 John Birmingham returns with a space opera blockbuster snapped up by Penguin Random House in the US.


Set centuries in the future humanity has spread out across the galaxy. Through neural implants humans are now able to load skills and knowledge at will. DNA enhancements allow for other biological enhancements. Combined together and humanity has reached a pseudo-immortality as people back up their lives and regenerate when they die. But not all humans in the universe are happy about this next step in our evolution. The Sturm believe in keeping the human blood line pure and have already fought a bloody civil war to try and gain control of the human race. Everyone thought The Sturm were defeated, but they have been biding their time, building their forces, waiting for their opportunity to strike. And they may have just done it, wiping out most of the human race in the process.


This is the best book John Birmingham has ever written! Think Firefly meets Game of Thrones and then some. It reminded me a lot of John Scalzi but with John Birmingham’s own unique sense of humour, sense of technology and sense of violence. It has everything a rollicking space opera needs; a crazy scientist, a smart-mouthed AI, a captured princess, a band of genetically diverse space pirates, a Navy almost crippled to its knees and Space Nazis. John Birmingham builds his world, almost tears it down and then sends everyone against each other. Wonderfully entertaining. Totally absorbing. I wanted to read the next book in the series the moment I finished.



Title: The Cruel Stars

Author: John Birmingham

Publisher: Head of Zeus

ISBN: 9781789545920

Series: Cruel Stars Trilogy , Book 01

Format: PaperBack

Category: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 19/08/2019


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