Think of Saving Private Ryan with space marines set during the 30 years’ war and you’ll have a reasonable impression of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s latest novella.
The Ironclads are Scions, the sons of the fabulously wealthy and powerful of the world who take part in political and corporate battles dressed in impregnable, heavily armoured suits.
Ironclads is set in a world in which large corporations wage war against each other, corporations fight social democratic countries and the ordinary man or woman lives in a state of feudal penury where a life in the armed services means acting as cannon fodder.
The story follows Sergeant Ted Regan (our narrator) and his small team as they carry out a mission to find the missing cousin of a corporate Scion. Their task involves dealing with political and corporate intrigue, battles with impossible machines and supernatural Finns.
There are some light-hearted moments and I enjoyed a reference to the 1st fighting corps of Ikea. I imagined a large metal suit put together by allen keys and with a nice Billy bookcase mounted on the chest plate.
It’s a slim book and quite an easy read but I left it without strong feelings for the characters or the plot. It just passed by without making much of an impression.