The Secret War
At the risk of laying myself open to accusations of gender bias, let me say right away, The Secret War is real lads’ stuff. Every page seethes with soldierly camaraderie and willing girls with pert breasts and blood by the bucket load. The plot reads like the latest edition of Final Fantasy and the relentless action combined with gleefully hideous deaths also seems to come straight out of game playing tradition. (Aside for older readers – we have a tradition of computer game playing already?)
For thousands of years a secret war has been waged between Heaven and Hell. Daemons and angels, vampyres (sic) and knights clash for the future of mankind and innocent people like Captain William Saxon and his lifelong friend, Lieutenant Kieran Harte, both recent veterans of Waterloo, find themselves caught in the crossfire. The Vatican is also – of course – knee deep in the conspiracy, and there is the obligatory wise old man of Oriental descent.
Curran has produced a debut novel that is tremendous fun and just the ticket for reading aloud around a winter fireplace during a power cut. His writing is assured and pacey, though his characterisation tends to be perfunctory – a side effect, no doubt, of the sheer volume and scale of the action packed into these pages. There is also, however, a serious and timely message here, forcefully conveyed at the beginning of the novel about the dehumanising scale of modern warfare and the emotional strain this places on soldiers.
One of MNW’s better offerings. Enjoy with friends and a few cans of Wife Beater.