Book Review: A Rain of Fire by Ralph Kern

A Rain of Fire effectively re-imagines Dunkirk in a space setting, in which the Hegemony has invaded a planet of the Republic, and the Kingdom needs to retrieve its expeditionary force from one of the continents. The story is told from a handful of characters: a private on the frontline, a battleship captain, an admiral, fighter pilot, and mech warrior.

Kern’s prose is fluid and easy to read, and makes for an exciting story. However, by the end there’s plenty of pathos to underline importance of Dunkirk in history.

The biggest potential criticism is that the setting follows Dunkirk so closely that really just names have been swapped out, when the world-building could have been developed more uniquely. However, there’s a good counter argument that this would have been disrespectful and undermine the purpose of the book.

Overall, this is a great book that is four stars most of the way through, but is raised to five by the end, and I’m looking forward to picking up the next in this series.

A Rain of Fire by Ralph Kern is available on Amazon.


Book Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Re-read this, and it was interesting to see how strong the emotional stakes were from the start. As a story I thought it good and strong with the caveat that I never believed the kids seemed as young as they were – or why it had to be children in this war.

However, although I thought the story well-written, I didn’t totally enjoy it – at it’s heart it’s about the emotional abuse of children, and in the end that soured something of my reading.

A classic science fiction book that’s worth picking up, but one perhaps appreciated more than enjoyed.

Available at Amazon: