by Elizabeth Bear.

Well, I can’t say this was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I liked Hammered quite a bit.

Does this book count as military SF?  It’s about a woman who’s been used and screwed by a military black ops division in Canada.  They now want her back, because the particular hell they put her through has more than aptly prepared her to be used and screwed for their new project.  I could go into more details of the miserable things that have gone on through the main character’s life, but it’d sound like the world’s best SF blues song (except for Miles Vorkosigan, of course), and I can’t sing the blues.

Fantastically realized characters.  There are no saints in this book (which makes me think of Fullmetal Alchemist more than anything else), and the plots within plots are delicious.  The writing is straightforward, really straightforward, not just “so-so writing” but stripped down and efficient.  The pace is fast, the choices painful, and the brief moments of happiness shining like angels in the heavens.

I’ll definitely pick up the rest of the series, at least.