Twelve by Jasper Kent
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I don't normally like war books but as this is part of the Transworld review books I thought I would choose something I wouldn't normally pick for myself.
A group of Russian officers ask for help from twelve mercenaries who say they change help win the war against France. It seems unlikely however before long they have proved themselves and then some. The way they take down the French is unknown although it is in such marked numbers people fear it is some plague that is effecting only the french. Eventually out group of officers find out why and begin to seek out the why and hows putting themselves in mortal danger.
The war side of it I actually enjoyed for a while which is suprising however the nature of mercenaries, not so much which is a first for me as I have loved every book dealing with those beings I have read. I felt the two didn't go well together this time, it seemed like too much was going on, two many hard names to remember and I often got confused as to who was who again. It took over 200 pages before we find out why the mercenaries are so good and by that point I was so sick of the hinting and waiting for somethig big to actually happen.
The other thing that really annoyed me was the main character Captain Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov (quite a mouthful isn't it!). He was just a soldier who at one point is almost super hero as he manages to take on and defeat an unseemingly beatable enemy when so many others perish so easily.
I think if the story had concentrated a bit more on one theme or the other it could have been really good but instead I felt it was thinly spread and didn't do either side justice and it seemed just too easy for the Captain by the end. 2/5 for me.
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