Dogs Of War
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ibsn13: 9781786693907
series: Dogs of War - Book 1

Adrian Tchaikovsky strikes again. Human animal hybrids with developing consciousness. Check. Hive mind consciousnesses. Check. Empathy porn. Check.

I might enjoy Dogs of War more than Children of Time? It’s more efficient and covers many of the same themes with many more interesting characters.

There’s a lot to love in Dogs of War but Rex is the star that everything great in the book revolves around.

Rex is a dog Bioform, a cybernetic bio-engineered lifeform made from both dog and human DNA. Him and his kind were built as better, stronger, faster and, most importantly, more obedient replacements for human soldiers (the military-industrial complex tried to build fully autonomous robots prior to developing Bioforms but that didn’t end very well).

A chip in Rex’s brain feeds him the right kind of brain chemicals when he’s a “Good Dog” and the bad kind of chemicals when he’s being a “Bad Dog” which is how his Master trains Rex and his fellow Bioforms to do as their told. Right from page 1, it’s clear that Rex and his squad of Bioforms are being used to commit heinous war crimes (yikes) but aren’t aware that what they’re doing is wrong.

Rex’s ability to reason, understand morality and the world around him is relatively low at the start of the book. With the help of his friend Honey, an exceptionally smart Bioform bear, Rex, throughout the book, manages to expand his consciousness, eventually breaking the chain between him and his Master and leading his own life, free from the collar.

Getting to see this transformation and its impact on the rest of the world from Rex’s POV is fantastic. A lot of effort was put into gradually changing Rex’s way of thinking throughout the book and having that change be reflected in the prose. It’s really well done.

Dogs of War has many characters other than Rex but he’s the star of the show. If you like Adrian Tchaikovsky’s work, don’t miss out on this one.