Blood Red Sands. Goodreads Review.

I am delighted to have been able to leave a Goodreads Review for the next instalment in this military science fiction series from Irish author Damien Larkin.

I’ve included the full text below.

I was privileged to receive an authors review copy of Blood Red Sands. I promised to provide an honest appraisal and feedback in this Goodreads Review. And while it is always extremely difficult to review a book without sharing any real spoilers, I am going to do my best.

There are so many good points that I have difficulty in choosing where to begin.

The book is both a sequel and prequel to Larkins first novel in this series, titled ‘Big Red.’. It does a terrific job on both fronts. It builds on the fantastic world and mind-bending sci-fi created in Big Red. It promises a lot and it delivers.

This is at its heart military science fiction, its action is gritty and plentiful and not for the faint of heart. I wanted this book to draw me back into that world, and I really wanted to taste the dust and smell the cordite, and this book drops you right into a brutal conflict on Mars.

Larkin has succeeded in dealing with strong themes; such as violence, persecution, xenophobia, antisemitism, fascism in a unique and engaging fashion. This is layered fiction, it can be subtle in places, in others it a brick in a sock, swung directly at one’s face.

This book has everything a science fiction fan wants; it has awesome technology, conflicted heroes, savage villains, a strange world, and an unknown future. The only bigger question that the unknown future is the unknown past. Larkin has dropped breadcrumbs along the way, and in the very best tradition of writing has left the reader desperately wanting more.

So, in conclusion, as soon as you can lay your hands on it ensure you read this book, and while you wait for its release to the general public in summer 2021, do yourself a massive favour and read the first title in this series.

We have always been here.

The author, who is a former infanteer of the Irish Reserve Defence Forces, deserves to be specially acknowledged for his dedication of the book to soldiers of the Irish Defence Forces who lost their lives during UN peacekeeping operations in the Congo during the 1960s, in particular, it is dedicated to the men ‘A’ Company, 35th Infantry Battalion, Óglaigh na hÉireann (Irish Defence Forces) who, under the command of Commandant Pat Quinlan, conducted the heroic defence of Jadotville in Katanga province during 13-17 September 1961. There 155 Irish soldiers withstood a sustained attack from forces numbering approximately 3,000. They inflicted over 300 losses and over 1,000 causalities on the enemy, and they continued their fight until entirely out of ammunition and water. All 155 soldiers survived and were to become POWs for a short period. Their bravery and their dedication to each other still shines as bright today, as it did all those decades ago in a land far from their home in the service of peace.

I cannot wait for the next book, I am thoroughly enjoying this series and the promise of more adventures and even greater work to come is in the air.

You can purchase your own copy on pre=order here:




Amazon UK

You can check out Damiens website here:

You can read the Goodread Review here:

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