Brad R. Torgersen
I am always fascinated by books that tackle the subject of faith in a science fiction setting. The Chaplain’s War is set in a future in which humanity is caught in a losing war with the Mantis cyborgs. These aliens are much more advance in technology than the humans and quickly have them on the run. Chaplain’s Assistant Harrison Barlow is trapped on a planet where the Mantis have enclosed them with a force field and ignored them. That is until a different kind of Mantis shows up and asks Barlow to explain faith to him. Barlow inadvertently brokers a cease fire while they explore the question.
Once he is known to both the Mantis and Human chains of command he is the logical person to move the cease fire to a permanent truce. If only both sides weren’t determined to start the war up again.
I have to admit that I was annoyed at the beginning that in a book that centers around faith, that the main character exhibits so little. Patience is rewarded as we learn why he’s a chaplain’s assistant and why the Mantis civilization needs him as much as the humans.
I recommend the book to sci fi readers of all interests. This is not a book that preaches, but it explores the nature of faith and its place in our universe. The characters are complex and interesting on both sides of the conflict.