And So Began the War by Ian Hollis (Book Review)

Rating: 4/5 — Amazing Sci Fi trip ruined by chosen book format

Book cover for ‘And So Began The War’ by Ian Hollis

An Amazingly Crafted and Playful World

Every sci-fi epic needs a sprawling world, a chaotic playground in which the characters can truly find themselves. With respect to this aspect, And So Began The War does not dissapoint. From the Lesser Continent to the Greater and Fourth Continent. Ian Hollis keeps the naming conventions for his country states easy to follow. The world he’s crafted, however, is anything but easy. State governments, systems and societies all differ among each continent, all united by their love of everything mechanical, whether that love has a sinister element to it or not.

Robots, Robots Everywhere

The main selling point of the novel, however, is what definitely hit it on the head for me. Robots. I mean, just the word itself conjures up childhood memories of watching Saturday morning cartoons, like Transformers, with breakfast in hand, mouth agape and mind blown by the sheer ‘technological marvel’ of Optimus turning into a truck every couple of minutes.

More Script Than Novel

Despite the engrossing story, engaging theme and the excitement that naturally comes with the word ‘robot!’, I felt that there were aspects of the novel that just let me down. Personally, I am not a huge fan of scripts that pretend to be novels (which is why The Cursed Child was a really difficult read for me). Like pineapple on pizza, everything has its place and every place has its thing. Scripts should not be called a book, and books should not be called scripts.


If you can look past the weird choice of making it more script than novel, then this sci-fi war epic, with robots of all shapes and sizes, is definitely a recommended read for fans of the genre everywhere.

Writer, lawyer, insomniac. Strictly in that order.

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