I am most likely interrogating this text from the wrong perspective ;-), missing out on the historical and futuristical aspects of the story that is Gettysburg.
Set in the world of Michael Bunker´s Pennsylvania (which I have not read yet) Gettysburg *apparently* draws heavy comparison to the original and historical battle of the same name (of which I´ve hardly any knowledge, being European and all).
A military Sci-Fi tale of two opposing forces, the rebel group of TRACE (no idea why this is capitalized or whatever the abbreviation stands for) vs Transport, the army of the oppressive regime of the New World, set in the future on an, at least for me, unknown planet, fighting over resources which are heavily needed. (How´s that for an run-on sentence?)
A precious metal named Okcillium, whatever that is, might be hidden in an more or less unguarded warehouse. With those "Okcy" TRACE scientists will be able to build laser weapons to fight Transport on an even playing field, they only need to secure it first. Easy job, in and out with a small, fast moving and mobile special unit, done. Mary Brenneman, the leader of the Bestimmung company, thinks it´s now or never, but as it turns out things are too good to be true, especially in war times. They always are.
Heavily relying on combat scenes with moves and counter-moves I felt at times a bit like being in a video game with the different battlefields in front of me. Like an observer without having the possibility to interfere I watched as lives are lost, and questions are asked if it is really worth dying for.
Admittetly I was lost a bit in the surroundings due lack of knowledge of the world that story plays in, even Gettysburg definitely works as a standalone. I do suspect those fans of Pennsylvania might get more out of it as I did this moment, as should history buffs with an interest in Sci-Fi. Which I hope is not mutually exclusive. I´m sure those hidden Easter Eggs, details based on the original battle of Gettysburg are a delight, just I was unable to find them. Which is okay, I think, since I enjoyed the story for what it is. Even without any real knowledge of the battle itself, the characters or anything about the war they are fighting in.
The Sci-Fi aspects range from scary, iE implants in the brain to connect to the internet and to eachother, to familiar, like drones and laser weapons. While this part of the story was less interesting to me, the characters were. Starting with Mary to the almost comical Stugs to the gut wrenching appearance of Pusher who lost her unit in the battle. And damn you, Chris Pourteau, it´s now the second time in as many days you made me cry. This can´t continue, I tell you. :)
While Gettysburg is mostly action packed it has it´s humorous moments, as much as human moments of quiet, intimate understanding between the characters. And those were the ones I truly liked. The characterization is marvelous, which seems to be a trademark of Chris Pourteau´s writing. Complex and real, those are more than only names or voices, but someone to care for.
And maybe some times some things are really worth dying for.