Flesh and Iron is the second book from Henry Zou and the second book of the Bastion Wars series. This is the story of the 88th Battalion of the 31st Riverine Regiment. They are on the world of Solo-Bastón to fight a Chaos uprising/incursion.
I have to give it to Mr. Zou, he writes a hell of a fight scene. He did it in Emperor's Mercy and he does it here. The are, however, many problems with this book as with the previous.
For one thing there were some overt anti-Vietnam war tones to this book. The vast strength of the Imperium against the indigenous fighters with covert help from Chaos. Add to that the terrible way that the indigenous peoples are treated by the Imperium and it looks a lot like southeast Asia to me. Add to that the fact that we have pretty much the oldest plot line in 40k, and probably fiction itself. Corrupt bureaucrats that are sending the noble warriors on an apparent suicide mission.
Beyond all of that the book was pretty easy too read even though it felt a bit like a 40k version of Apocalypse Now. I was really waiting for someone to shout, "never get out of the boat, never get out of the boat!"
But what I really didn't like was the ending. If the book had skipped from page 330 to 400, it would have been a much better book in my opinion. Those 70 pages were pretty much a series of, "WTF?!" moments for me.
All-in-all this was a pretty poor book, I give it one pseudo-Catachan Regiment out of five.