Cook has mastered the first person, eyewitness, in the trenches viewpoint, and this one delivers the usual deadpan stuff with a new twist, a nearly never ending space war. Instead of a foxhole, in this installment, the "cage" is a spaceship, and the challenge is to make it back from a mission from which few ever return.
At times, as can be expected, Passage at Arms is reminiscent of the Black Company, but mostly it carves out new territory for Cook's usual set of premises,and wackos, revolving around the daily grind of fighting an unseen enemy, against ridiculous odds, and somehow staying sane through it all. As always there are consequences, and the usual knocks against authority.
As will all of Cook's books, this will likely remain a niche player, since the mainstream is not so fond of books that put every day people in the mundane events that eventually congeal into something bigger like a war. As with many of his recent works, it takes a bit of time wading through some rambling before the story congeals.
But once again, Cook is able to bring what seems to be random, into a nice chaotic blend of non linear order.
For me, Glen Cook always delivers the goods. And this time it's no exception.