THIS ROCKED SOCKS.
If you haven't seen the movie, this is probably a pretty spoilery review. If you've seen the move, carry on.
This was just so gooooood. I'd like to think that I would have liked it as much even if I hadn't seen Edge of Tomorrow, but my bouncing-in-the-seat glee during the entire film definitely coloured my reading experience. I suppose you could argue that I was very predisposed to like the book *grin*
The book is better though, because the alien backstory makes so much more sense. Why they didn't just use the provided setup for the aliens and their motivations in the movie beats me. Sure, it was a little more complicated, but there is dumbing it down for the masses and then there is creating something that doesn't actually make sense once you start poking at it. They had a perfectly awesome backstory handed to them, and they chucked it out the window.
The pointless romance isn't really there - it's mostly about character development. In the book Rita is still fucking awesome; a great mix of quiet & withdrawn when she's out of her battle Jacket and wicked badass when she's in it. I liked Keiji better than Cage Tom Cruise too, but that's not all that hard to achieve as I like pretty much anybody better than Tom. I unashamedly enjoyed watching Cage Tom die (this is where the glee came in), but I did not enjoy reading about Keiji's many deaths. His learning curve and transformation from useless, regular recruit to kickass warrior was really well done, though.
And oooooh, the writing is so good. Some of the imagery is just so incredibly vivid, I ended up reading it several times.
"Distant shells thunder low and muddy, a hollow sound you feel more than hear. The close ones ring high and clear. They scream with a voice that rattles your teeth, and you know they’re the ones headed for you. They cut deep into the ground, throwing up a veil of dust that hangs there, waiting for the next round to come ripping through."
You should also read Navessa's review. Because what she said.