The second book in Tanya's Confederation series and one that I was so pleased that I didn't have to wait for. After all with the original having built up the personal interactions between the principle player and the supporting cast, left this one to get down to the nitty gritty.
As with the first, we get to spend time with the wonderful Torin Kerr who is definitely her own woman who despite having to fight for her survival in the bleak future also has to deal with the complications of personal relationships that Tanya Huff writes so well. Its engaging, has some wonderful dialogue which when blended with Tanya's own unique storytelling generates another book that I had a hard time putting down. Great stuff.
Torin continues to kick ass in this book, though kick ass is not the right thing to say in a way. She is a marine, she does her duty, the follows orders (tries too), she takes care of those serving with her.
The old gang is not in this book as she has to work with new people and a idiot who is hungry for media attention. Yeah, one of those idiots who gets his squad killed and manages to come out looking like a hero. I did not like him or the politics for promoting him. While regular soldiers got to suffer and die under him.
It was more space ship action here, and I do tend to enjoy it more when they are on...land or what I should call it. But it would sure make a cool action movie. Creepy alien space ship that I did not know what to make up, insert some music of doom and we are all set.
Conclusion: Action, danger, and a strange space ship stranded in space. Death and destruction promised.
This is an excellent and unusual series, which I highly recommend. Classic military sci-fi, but with Huff's unique take cutting through the 'boy's own' tendencies of the genre with wit, verve and imagination while retaining all its best features. Serious ass-kicking comes as standard, subtle inter-species dynamics are interestingly portrayed, chains of command entertainingly but lovingly featured, and a variety of interesting hard-tech ideas used in classic tactical scenarios. I don't know how I managed to miss Huff for so long, but I'm a definite convert. If you liked Leckie's 'Ancilliary...' series, you should like this - although it is considerably easier (although by no means dumbed-down) reading.
The first book in the series was a riototous rip off of the battle of Rourke's Drift (thats the movie Zulu) but set in space with aliens, hey it worked I liked it. Book 2 (this book) is a hunt through a damaged and previously lost star ship (yeah shades of alien) still enough bumps and jumps to make it worth the read. So why are you still reading my drivel of a review go get them.
In the tradition of Robert Heinlein and other great Masters of SF Space Opera, Huff delivers a rollicking yarn and a fine sequel to her earlier "Zulu" inspired "Valor's Choice". Whereas her first novel featuring the enigmatic, tough heroine Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr introduces her world concept and dominant characters, this sequel gives Torin Kerr a chance to shine and kick a*** with style. She is every woman's heroine, never hesitating to speak her mind as she decapitates her enemy. It is very reminiscent of Heinlein's much earlier "Starship Troopers", with its very own "Bugs" as the enemy, but is good fun nonetheless. A worthwhile investment for your time, money and energy. As always, Huff's female protagonists are strong, assertive and incredibly witty.
I have just finished reading "The better part of Valor": read it in two days...and I am now suffering from withdrawal symptoms! I would like some more, please Ms Huff...? Since I started reading Ms Huff's books, 16 in all, I have come to love this writer; her books are funny as well as full of pathos, and this last book is proof of it. I know nothing of military stuff but I still anjoyed both the technical part as well as the interplay with the caracters. She describes aliens in such a way that we forget they really are a product of fiction. For me her books rate up there at the top, toghether with McMaster Bujold and L K Hamilton. So ms Huff when can we read more about Staff Sargent Kerr??