My Favorite Military SciFi series,
This review is from: Heart of Valor (Confederation Novels) (Confederation Novels (Paperback)) (Mass Market Paperback)
I am still loving this series. Torin, newly promoted (though she really would rather stay away from being top brass) to gunny sargeant has agreed to accompany Major Svensson as an aide to Crucible. Crucible is the training planet for the Marines. That's where they put all their learning to practical applications. The planet sounds kind of cool - the marines have a few different training situations complete with terrain and weather variations;winter with below zero temperatures or tropical with all the accompanying bugs and heat. There are drones and other dangerous things that are programmed to run certain scenarios to put the marines through their paces - it's supposed to be dangerous, but non-deadly.
At the same time Torin's new man - Craig Ryder - is wondering where that escape pod is. The one he used to escape Big Yellow and bring help back to the others. Weirdly, it seems that only ones who remember this escape pod are him, Torin and Presit (the reporter). Strange. In fact, Torin was almost in trouble over asking questions, something that makes her think she's being used,making her angry.
Back on Crucible, Major Svensson (who has recently regrown almost his entire body and nervous system - I love futuristic sci-fi) seems just a bit odd to Torin. She's being his aide, managing him and protecting the civilian doctor who is monitoring him while the recruits they are accompanying are being put through the beginnings of a training program. The Staff Sargeant in charge of the recruits is the same staff sargeant that Torin trainined under years before, and she's surprised that he's still in the marines (something to do with Di'Taykan culture and his age). In fact, she finds something off about him also....
Things go from a bit off to that incredibly descriptive old anachronism - SNAFU. Yep - situation Normal-All F-d Up. Love that phrase. The training drones are suddenly deadly, the major is behaving strangely inconsistantly, the staff sargeant in charge suddenly is incapacitated and things go horribly wrong.
I enjoyed the return of a few characters from The Better Part of Valor - Craig Ryder (the man for Torin), Presit (the reporter who irritates Torin and who doesn't really like Torin), and General Morris in all his pompous glory. The man tries so hard to be a good general, but he's....well he's a bit pompous - he had a smaller part to play in this book, but important. I also really enjoyed a few new characters from the recruits and the Navy spaceship. There is a recruit that is so enthusiastic that she packs everything on the suggested list - something that the other recruits thought unnecessary. She's the first to volunteer answers and actions, and she has developoed a crush on Torin. There's the tech whiz, who's good at all things programming and hacking. The Di'Taykan cultured is almost a character in itself.
Ms Huff has written a great series and I've enjoyed this third novel very much. After finishing this novel, I grabbed the fourth novel off my shelf right away.