What happens when a staff sergeant questions a two-star general’s parentage to his face? Torin Kerr discovers the answer in Tanya Huff’s much-anticipated sequel to Valor’s Choice.
Separated from her company, Kerr is ordered to report to a top-secret reconnaissance mission, either as punishment for her quick mouth or praise for her service. Kerr must turn a ragtag group of Marines into a cohesive fighting unit in a matter of days, while maneuvering through the murky political waters of the Confederation.
Really enjoyed this entry into The Confederation series–it’s full of Kerr being super competent and side-eyeing her superiors’ orders which was a lot of fun.
This volume finds Kerr separated from her main unit and sent out to head up a special unit comprised of a mix of officers from across the confederation. Like her last mission, this one has political implications. Basically, they’re sent there to make the commanding officer (whom most people dislike) look good. For politics. Of course, this rankles Kerr but she’s a soldier through and through so she buckles down and does what has to be done. But, of course, things don’t go right, because where’s the drama in that? 🙂
I really am loving Kerr as a character. She’s so competent and I like seeing her take charge of a situation. She really doesn’t buckle under pressure and tends to keep her cool even in the most bizarre situations. And she also handles the other personalities around her pretty well–she may not be a ‘people person’ but she reads others well and knows how to play off their strengths and weaknesses. This comes into play especially in this book during a critical moment so it’s a great trait to have.
I’m not a ‘big dumb object’ expert but I do think the plot here in this one is a bit of a ‘big dumb object’ centered one, as the confederation has encountered a ship that appears to be from The Others (whom they’re all united against and the reason the confederation even exists) and they have to go investigate it. The story was like being trapped in a funhouse but a very not fun funhouse. Maybe more like a house of horrors in some ways, especially once things got further into motion. I really enjoyed the way the story played out in this one.
Once again I didn’t really cling on to many of the side characters that are there for support as, with a few exceptions, most of them blurred together. Especially the marines. But there were some civilians around again and those characters really stood out for me and some of them were quite fun! I especially the arrogant-trying-too-hard-to-be-charming ship captain that Kerr was forced to work with for much of the book, especially because the dynamic with Kerr, who sees through everyone’s bullshit, was interesting and fun.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with this book! I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. 4/5 stars.