“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...”see full review » see other reviews »
“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.
“One of the infamous kitchen books is finished. I tend to keep books in various places. The Heart of Valor was in the discard bin at the local library and was handy for reading a few pages while waiting to move onto the next step of cooking/baking/coffee making.
That the adventures of Torin Kerr is part of series is not a drawback in reading this installment. Enough background is given throughout the story to enable the reader to understand what Big Yellow is, and how the Confederation is set up. Frankly the battle scenes aren't what makes this book work.
What makes is work is that author Tanya Huff is former reservist who's family has been in the military for generations. This allows her to really nail the voice of NCOs and recruits (in an interview Huff said no one in her family had ever been an officer). To get away from poltics Kerr takes an assignment with a platoon wrpaping up its basic training. Of course something has to happen to make the scenario on the training planet become a SNAFU.
In addition to nailing the voices of the NCOs and recruits Huff makes Kerr an intelligent and interesting enough character, with a wry sense of humor (at times). Kerr is a lifer, and as acombat soldier she doesn't always have time to be nice to officers or recruits.
While enjoyable enough it is not so gripping that I'll run out to the store to pick up the other four installments in the series. On the surface, it seems some of the background mysteries are too easily explained.
Definitely for military sf fans who want a character that sit down and have a good read with. ”
“Entertaining military sci-fi, reminds me of Cameron's "Aliens" movie with tough-as-nails, heroine Ellen Ripley, but here it is Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr. She leads the pack of varied species Marines into what they think is a mock training battle, but turns into a very real one. Third in an excellent series.”Kenn S wrote this review Tuesday, February 15, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wonderful space military adventure with a slant - the leader's a kick-ass woman. Great read. Haven't been able to find the next one in the series. Tried to find a combo like the first set, but had to get this one individually. Would LOVE to find the 4th in this series.”Cristy H wrote this review Saturday, June 5, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I couldn't get book 2 of Huff's Confederation books in e-book form, so I settled for Book 3, after re-reading VALOR'S CHOICE. It's semi-standard military science fiction--Torin Kerr has been promoted to a Gunnery Sergeant, and is stuck on the Marines training station to give briefings on the new Confederation allies encountered in the first book. In book 2, she also went out on a first-contact exploratory mission to investigate a big unknown alien ship, where weird stuff happened. Both those events play a part in this book.
She winds up going with a class of recruits to the "war games" planet with a major who's just come out of a "tank," having been rebuilt after he mostly died with some new, non-standard parts. Things go wrong on the class, and Kerr has to fix things. It's an enjoyable series, but I'll probably take a break before I read book 4. Not because I'm not liking the books, but because so much dry military stuff requires a break. ”
“Solid writing, vivid imagery. Worth reading.”TigerLily wrote this review Sunday, August 26, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Huff rocks.”ToFarGone wrote this review Sunday, March 22, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No