In The Valhalla Call, we bring the Hayden War Arc that began in On Silver Wings to its startling conclusion. Newly minted Lieutenant Sorilla Aida has a new mission and new allies, gear, and support, as she is tasked with a job that could ensure that the human race stands a chance of reaching a technical parity with the mysterious alien alliance. Humans and SOLCOM are not the only ones making moves, however, and the alliance has brought up their varsity to end the little side war before it gets out of hand. Are they really interested in humanity or human worlds, however, or is something more at play? When the horns sound, the Valhalla Call rings out across the galaxy, and it is inevitable that someone will be brought to answer. The Valhalla Call is book four of the Hayden's War Arc of the Warrior's Wings series.
©2013 Evan C. Currie (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
The Valhalla Call is Evan Currie's 4th installment in the Silver Wings series. While the tale opens with Sorilla attending West Point (while simultaneously training the upper brass in alien warfare tactics), Solcom is planning an ambitious agenda to begin to take the battle to the aliens. At the same time, a large, two part alien fleet is observed to be entering the region around Hayden. Taskforce VII takes on advance raiding duty, led by Ton. Valkyrie (Taskforce V) recalls Sorilla for a daring mission to capture an alien vessel intact. Between Taskforces V and VII, the actions scenes are well choreographed and executed. In the end, Admiral Brooks is able to repel the alien invasion fleet, but in a manner that neither side understands, resulting in the first overtures of open communication by the aliens.
The sci-fi elements extend the focus on gravitational manipulation with humanity quickly learning the inner workings of the Ross machinery with some uncertainty and surprises for the implications on all physics. The alien "Alliance" continues to be revealed as a hodge-podge conglomeration of various distinct entities with little love lost among them. Currie is clearly setting up a potpourri of variety as well as dissension throughout the galaxy. Earth is on the cusp of realizing that they will have to face groups more akin to street gangs, rather than intelligent, enlightened creatures. At the same time, the Earth tendency towards a jack-of-all-trades allows for humans to swing above their own weight in a straight up fight.
Dina Pearlman's narration continues to come off as outstanding. The range of voices of not only both genders, but also the aliens is exceptionally well done and makes for a fast paced, but easy listening style.
The Global Warming mid 21st century tipping point was more than just advocacy writing, it was evangelizing. Also, the story's solution to correct AGW was to position mirrors in orbit to reflect sun light back, away from Earth. While it may not take all the tea in China to accomplish this it would certainly take all the sand in the Sahara and then some for mirror construction alone.
The rest of the story progressed smoothly, rather too smoothly for my liking, unfortunately. My primary character, Sgt. Aida, now 2nd Lieutenant (soon to become 1st Lieutenant) is moved to a teacher role and then into a command role in a mechanized team of huge titan-like fighters with Captain Ton reappearing in Aida's traditional role as ground trooper leader. The section where she "becomes one with" the alien six dimensional space simply by walking through was more than a bit over the top. Additionally, while I had preferred the humanizing changes in Aida's character in books 2 and 3 over her rather arrogant persona in book 1, I believe the author has gone too far in the other direction in book 4. This was probably expected with her now in an officer role but, still, I miss the blood and guts Aida from before.
Lastly, this book is mostly a series of space opera battles and, while it does go a long ways to detailing the various alien races in the Alliance, space battles always seems detached from the human experience of inflicting death and trauma on others, somewhat akin to present day air forces dropping bombs on enemy positions.
I bought the first title of this series as a daily deal and it has me hooked. Great story arc with a female protagonist that is incredibly...smart, tough, resourceful snd I could go on for quite a while but I'll leave it to you to discover. If you like sci-fi with with well developed characters and a very limited, and I repeat limited, amount of the hackneyed love interest stuff (these people are to busy and professional for that) you will like this. I'm more of a mystery reader and this thing has plenty of mystery, but I'm really enjoying the books. I hope you will too.
each and every story I listen to takes me on a journey to another place and time. you keep writing them, and I'll continue to be one of your biggest proponents.
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