©2000 Tanya Huff; (P)2008 Tantor
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
Valor's Choice stays surprisingly close to the standard model for military science fiction featuring the ubiquitous space marines - super-competent sergeants, inexperienced officers, gruff but endearing grunts, and sketchy politicians pitted against waves of less sophisticated, but deadly enemies. Think David Weber or John Ringo and you won't be far off.
Tonya Huff adds a couple nice elements that elevate the otherwise standard (but still enjoyable) storyline. First, she has a bit of a sense of humor that makes the story occasionally quite funny. Secondly, her characters are more well-rounded than the traditional military fare, making the back story more interesting than most.
Overall, if you like military science fiction, you'll like this. If you think you might like it, this is a good place to s tart.
I had never read anything by this author before, so I was a wee bit skeptical. In the end I was rewarded with a fun book, albeit a wee bit formulaic, that had me laughing out loud and fully engaged throughout. The main character is a fully-developed female officer and she didn't fit the stereotypical female sci-fi character. She was strong and capable and intelligent. Definitely a great listen! I'm going to scour this site for more books by this author.
This was my first introduction to Tanya Huff. I REALLY enjoyed the sarcasm of this book. Having been an enlisted man who had to “guide” his junior officers, those inner sarcastic comments were EXACTLY what I was thinking at the time.
Tanya Huff’s characterizations are classic. In a way, it is a metaphor of the multicultural milieu that is the military. How many times has an impotent intellectual oligarchy sought the assistance of their perceived inferiors when they finally realize they need protection. I saw a great cross section of America when I was in the military. It is not a stretch to see it at the galactic level. Soldiers are soldiers, despite race (or planet of origin).
I enjoyed the pace, as it helped to develop the characters. Life in the military includes a lot of downtime. It’s when you learn who is beside you, good, bad, otherwise. I must admit, it’s nice if some of them had four hands instead of two, when you need an extra hand.
I have never been intimidated by a strong female (after all, I did marry one), and Torin Kerr could never be described as just “strong”. Here are times when you just have to persevere by pure force of will. This is where the metal of a… (well, the classic phrase says “man”, but that is truly BS)… is tested.
There is the juxtaposition of terror and humor, which is commonplace in stressful times. Sometime, when things are at their bleakest, something strikes you as funny. This was one of the first Audilble books I purchased, and to this day, the phrase “get it off me, get it off me” still pops up in the back of my mind. This is the humor persists in the darkest times.
I would really like to see this as a movie, but I don’t know of Josh Wheaton is available to direct.
Tanya Huff did an excellent job bringing the world of military sci fi to life in this first novel of the Confederation series. Whip smart dialogue, believable aliens, an interesting mission/world and a very well balanced view of both the foibles and strengths of a military organization are the strengths of this story.
Staff Sergeant Torrin Kerr is assigned to assist bringing a new world into the Confederation fold. On what should be a routine assignment, hell breaks loose and she finds her company enmeshed in a lot more than bargained for in the new world. It'll take her wits and ability to lead her small company (including her commanding officer) in smart directions in order to survive.
I really liked that Kerr was street smart and in the middle rank of her company - she has superiors and she has underlings - and needs to handle both. As well, she has a company full of aliens and each has unique needs - so she constantly has to rethink her strategies for both the greater good and also individual motivational factors.
The first half of the book is very quiet - but by the end there is a lot of action. That first half is really important since it sets up Kerr's confidence and also gives us a chance to get to know each of the alien species. There are several characters and this could have been a very confusing book without. The book uses several POVs but the emphasis is on Kerr.
This is one of those books where Audible narration really shines. The narrator did an excellent job of giving a unique voice to each of the aliens yet also a distinct voice to Kerr that was very welcome. It really elevated the book for me.
Overall this story turned out okay, but that was because I had nothing else to listen to for long periods of time that got me through the first half. By about chapter 5 or 6 there's a bar-fight, but until there there's a whole lot of nothing. You really could have picked it up half way through and not have missed much. It does pick up, and delivers some decent military SF - although, aside from the fact that you have humans fighting alongside and against aliens, the SF combat doesn't seem all that present as the storyline seemed to go out of its way to nullify it.
The narrator slows her voice to perform male or alien voices, which got really irritating. Maybe if you played it at 1.5x speed it would sound better.
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
While reading this I remembered why I don't read much military Sci-Fi. And that's because I find it boring. Yes, that's right. I find that most military Sci-Fi revolves around cardboard cut out characters, that take part in whole forgettable and uninteresting stories. This was no exception.
I only give it 2 stars because it's not bad for the genre. But this is a genre that suffers from a lack of talented authors. There are only two author that I can think of that I thought wrote good military Sci-Fi and those are Robert Heinlein and Joe Haldiman, and Starship Troopers and The Forever War where great books.
So often female leads are meant to be assertive and strong but come off lacking in those areas. Tanya does a great job at displaying a stong female and not someone who is looking for a man to complete her. She is already complete, god dammit. I know she later gets a love interest, but that doesn't deminish her baddassness.
I love to read. I just don't always have time. Thank God for Audibles, aye? Who knew daily chores could so much fun now?
I love Marguerite Gavin's performances. I found this book/ series because of her.
check this one out.
Marguerite tells the story written by Tanya so well that you forget that it is fiction. Science fiction at that. What a pleasure it is to be on the ear-bud end of this purchase. Thanks for the good stuff!
Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author: Stephen King. Favorite book: Hyperion.
I was looking forward to this book and it started out fairly well. Then it quickly went downhill. There is far too much yakking between the characters and not enough story-building/story telling. I'm not even sure what the story was about in the end as the endless conversations between the various characters just eventually blurred together. Also, the various alien species just blurred together and I lost track of what specie was what and had whatever characteristics. Eventually, I just wanted to be done with the book. Not going to continue with the series. **sigh**
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