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D. G. HulanTop Contributor: Fantasy Books
5.0 out of 5 starsAn excellent early book by Moscoe/Shepherd
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2014
This was the third and last “Jump Universe” novel Moscoe wrote under his own name before adopting the pen name “Mike Shepherd” and starting the Kris Longknife series, set maybe a century after the early books in the same universe (and since lifespans had been greatly extended by the time of the early books, some of the same characters are still around for the later books—notable Ray Longknife, Kris’s paternal grandfather and a central character of this book, who as of the second or third Kris book has become the emperor of a star empire with its capital at Wardhaven. Sabotage of the computer on the scout ship Second Chance results in Ray, along with its captain Matt Abeeb and the commander of its marine detachment Mary Rodrigo (all characters from The First Casualty) and the rest of their crew finding themselves halfway across the galaxy from Wardhaven, but in a system where an earlier “bad jump” had landed a human colonial expedition. They’d formed a successful settlement there, but had no idea where they were with respect to the rest of human space, and had developed a rather odd social system as a result. I liked this book a lot, probably even more than most of the Kris books; it has both action-adventure and scientific investigation at a high level, along with revealing a good bit about the aliens who had set up the jump points in the first place a million or so years earlier, including why they’re extinct. If you haven’t read The First Casualty I’d advise reading it first to understand the characters better; The Price of Peace, published between that one and this, is a good book and well worth reading, but it involves different central characters and doesn’t relate that strongly to this one.
This author has the knack to creating lovable and hateable characters that you want to keep reading about. I started out with the Chris Longknife books and read them so fast that I outpaced the author and then read this portion to get the back stories. The overall set of books is a little repetitive at the 50,000 foot level, but the stories are so good I don't really care. Plus, I guess some of the general "repetition" is really part of the overall story line anyway. And, if truth be told, seems to be the way real history works too - we the people just don't learn from history and keep running into the same problems. My ONLY issue is that the author is not writing fast enough, but since I read each of these in two or three days, I guess the author does not have a chance of keeping up...Oh well.
They Also Serve is the third book in this series about military veteran trying to build a better life, The Price of Peace and First Casualty preceded it. It is an engaging story and I enjoyed reading it. Former Army Colonel Ray Longknife and former Marine Captain Mary Rodrigo plus crew take a bad space jump and end up marooned halfway across the galaxy from home. They discover a planet inhabited by the descendants of a lost ship, the Santa Maria. The Santa Maria was lost 300 years prior in the first recorded jump point mishap. The planet turns out to be a long unused teaching machine created by the same three races that built the jump points. A million years of inactivity have driven the teaching machine insane. Ray and Mary must defeat this machine, a computer who's hardware is a planet, if they are going to save themselves, their crew, and their new friends.
2.0 out of 5 starsThis is by far the worst of the Kris Longknife/Jump Universe series
Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2014
While I thought the previous entry, The Price of Peace, was a four or 5 star book, I had to struggle to get They Also Serve up to 2 stars. Not only was it boring and pointless, the whole concept of the computer Teacher ingrained in the planet itself was inane. A real disappointment.
I love this author. He nearly always starts slowly developing characters and the story until the time comes that at least two major problems must be solved. Then something happens to both the reader and the character in the story. This story is primarily about the Ray Longknife character that will show up later in the Kris Longknife series - enjoy.
5.0 out of 5 starsEntertainment perfected in book form!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 13, 2015
If your a fan of the jump universe and the truly brilliant kris long-knife then you'll have heard of the colony of santa Maria. An Irish Chinese amalgam of a planet with some kind of connection to the alien species 'the three', Well, ever wonder how the colony was founded or why they hold ray longknife with such reverence? Lol. Here's your chance to find out! An other fantastically brilliant addition to this authors repertoire, I hope this series with the style and wit that it has shown so far!
L action est un peu moins bien dosé que dans les kris longknife mais on deciuvre aves plaisir les details des aventures mentionnés dans la serie qui a fait le succes de Mike et qui a permit la reediton de cette série.