Valkyrie

Expeditionary Force, Book 9
Narrated by: R. C. Bray
Series: Expeditionary Force, Book 9
Length: 19 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6,744 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After saving the world many times, the Merry Band of Pirates have accepted the inevitable: Earth is doomed.

All they can do is try to bring a few thousand people to safety, before vicious aliens arrive to destroy humanity's home world. 

No. 

There is one other thing they can do: hit the enemy so hard that the aliens will regret they ever heard of humans.

©2019 Craig Alanson (P)2020 Podium Publishing

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A chore to read. A disappointment and repetitive.

My first review was removed. I'm not sure why? It was ranked the number 1 review of the book as most helpful....

I'm pretty upset. I'm not going to lie. I download and binge the books as they are released. Pulling all nighters...

I've been patient. I've been calm. I've defended the series from justified criticism... but I'm so disappointed with this book. Half the book was nothing but filler that didn't need to be there.
The first half of the book had me fist pumping the air.
The second half made me tired, annoyed, upset, and honestly it was a chore to finish the book. I've never felt so bored and annoyed by an author's choice to create a problem that doesn't need to exist, ONLY TO THEN SHOEHORN the advertised revealing of everything. It felt unnatural. And it was as if he simply got tired of writing the filler and just wedged in the reveals.

It made me mad that the MBOP also never seem to actually show appreciation of Skippy. They are jerks to him. Yes he's a jerk at times, but look at some of the statements towards him.... I cannot recall a genuine thank you or anything. It's unnatural and a poor attempt at foreshadowing.

The ending.. I'm glad we know, but I'm certifiably mad that Craig decided to waste the second half of the book on some mission that did not need to be in the book at all. There's literally no reason for that problem to exist.

I'm so tired of the filler dragging the books out. Honestly, I'm seriously debating giving up on my second favorite book series. I'm a diehard fan and have read each book at minimum 4 times each.

The cliffhanger wasn't clever or exciting, it was annoying. We deserved better after waiting so long for answers.

I'm genuinely disappointed that after everything, our heros have yet again waste their time, nothing matters, no one respects Joe for some darn reason, and he still might not get the girl. It's been 9 books, do your thing or get off the pot with the relationships.

The repetitiveness of the story arches and the repetitiveness of the books plot points is unnecessary and filler. We get it, the earth is doomed. Okay. You told us that 7 times in the last 20 pages. We.get.it.

223 people found this helpful

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You stupid monkeys! Why would anyone read a review for book 9

It’s book freeking 9. If you ate 8 bananas from a bunch would you think the 9th banana would be so different that you would have to consult other monkeys on the tasty deliciousness of their 9th banana. Nnoooooo stupid monkeys love bananas and when they have loved their previous 8 bananas form this bunch, said stupid monkey should already know that they will love their 9th banana. Or similarly they will love the continuing adventures of the worlds most magnificent and awesome elder AI Skippy the Magnificent and his stupid side kick Joe “stupid smelly monkey” Bishop on their newly assembled BATTLECRUISER Valkyrie

140 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Cliffhangers suck

I completely hate Cliffhangers. The ending is the worst I have ever heard. or could imagine.

107 people found this helpful

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Talk about beating the dead horse.

I was huge fan of this book series. But it feels like I'm reading the same book over and over again. I have relationship fatigue. Sick of hearing the unnatural Way the relationships all exist. This series should have ended three books ago. I think Skippy says it best when he sums up everything blah blah blah

100 people found this helpful

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Feel sorry for RC Bray having to read this

Loved the first book. Sadly the quality have declined steadily as the series have progressed. Seems the author has run out of fresh ideas and is just rehashing old material without being able to develop the plot further. As the story gets more and more confusing, it ends in a cliffhanger. A waste of time and a waste of money. It is obvious that Alanson has decided to milk this series for all it is worth by publishing books faster and faster at the expense of ever declining quality.

90 people found this helpful

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Review

The performance was great as usual. But overall the story didn’t really go anywhere. If you’ve read or listen any of the other audiobooks. You’re essentially get in the same story over and over again. It is not worth buying!!

82 people found this helpful

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I made it this far, but I can't take any more.

First review ever because enough is enough. I'm done.

I've been waiting for the plot to advance. And it did to an extent as they went on the offensive and the dynamic of the Universe totally changed. I really enjoyed it.

But then do something incredibly dumb based on Bishop's jealousy over an Adams non-issue (For the love of God retire the "I can't date Adams because the Army would be mad at me." trope. It's not even casual mentions this time either, Bishop vomits on and on about it and even the other characters are tired of it. Like Bishop hasn't commited Mutiny before? More insultingly, Bishop casually dismisses Army regulations in a single sentence later in the book (Chinese General).

Furthermore, Bishop has not developed as character. He's been in command for years, but still struggles to act like an adult, both in terms of maturity and intelligence (he's almost proud of his ignorance). When people tell him obvious truths his feelings get easily hurt, and then he mopes. Skippy has to lock Mario Kart until he finishes his readings. He thinks "fortuitous" is a fancy word. The list goes on and on. Would Piccard or say Jack Ryan act like this?

And then the plot goes to die. An entire section of the book should have been cut. It killed the plot momentum for a mission that made no sense. What made me the most mad about the situation is that it heavily referenced book 3.5 about the Mavericks; I didn't listen to that one as these books don't work without Skippy/Bishop dialogs. Same thing he did in book 8 with Daytona (book 7.5). I was confused about my first read of book 8 that reference Daytona. So I tried to listen to Daytona, but I couldn't finish. Just terrible. Upside however: I learned how to exchnage Audible books. These plot references feel cheap and simple quick cash grabs. I'm disappointed in the author. He has plenty of plot ideas to work with and we've proven we'll pay for strong content.

New and usual faults aside, the cliffhanger at the end is intriguing. But it's a development that didn't require 11 books to introduce.

Narration was great, but I'm still done with the series.

61 people found this helpful

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Don't stop now!

I have experienced all nine books and all I can say is please don't stop now even if you have to make up something... hehe. This author and narrator combination make these books very fun to hear. If you wrote 90 books I would listen to them all!

59 people found this helpful

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wow hours I cant get back

I have over 100 books 1st review.. loved the books till now got the preorder. 1st time not worth it on this one. sorry 1st bad reviews

46 people found this helpful

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Thank you !

RC and Craig do it again
This is a series I will never tire of
The interplay is just sooo damn good

33 people found this helpful

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  • Paul J.
  • 02-05-20

Already Read the Book

I have read the book, because I couldn't wait for the Audio, so I know the story is fantastic. I thought I would just say I am buying this because I am a great fan of R. C. Bray and I had his voice in my head as I read. So I am going to listen for the experience of Mr Bray telling me the story.

I would repeat my request to Mr Alanson though, Pleeeassssse get the next one out ASAP!!!!!!!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 02-05-20

Wallop, Go Pirates! Then a bit of a WTF moment . .

After this time being pushed around several galaxies, of being invaded, forced into subservience humanity aims to get some of its own back! The Merry Band of Pirates have a new toy and boy do they intend to use it. It's a lovely change of direction, though of course this is Joe and Skippy so nothing works out quite as they might have imagined.

I think most people who've enjoyed the books so far will enjoy this acceleration of the action, finally rather than simply skulking around in desperation the Pirates look to turn the tables in a last desperate act of defiance at the Maxxolts close in on Earth. Fans will enjoy more of the same, the same banter the same zany problem-solving and some more classic space battles involving all manner of mad tactics.

Whether those same fans will be happy at how the book ends I am not so sure. The first half of the book is definitely the better part and then it really does get a more bloated feel to it. And then the ending . . . I don't do spoilers but having got there it's a very sudden and sharp change of gears and I suspect this cliffhanger will annoy a few. All I can say is that Allanson will have his work cut out to carry on in the next one.

Of course there are two constants with this series now. First, it would be a mistake to just start from this one, it will probably work as a story but a lot of the nuance and humour will be lost, best to start at the beginning. Second, RC Bray is simply fabulous but unless you are new to all this you don't need me to tell you that.

So, some really good stuff but maybe some editing could have been useful in the second half and once you get there the ending might raise the blood pressure. One thing's for sure, I am going to have to get the next book to see how it resolves!

8 people found this helpful

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  • TH
  • 02-10-20

I lack the words

Ok, so I've just finished Valkyrie. My poor heart, soul and body. My girlfriend is listening to book 6, and asked me how I found book nine. She asked me if it had another cliff hanger.

No, it doesn't. I've read cliff hangers before. I've seen them in many stories. This is to a cliff hanger, as a drop of water is to an ocean.

This is standing on the precipice of an abyss, staring down into the void. But the void reaches out and gut punches you. And as the cold soul wrenching fist slams into your stomach, you feel the icy tendrils of its fingers reach up through your sternum to your heart. They wrap around it, and slowly draw it down through your stomach and out. You feel physically sick, and the emotional trauma will stay with you until book 10 is available.

I honestly love it and i can't describe how well written this all is. I am so invested in the characters and the world, that I lack the words to explain how I feel about this ending.

Please never stop writing. It's beautiful to read and hear (Huge thank you to R. C. Bray for such a stellar performance, as with everything he narrates)

5 people found this helpful

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  • james clough
  • 02-10-20

Author milking the fans

Bored bored bored 95% of this book is just a rerun of other books then the last 5% something new to make you buy the next book which will be 5% different at the start then 95% same old rerun

4 people found this helpful

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  • Daryl
  • 02-06-20

You can't end a book like that!!

I need book 10 now! What the hell just happened?
It's not the tightest writing, but my God what an ending.
Bray was on point as ever.

4 people found this helpful

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  • S. Morris
  • 03-13-20

Kicking The Rotten Kitty's

For the very first time in the entire Expeditionary Force series of books, the previous instalment, Armageddon, fell a little short in my opinion. Alanson relied too heavily on the jibing between Bishop and Skippy rather than on some solid plot. Don't get me wrong, Armageddon wasn't a 'bad' book at all and it did have a satisfactory second half, but it wasted much of the book on the aforementioned back and forth between Skippy and Bishop.

I am happy to say that book 9 in the series, Valkyrie, has mostly remedied that and has Alanson back on top form with a solid story. Alanson also leaves us on a hum dinger of a cliff hanger I was not prepared for or expecting, which follows the best practices of good writing, that being 'Always leave them wanting more'!

I'm generally not one to read other reviews for a book I've already read, but glancing over several of them, I noted how some people were upset about the ending. This baffles me as the classic cliffhanger is a bedrock of episodic story telling. Valkyrie's ending is a more intense cliffhanger than others in this series, but the others still end in such a way as to make the reader wonder what will happen next. It does appear that we live in an age now where some people want it all and must have it now otherwise they get"angry".

Valkyrie sees our merry band of pirates take a more proactive role rather than a reactive one, which is a welcome change of direction and in itself offers a different set of challenges.

In the best tradition of Alanson's Expeditionary Force series, the plot takes several turns, which once more have Bishop and company having to come up with brilliant problem solving solutions. I'm always impressed with the way Alanson is able to achieve this, coming up with innovative methods of dealing with obstacles. Alanson never makes it easy for himself either, which is the mark of a good author. He throws proverbial spanners into already impossible situations, keeping everything moving along at a nice clip in the process.

I was looking back over my library to see that his previous book in the series, the aforementioned Armageddon, was only released sometime around October last year, so I was quite shocked at how rapidly Alanson is able to write these stories. I know he is now a full time writer, but it does seem rather fast to me. My hope is that he doesn't burn himself out. I'd much rather he slow down and come up with quality over quantity every time. Still, he is clearly a very talented writer, so perhaps this rapid work flow is his natural cadence and one that suits him.

The incomparable R.C. Bray narrates once more and having him do so is the icing on the cake. By now, no other narrator would do. There are other series' of books out there on Audible that use different narrators throughout, which really disrupts continuity in my view. Bray is superb, as ever, although I did note an inconsistency when he rendered the voice of the Maxolhx aliens. In a prior story, one where we first get dialogue from these aliens, Bray delivers it rolling each of the 'R' sounds in a clever way of differentiating these new alien voices at the time. Sadly, this unique speech attribute is missing from the Maxolhx dialogue now.

Still, this is a very minor observation on my part and not a criticism. As an extra treat, be sure to listen right to the end as there is a montage series of out-takes relating to Bray's narration. A nice humerus touch that I cannot recall ever hearing in an audio book before.

Valkyrie ticks pretty much all the boxes I have come to look for in an Expeditionary Force story. I think I'd like to see another Mavericks book next. Unlike some other readers, I can wait for the conclusion to the cliffhanger we were left with, that's kind of what gives them the power they have over the reader .... the waiting and therefore the hunger it generates to continue with the story.



1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 03-08-20

Noooo.... What happens next???????

Awesome.... love this series. Great job Alanson and Bray... can’t wait for the next installment

1 person found this helpful

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  • Trevor
  • 02-23-20

Bloody brilliantly written

What the heck a brilliant ending now have to wait 6 months for next one. Please hurry these books just get better and better

1 person found this helpful

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  • AGGELOS IOAKIMIDES
  • 02-23-20

About time a proper twist!

Yes, this time you will get the same, usual items of entertainment, but this time, you finally get a twist of something actually happening. Too bad it’s toward the end

1 person found this helpful

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  • sircompo
  • 02-22-20

Filthy monkey like

Alanson once again proves he's playing with the big boys by delivering another installment of his series that surpasses the like likes of Scalzi's Old Man's War and Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.
Brought to life by Bray's masterful performance, audio entertainment doesn't get better than this.
Give the man a banana.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hawk
  • 02-04-20

An honest review

This book is proving harder to review than I originally thought. This is because Valkyrie is part of an ongoing series that Craig Alanson states will run to 14 books. Yes it is another enjoyable and entertaining episode in the ongoing saga of ExForce. Yes it also feels as if it drags out the story somewhat. This episode does feature one of the best space battles to date, but it also contains what seems like a lot of filler and recap.

Personally, I feel that these problems are minor faults and can be largely forgiven as Alanson writes and releases about 3 books per year in this saga. This schedule actually means that the overall story moves along at a cracking pace and as readers, we never have to wait too long for the next book. Overall the series is very fresh and innovative, although the constant need to 'save the earth' can seem repetitive, but taken as a whole, the story is a continuance of the same desire to 'save the earth' from a multitude of hostile alien species.

As I enjoy this series I will keep listening until it is finished even if some of the episodes remain better than others. It is the overall story arc that really counts. I feel that all the people currently slamming this book with unfavourable reviews are being overly harsh because, ultimately, Valkyrie is pretty much a stock standard Exforce novel that delivers exactly what we have grown to expect for this series. Personally I thought book 7 Renegades was the weak book that made me frustrated - but I got over it very quickly. After all, this is still a very entertaining series.

Of course I can't stop laughing at the snowflakes who are so irate about the cliffhanger ending - think about it, nine books into a series that has 3 episodes released per year and a cliffhanger upsets you. Oh do grow up.

Ya gotta love the Merry Band of Pirates and Skippy the Magnificent.

Craig Alanson states: "Seriously, there will be fourteen novels, plus the Book 3.5 Trouble on Paradise novella. Plus three novels of the ExForce Mavericks series. Plus, eventually a novelization of the ‘Homefront’ audio drama that is Book7.5. When I get time, I will convert the 60k-word audio script into a novel format. So, seventeen novels and two novellas. That is a LOT of words. Just thinking about it makes me tired."

Mavericks2: Freefall - late May/early June 2020 (with audio)
EF10: Critical Mass - August 2020 (with audio)
EF11: Brushfire - December 2020 (with audio)

12 people found this helpful

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  • Darius
  • 02-12-20

Love this series

Arrrgh!! You can’t leave it on such a cliff hanger.

Great series with amazing story telling from R.C Bray

4 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 02-25-20

Valkyrie

This book is bloody brilliant writing by Craig Alanson who one of my favorite author's and I can't wait to buy the next book in this series

And with the voice acting talents and skills of R.C.Bray who I have to say is one of the best male voice actors in the world.

This book and series is a must to listen to and owned. Do yourself a favor and buy this series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Luffy
  • 02-17-20

Where the fcuk is book 10?

The book is all right giving the standard this series presents. However, the ending is little bit too much for me as I have to wait god knows how long for next book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leonie
  • 02-17-20

Brilliant!!!

The best Narrator Audible has...
Fantastic stories that I hope just keep going.
The talented R.C. Bray’s narration is as intrinsic as the story itself.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Julie
  • 03-23-20

I didn’t want it to end

Fantastic read as always by Bray and great story by Alanson. Is this the end for the merry band of pirates?? Please no...!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-21-20

Great book and one of the best in the series<br />

Absolutely great and I can't wait for the next book. Keep up the great working.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-21-20

How can you leave me hanging?

Love this series, and as others have said, R.C. Bray is an amazing performer. Highly recommended.

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  • AJ
  • 03-13-20

What? How could it end like that?

geat story until that trainwreck at the end. I hope the next book isnt too far away and cleans up the wreckage.

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  • John Herlihy
  • 03-09-20

Saga was getting predictable & then WHAM!

I love this series but almost stopped Valkyrie because I thought it was all getting rather same-same (and I was engrossed in a new book series), but DANG!

Still not the best in the series, but I now can’t wait for book 10 “Critical Mass”.