The Truth of Valor (Anglais) Poche – 6 septembre 2011
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After 14 years in the Marine Corp, while Kerr can handle civilian life, the transition is proving to be problematic for the ex-Gunnery Sergeant as she is exposed to the CSOs as a culture, who at best are an undisciplined lot of people.
Things become problematic when Ryder is kidnapped by reprobate pirates who have some nefarious deeds planned and need a civilian CSO in order to make the plan work. As you might expect, Torin does not take kindly to this issue, and goes charging after him, a quest which leads her to a rough and tumble, civilian-held pirate space station where anything goes and life is cheap. Enlisting the aid of former Marine comrades as well as a news personality from Sector Central News, Kerr goes in undercover and it's a race against time from there as she locates Craig and attempts to stop his criminal captors from scoring big with a salvage find that could tip the balance of power within the sectors.
IMO, "Truth" is excellent military/ex-military science fiction. Torin Kerr is no longer a Confederation Marine, but we as readers know that there are no such things as ex-Gunny Sergeants. We are shown that the transition from Corps life to Civilian life is not easy, as Torin walks a fine line between the former and current life and is exposed to incidents and people that test her as she tries not to fall into the darker aspects of her soldier personality and military-bred personality because of her actions and decisions as she goes about the process of rescuing her lover.
Good read! The action was kept toned down (though the few glimpses are excellent action and not overdone), so if you're looking for blood and guts spraying across the battlefield, this is not the novel for you. If you are looking for an intelligent space adventure novel with dialogue and content that is solid, and focuses on an ex-Gunnery Sergeant as she tangles with some pirates as well as being a civvie, "Truth" is the novel for you.
I'm still giving this book a 4 star rating, regardless of how lacking I find it in comparison to all the other Valor books. Because let's face it, Huff's worst (the Blood books in my opinion, or Enchantment Emporium) is still better than most peoples best in the sci-fi/fantasy realm, and this is by no means her worst. While this book does lack in certain respects on it's own (one fairly central character has no resolution, he just walks through a door and no one ever mentions him again) if the next book focuses more on the hard core-ness of Torin as a character (and if Craig could please grow some more manly bits), if the Plastic Aliens plot is somehow furthered by this book and if there could be more action and less standing around being dramatic that would fix every issue I have with this book. I guess I do have to say some of this rating is based on the expectation that all the loose ends and annoying bits of this book will be explained in the next book as having good reason, otherwise I would probably only give it a 3 star.(maybe the disappearing character is being set up to become a crazy vengeful foe to Kerr? Who knows!)
I would recommend any fan of Huff's read this book, you could probably even read this without reading any of the other Valor novels, though you would be confused by some parts. But I wouldn't suggest anyone goes in with the idea that this will make or break the series. It honestly doesn't further it at all, if Huff had simply started the next book with "One Year Later" and alluded to the plot points of this book it would have probably served the same purpose. It is to the Valor series what webisodes were to Battlestar Galactica after season 2. I think my biggest problem is that I waited 2 years for this continuation and it looks like I'll have to wait at least 2 more for another. (Her unnamed werewolf story and the sequel to Enchanment Emporium being scheduled for the next two years) So read it at your own risk. If you haven't started the series I would suggest rereading all her other books and then starting the Valor series, leaving yourself with little time to wait until Huff steps up with another Kerr novel. I give the same advice to anyone who loves the Valor series. Put off buying this book, reread the others and hopefully when you finally do get to the end of this book you'll have less time to itch for story continuation. Cause Huff is either setting up for a fantastic twist or she's about to crash and burn the Valor books into the side of a planet. Either way this book just tortures you.
Alas what I got was Valor-lite.
Torin is out of the armed forces. Quick summary- boyfriend gets kidnapped, she goes to rescue him. Bad guys are small time compared to facing an alien enemy empire or two. It also seems odd for Torin not to be involved in military action.
I found myself just plodding through the book, to see how it finished. There was nothing that truly caught my interest and I truly truly truly hope the next book picks up the pace. It's a big galaxy, so there's plenty of scope for more.
I know that people like to read positive upbeat reviews. But I have to be honest. It wasn't as good as the previous books. C'est la vie.
The story follows retired Marine gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr on a campaign against space pirates. The pirates have made the twin mistakes of torturing a former Marine to death and kidnapping her partner/lover Craig Ryder. Both mistakes fall under the dictum about Marines: "You can kill 'em, but don't get them mad."* Torin must find out who the pirates are, where they have taken Ryder, then hunt them down and (of course) kill them.
The story starts slowly, giving too much attention to one villain in particular, but dwelling on the various nastinesses of several others. However, once the reader gets past those parts, the story moves well and reintroduces some of the most intriguing characters from other stories of the series. I did not remember Torin being as "bloody minded" as she seems in this novel.
Most of the characters show themselves to be intelligent and highly three dimensional. The vague hand waving that all science fiction writers must use to explain faster than light travel is deftly handled.
There seems to be an unusual amount of coverage of the extreme sexuality of one race. In fact, that aspect becomes a sort of comic relief.
Taken as a whole, this is good stuff.
*Dictum Bowdlerized to avoid reader's problems with obscenity.