Stargate Archives

Friday, 27 December 2019

Valkyrie by Craig Alanson

Valkyrie (Expeditionary Force Book 9)Valkyrie by Craig Alanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WTF and You've got to be kidding me!
Those were my initial responses to reading the last line in the 9th novel of the excellent Expeditionary Force series written by Craig Alanson. Many a time a TV show has left you with a season finale cliffhanger that has you cursing the writers and producers but it's rare in a novel but Craig has managed to do so with Valkyrie. Naturally I am intensely interested in how our favoured characters are going to get out of this situation but it really did put a damper on the immediate joy of christmas after putting the kindle down. On the upside I needed a stiff drink so swings and roundabouts.
As for the novel itself, well after the terrible toll taken by Armageddon the Merry Band of Pirates have risen to the challenge and addressed the cold fact that Earth may indeed burn but any small victory is a victory when you consider the incredible obstacles a whole galaxy can throw up against them. I've got to admit the beginning of the novel had me laughing like an idiot which is no small feat given the low point (plot wise) we were in but it all kinda makes sense and that's something Craig proves himself capable of time and time again when creating situations and solutions to entertain us. Naturally Joe and the rest of the pirates face the dilemma of using their battlecruiser to maximum effect when faced with a senior species who begin to ask the right questions as to who is striking their ships but when intelligence indicates a few hundred human prisoners are being sold for bioweapon research there was never any doubt no matter what they risk they would find a way to help.
Valkyrie is without a doubt a valuable addition to the series and draws a line in the narrative, where is goes from now only Craig knows and while I have some trepidation I'm along for the ride.

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The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30)The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Considering how many times I've read Discworld it seems strange of not got around to reviewing more of the novels but I think as I bought them as hardbacks the pressure of ebook marketing and retailing is removed and I forget to do it. That said I've picked up the novels and reading them once again so time to review.

The Wee Free Men is the first of the Tiffany Aching series of novels which is aimed at a younger audience but for me stands side by side with the rest of the Witch series written by Terry Pratchett. Tiffany is a young farm girl with a curious and intense mind who finds herself at the center of events after her granny dies and Elf Queen invades her land and steals away not only her younger brother but the son of the local baron. Tiffany asks questions few others would even consider which pushers her down the path of Witchcraft and armed with a frying pan and with help of some local and highly aggressive but loyal Nac Mac Feegle (faires, often drunk faires) she travels to the land of the elves to reclaim what is hers.
The Wee Free Men is a very entertaining and well written novel, as you would expect Terry is a master at weaving stories within his Discworld and creates a younger character who can be enjoyed by all while being mainly identifiable to a subset of the fanbase. I would heartily recommend this novel to any younger reader looking for a way in to Discworld or just looking for something that isn't as complex as the latter Guard and City novels.

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