The Heart of Valor Mass Market Paperback – Jun 3 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
The fast-paced third military SF novel in Huff's Confederation series (after Valor's Choice and The Better Part of Valor) examines how an interplanetary confederation might unite several distinctive species into an effective military organization despite widely differing physiologies, customs and mores. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Torin Kerr, recovering from injuries suffered in a first contact situation, accompanies a recruit platoon into the Crucible, a training planet where they apply their lessons in a realistic live-fire exercise against robotic drones. While the exercise is underway, the drones begin acting aggressively, without regard to fail-safes or their programming. Has the platoon come under attack by the mysterious Others, or is this related to the alien escape pod that everybody has forgotten exists except for Torin, her lover and an obnoxious reporter? The intriguing and well-designed aliens and intricate plotting keep the reader guessing. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gunner Sergeant Torin Kerr, newly promoted because of her handling of combined diplomatic and combat duties in The Better Part of Valor (2002), discovers that her lover has made off with a life pod from a captured alien ship. Suddenly Torin and her convalescent commander, Major Svensson, are shipped out to a training planet with a company of recruits. Crucible turns out to be aptly named when the life pod shows up in the hands of hostile forces, including unknown alien races and some marines. Interstellar peace and Gunny Kerr survivejust. Expect more of this military sf saga, which is a vast improvement over Huff's earlier, mostly fantasy, fiction. Green, Roland --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The Heart of Valor is pretty classic Huff, which is a synonym for awesome. (No really, it is. Look it up.) It's tightly plotted, full of action, with strong characters in a creative setting. There's a lot going on, but Huff manages to keep things moving without overloading the reader or losing things in the shuffle. Torin is a strong female protagonist and more than competent at her job, surrounded by a colourful cast of aliens and humans, all with memorable quirks of their own.
The military action is put together with the deft hand of someone who understands how these things work, and the character's decisions always make sense, something more than a few books wind up lacking. Huff's sense of humour is threaded through the book, shining through just enough to keep the book from getting too heavy.
Overall rating? BRILLIANT.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Crucible is the last step in a Marine's training--a twenty-day live-fire exercise pitting human and alien Marines against robot drones. Kerr is just there to observe what is supposed be a milk run, but the drones start to act more aggressive than their programming should allow. The only Marine who can shut the exercise down is incapacitated, leaving Kerr outmanned and outgunned. Now she has to train these "baby Marines" fast. It will take all her ingenuity and significant combat skills to get them out alive.
As a tough Marine who can still let her guard down with her lover, Craig Ryder, Kerr is a compelling heroine. Ryder plays a key role in this book, as he investigates the mystery of why only Kerr, himself and a reporter can remember a significant event.
THE HEART OF VALOR is the third novel in Huff's Confederation series, with layers of back story throughout the book. This approach means that readers new to the series may struggle for a few chapters to figure out motivations of all the different constituents in this universe.
Huff does an excellent job of world building, putting the reader in the middle of the action without losing them in military jargon. Readers stay tuned: there is a revelation near the end that sets up an interesting premise for the next book in the series.
Reviewed by Deb Gross
3.5-Books on WUAT = 4-Stars on Amazon
Tired of the scrutiny, Torin agrees to go to Crucible where the newly enlisted marines will have their last stop in their training. Accompanying Torin is Major Svension recently released from the regeneration vat and his doctor to see if he has returned to his full fighting capacity. From the time they land nothing goes right as Torin's unit comes under attack from the Others. They destroy the Operations Unit and hacked into the computers that simulate the marines fighting the others. Torin has to use all her units and all the experiences that she gained to get them out of what looks like a hopeless predicament.
Tanya Huff uses a different voice when she writes pure fantasy than when she writes urban fantasy and military science fiction. Readers who like the Honor Harrington series will thoroughly enjoy the Confederation novels. The protagonist is a strong and peaceful commander easily able to relate to men and women of different species because they know if the chips are down she will be for them. There is plenty of battle scenes and some shocking surprises in this fantastic military science fiction thriller.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction with a military setting.