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Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr's goal is to keep both her superior officers and her troops alive as they face deadly missions throughout the galaxy. She more than proves her mettle when a diplomatic assignment and a scientific expedition both turn dangerous....

Title : A Confederation of Valor
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780756403997
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 624 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Confederation of Valor Reviews

  • Tim Hicks
    2019-03-23 03:12

    As military SF, maybe 4 stars. Better than most. But I'm starting to think that military fiction has become so rigid that it's almost an automatic minus when you judge it just as SF. Military SF checklist: * Protagonist is a hard-boiled NCO - check (but a point for her being female)* there is a general who's a complete tit - check* there are some nice officers but they are kept peripheral* lots of forces slang and jargon* there's a media rep who's also a complete tit* somewhere in the story there's a lovable rogue* there are frequent action scenes whose purpose is mostly to show us how expert the NCO is is leading his/her team, to show off the author's knowledge of military proceduresNo problem with the last one, since we usually enjoy watching the procedure unfold. And most of it is actually quite entertaining the first two or three times you read it. But it gets old. I don't know why it does, because when I occasionally step over to mysteries, the police procedurals aren't far from the same formula (remember "You're off this case! You're too close to it!" ?) but it isn't so tiresome. In Valor's Choice, setting up a re-staging of a famous real battle was nicely done. The story rolled along nicely. In "Better Part" the setup is good, with a Rama-like spaceship. The discovery process is OK, until we get to the (view spoiler)[ "it's taking it all from your memories" and the "it's reconfiguring the ship as a puzzle."(hide spoiler)]Also, as we got to know the fighter pilots, did anyone not see coming the scene where (view spoiler)[ the guy we know most about does the Noble Sacrifice thing? (hide spoiler)] And the similar one on board the ship wasn't a total surprise either.Back to the yellow ship. The wrap-up of this was almost as frustrating as Clarke's Rama, if at least mercifully shorter. A really good SF book - and maybe we'll get it - would explore and explain the ship, and what it was trying to achieve, and what it did as a result of (view spoiler)[testing two cultures. Was the ship self-aware? An Asher-Reynolds super-AI? Run by a hidden crew? Are the Yellows afraid of us, guiding us, researching us, checking on their experiments ....? (hide spoiler)]The military-as-fixed-tropes idea was confirmed for me at the end, when a teaser for the next book reveals that Sarge gets promoted. Why? Because a military SF book has to use the term "Gunny" as often as possible. Why does that bother me? In this case, it's because Kerr is already a Mary Sue of the highest order, ready to take a bullet out of her arm, lick it clean, stick it in her own gun and fire it back at the enemy. If she ISN'T a Gunny, what can an experienced Gunny do? Time travel? Fly? Shape-change? Anyway, quite good for its sub-genre, but that sub-genre needs work. Anne Leckie and Genevieve Bujold have shown us that it can be done well. Reynolds and Asher show us military stuff too, but the scenes about the soldiers are mixed well with scenes about the larger scope, and about individuals acting outside the "soldier/squad" model.

  • Speedtribes
    2019-03-18 09:24

    Hm. I suppose I should add the caveat that the following review rates this as a fluff piece. I enjoyed it thoroughly. However, if you are looking for Good Literature, or even Serious Writing... it fails on a number of levels.Anyhow:There is nothing I hate worse than a military story written by someone who obviously has never served in or had prolonged contact with anyone that has served in any sort of military anywhere in the world. Or, wasn't at least a historian in the subject. From the first few paragraphs I could tell that Tanya Huff, whose friends and family have served, wouldn't have any problems in terms of writing military.This is a very solid space military story in a softer, but similar vein to David Drake's Hammer's Slammers series. She doesn't shy away from the morality involved in killing, or species/cultural clashes, or the sorts of hairy issues that might come up when attempting to integrate many different alien species together. She doesn't delve too deeply, and at times I think she might have been a little bit too pat in her solutions, but she doesn't shy away from mentioning that these issues do exist. Then again, this is the military, and not some free wheeling democratic culture. Also, I think that Huff is focusing more on the way these species are actually quite alike, rather than their differences. They also sound very North American military. Aside from some deliberately mangled popculture references, and some fancy sounding new rank names, what is described in the pages of this book may as well have been the US army/Navy. As I slung through the pages at high speed, I had distinct flashbacks to the game Starcraft and even the Firefly tv series/movie.I suppose the only bad thing about this is the fact that it is a military story and therefore one is resigned to have to deal with casualties... Oh, and I suppose the love interest that shows up in the second novel in this omnibus. I suppose he was meant to be endearingly quirky-- however, his quirks ended up irritating me. I can't deal with people who deliberately get in the way during a serious situation by mocking people who are only doing their jobs/standing in their path/forcefully distracting people by constantly demanding their attention. I don't find that quirky. I suppose he redeems himself in the end, but... by the time the end of the book arrived, I was so irritated that I wish he'd gotten blown to bits.Alright, and everything is a bit cliche, the alien species aren't different enough, and the military bits reads as a little too 20th American (which David Drake mostly manages to avoid, at least in the Hammers Slammers series.)Still, for what it is, I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on the third installment of this series. The Smoke series was an intense disappointment, but Valor has renewed my faith in Huff's ability to spin light, engaging stories with realistic characters and entertaining interactions. Literature? Not really, but still worth passing the time with, even if you don't end up keeping it. I think the first book/novel is the stronger of the two, but the second is still quite enjoyable.

  • Rachel Neumeier
    2019-03-02 10:13

    So, just read this omnibus of Valor's Choice and The Better Part of Valor, by Tanya Huff. Huff isn't an auto-buy author for me, or at least she never has been . . . I like her books okay, but I don't go seek them out.Well.A friend recommended the Valor series to me, and I instantly bought the other two.I enjoy military SF, at least as long as it's more adventure than blood-and-guts. Not that I want it all sanitized exactly, but I want the main character and at least some of the secondary characters to be competent and sympathetic and it's nice if the good guys achieve their objective. Loved Staff Sergeant Kerr! She is SUCH A GREAT SERGEANT. Not that I would know, not personally, but she READS like a very true-to-life extremely competent senior NCO. And right at the beginning, when Huff sets up an obvious romance between Staff Sergeant Kerr and her lieutenant? And then the romance NEVER HAPPENS? I have been loving the urban fantasy / paranormal romances I've read in the past few years, but it was GREAT to see this obvious romance set-up and then . . . nope, never develops. Instead, Huff totally develops the staff sergeant / 2nd lieutenant relationship. That was so unexpected! And felt so very believable!So, the frame story of the universe, where "elder races" have "evolved beyond violence" and thus roped in humans (and a few other "younger" species to do their fighting for them . . . that type of thing strikes me as a trifle cliched and also utterly stupid and unbelievable . . . but I didn't even care. Huff set the universe up so she could get the characters she wanted into the situations she wanted, and she did, and it was well worth doing.So! Can't wait for the other two books in the series to arrive. Meanwhile, I'm loaning the first couple to my Dad. He'll love 'em.

  • Nikki
    2019-02-23 08:16

    I love Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr! She is a bamf if I've ever seen (read) one.

  • Kathy
    2019-03-22 02:38

    Staff Sargeant Torin Kerr... she is awesome... she is in charge of her marines, and molds & deals with higher ups... all with determination, sincerity, and strength... doing exactly what needs to be done...She does it in a future time, where the Confederation has contracted with Earth (150 years earlier) to be their soldiers against 'the Others'... bug like creatures that want to destroy the Confederation holdings... two other species (and a 3rd by the end of the 1st book) were also negotiated with to be the muscle... Tanya Huff does a tremendous job of introducing and weaving together an imaginary universe of aliens... and she selected different military engagements as the core of the action...in the first book, Kerr and 32 of her platoon are sent on a diplomatic mission to the Slviss planet - a planet of warlike, sensient, human like, pack minded Lizards. They are there only to look good, and to impress the Slviss... and at the end of thier tour (with some interesting happenings), their ship is downed in a preserve, where the Slviss teens are sent to hone their hunting skills, ride out their extreme agressive hormones, and to reduce the male population (there are 20 males to 1 female on the planet)... This is actually a test of their mettle, and the do well against hundreds, if not thousands of Slviss', loosing 13 marines... and much because of the leadership - both of tactics but also of managing personnel - of Kerr - and the pact is signed... it was based on the Zulu attack on 130 British military... and the author noted that 13 British purple hearts were awarded, but the Staff Sargaent only got a commendation - because after all, he was only doing his job... interesting perspective...in the 2nd book, she is taken from her unit to join 11 other marines in exploring a large, unknown ship with Confederation aliens... the ship ends up to be alien, and seems to be testing them... though they don't know if they passed the test or not... the ship also seemed to be testing the Others... she and her team negotiate the maze, and ultimately make it back to safety... not as easy as this summary makes it seem... based on the taking back of an island during WWII...I enjoyed the action of the book, the admirable character of Kerr, the development of alien cultures and peoples...

  • David Caldwell
    2019-02-22 04:32

    Omnibus edition of Valor's Choice and The Better Part of Valor.This is not what I normally think of when I think of miltary sci-fi.Most of those books were written by former military men who focus a lot on the weaponry and the fighting.There is nothing wrong with those types of books, in fact they are usually a lot of fun to read.The Valor stories just don't fit that type though.The Valor series follows Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr.Basically a Staff Sergeant is the link between the officers and the enlisted men.Torin Kerr takes her job very seriously and feels it is her duty to keep everyone alive.In Valor's Choice, Torin's platoon is sent on a diplomatic mission to the Silsviss who are thinking about joining the Confederation in its fight against the Others.It is supposed to be easy duty.But when there shuttle is shot down, they end up facing overwhelming odds.The battle is loosely based on the battle of Rorke's Drift from the Zulu War.(This battle was the inspiration for the movie Zulu.)The story shows not only the soldier's fight but how they interact with each other and with the other species.Great moments of heroism are shown, even if they are only doing their duty.In The Better Part of Valor,Torin is part of a special unit who is assigned to protect a scientific expedition on a derelict vessel of unkown origins.Not only does she have to deal with the unkown ship with a new team but she has to work under a less than great officer who is more worried about his promotion than the mission.The mysteries of the ship compound their struggles.Both stories are excellent in their telling. Some characters do tend to being one dimensional though.Also in the second story, there isn't a real sense of closure with the ship.There is also the ever present problem of keeping multiple species straight without the visual clues.(They almost all have the tendency to blend into either soldier or civilian with no species overlay.)

  • Ctgt
    2019-03-17 05:32

    This is actually the first two books in the Confederation series. I really liked the first and enjoyed the second although I thought the second book dragged just a bit. In some ways the author uses pretty familiar tropes, bad-ass Staff Sergeant Kerr who leads her troops while trying to shield them from the upper echelon. The twist is her troops are human as well as alien. Several alien species have joined forces with humanity to battle the Others. So this in itself makes for an interesting dynamic as you get to know the differing species and how they interact. One thing not changed is the humorous banter among the troops. "It was an adjective, not a verb," Corporal Hollice interrupted. "Not that you morons would know what that means." A raised hand cut off the protests of his fireteam and those other squad members close enough to hear. "Don't bother proving it." "This is a new low. We're arguing about grammar." "If the dead has a large family, an internment on Dornage can take many days." Kleers took another three steps and reached for some more fruit. "Can't say as I'm surprised." "How do the Krai treat their dead?" "We cook them and we eat them." Thinks Deeply walked in silence for a moment or two. "And that is a sign of respect?" she asked at last. "Well, I'd have to say that depends on who does the cooking."All in all a pretty enjoyable start to a series.

  • Mya
    2019-03-10 05:33

    If I had a daughter, I would press this book into her hands so that she could truly see that women can be badasses and leaders just as sure as any male! Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr is a beast! She's a Marine through and through. Tanya Huff portrays the 'Leave No One Behind' soldier as a profound leader in the face of truly horrific circumstances. "A Confederation of Valor" is actually two novels in one: "Valor's Choice" and "The Better Part of Valor." While the first book is more emotionally wracking, both books carry Ms. Huff's talent for witty conversation, military and scientific jargon and claustrophobic chaotic action. These books are definitely not romantic and far from chick lit! Pure hardcore action with a colorful array of aliens, the most profound being the every horny Di'Taykan and the mysteriously absent but always discussed H'san. As I reach for the 3rd book in the series, I am so glad that I picked up this recommendation from a friend. Kerr is as much if not more of a badass than Ripley from the "Aliens" series and the villains are only slightly less vicious and I luv it!

  • Mary Holland
    2019-03-17 05:25

    This is the omnibus version of the first and second Valor books: Valor's Choice and The Better Part of Valor. They are both excellently written, very funny, and have a detailed military space-opera fantasy universe. It's obvious Tanya Huff was in the military non-commissioned ranks: she has all the jokes and the tone of grunts dealing with insane and stupid officers down pat.In Valor's Choice, Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr takes a picked platoon of soldiers on a diplomatic mission to encourage a new race to join the Confederacy. Naturally, it all goes to shit, the platoon is besieged and has to fight overwhelming odds to survive.In The Better Part of Valor (my absolute favorite of the series so far) Torin gets to explore an alien space vessel while under fire from the enemy and under the severe handicap of her grandstanding commanding officer and a fur-covered media reporter with a grudge. I also believe Tanya Huff deserves a Hugo Award for Best Alien Species for the Di'Taykan, a species who "invented scented massage oil before the wheel".

  • Rachel Thompson
    2019-03-14 02:12

    Valor's Choice: Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr is a battle-hardened professional soldier. Her platoon is denied a well-deserved leave for an easy duty as an honor guard for a diplomatic mission. Enemies of the Confederation had been spotted in that sector of space however, so Torin is ready for anything.The Better Part of Valor: Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr is separated from her platoon and sent off on a dangerous assignment to protect an expedition to a seemingly empty spaceship of epic proportions.Huff's characters are always fantastic and they're what keep these stories going. In the Valor novels, her aliens are each different, with their own unique quirks. Staff Sergeant Kerr is the glue that holds these books together as she pulls together two different teams and makes them better than they were.

  • Emily
    2019-02-25 09:17

    I love these books. Do you like space marines? Do you like space gays? Do you like women they are so competent they are scary? Literally, other characters are scared of her. Torin Kerr is such a great character, she is one of my favorites. Maybe she is too perfect? But I really don't care if that's the case, because I enjoy her so. much. The stories are pretty slow to start, but I even enjoyed the slow parts because I loved the world building. Tanya Huff put so much thought into the worlds, the different alien races, and the cool scifi military tech the characters use.

  • Strain
    2019-02-28 06:21

    Loved it more than I thought I would!

  • Carro
    2019-03-24 10:21

    Great fun. Love the variety of the aliens, both in the marines and out. A kick ass marine story with a sense of humour and well detailed world building.

  • Deborah Ideiosepius
    2019-03-21 05:18

    Just finished for the nth time, as it is a compilation of two different novels, I will review them separately:Valor's ChoiceThe first in the valor series, this book very ably introduces the world in which the Valor series unfolds. There is a Confederation of sentient, space going species all of whom are largely pacifistic in nature by the time they make it into space. When they encounter another space going civilization they are shocked and at a loss when that civilization proves aggressive, the peaceful species of the confederation have lost the ability at the species level to be able to fight. And so they bring in three species on the verge of space travel who still have their aggressive instincts and, yes, you guessed it, Humans are the first of the mark!I really like this world concept and the more often I read it the more I enjoy it. Of all the Space Opera scenarios for humanity getting into space, I think it is one of the more interesting, believable and useful in shrugging off pages and pages of scientific rationales.Within this world we are introduced to the space Marines and Navy and we come to them through the eyes of Staff Sargent Kerr, one of the most enjoyable kick-arse female leads I have ever encountered in sci-fi.The Plot in Valor's Choice is the urgent need to convince a reptilian race to join the confederation and the means of doing so is a surprise for all. No spoilers!The Better Part Of ValorHere Staff Sargent Kerr is taken away from her unit to be incorporated into a recon team that will be exploring an apparently derelict spacecraft of no known origin. The spacecraft was located by a civilian salvage operator who then insists on accompanying the Marines, scientists and unexpectedly included reporter onto the unknown vessel. When the air lock explodes it becomes a race for another airlock in a not-so-very empty, unknown ship.One of the really enjoyable aspects of the Valor series is the fascinating way Tanya Huff uses the different species to polarise and explore aspects of sentience and society. While I did not love The Better Part of Valor as much as I loved Valor's Choice I still like it enough to escalate it to five stars if only because of how often I re-read my battered old paperback!Both are brilliant Space Opera with great characters and I thoroughly enjoy the fighting scenes! I think that might be why I liked the first novel over the second, the fighting was better.One thing has always perplexed me; why on earth does Craig Ryder have an Aussie accent? It definitely is an Aussie accent isn't it?

  • Saphirablue
    2019-03-19 08:32

    I really like this one. I like the world this is set in. I love the characters. I love the plots. I've been highly entertained while reading this. ♥The world/universe is not something incredible new - two sides fighting each other. But, I like how the world is build with old races that feel that they are above war and therefore need to add young races to the Confederation who will fight the war for them. And humans being one of the three younger races to do so. And since humans have been the first, the military and the names for things are human - with some names and things slowly getting changed when the other two younger races, the Krai and the di'Taykan, have been added. I love it.I also love the Krai and the di'Taykan a lot. I mean, we don't get to know that much about the Krai in these two books but what we see of them? Fascinating. They basically have the most indestructible digestive system. Things can be deadly for every other races to eat? The Krai can eat it. And the di'Taykan? OMG. I love them. They can show their emotion/feelings with their hair. Which moves. I love them. I love them. I love them. Also, their comfortableness with sex and the fact that they produce pheromons that are enciting to most other races? Awesome. And, the snark/teasing/ribbing for both races that comes from this and they give the humans for their characteristics? Awesome.I love Torin. She's so awesome. Kickass. Taking names. Vulnerable. Enjoying her job. Being there for her people but also kicking their butts if necessary. I love it.Also, Marines in space!!!! ♥Yeah, there have been a few things that I've been not that fond of/didn't like (like, that once again my favourite supporting/minor characters got killed off or the kind of love story with Ryder) but they didn't manage to make me like the book less. :)I'm so looking forward to read more about Torin and her adventures.

  • Text Addict
    2019-03-01 09:40

    Oh, wow. These books have been published for over a decade and I hadn't read them until this month! Woe is me!But at least this two-for-one volume is still in print - a fact that by itself says something about its quality (or at least its popularity).So, what's to love about this story? Well, the worldbuilding. In this distant future, Humans have been recruited by a Confederation of "more highly evolved" species to fight against the "Others," an aggressive and uncommunicative species that's attacking this Confederation. Two additional species have also been recruited and serve in a joint Navy and Marines, each presenting its own set of problems: one has strong hedonistic tendencies, and the other is perfectly willing to eat anything (including its own species, but Human tastes good too). That's interesting background. Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr is so tough that she doesn't have to prove it. (Awesome. At one point a fighter pilot trying to freak out the Marine realizes that she's fallen asleep during his wild maneuvers.) She knows her job and gives it all she's got - complications involving new lieutenants, two-star generals, recruiting a *fourth* species to aid the Confederation, journalists, and glory-seeking captains, posing variously serious problems. No long, loving descriptions of weaponry here - nor excessively detailed political analyses. This is military SF the way I remember Pournelle doing it: the people are front and center, the tech is just what helps them get the job done. The situations - alien planets and species and stuff - are described as the characters find them, with all the detail they need to work the problems (but not mounds of extraneous information). I will be acquiring the sequels for my personal library. This is how military SF ought to be done.

  • Zoey
    2019-03-07 05:13

    Rating: 4.5 stars.This is not deep, thought-provoking literature. If it were a movie, it'd be a summer blockbuster: a fun ride with humor, explosions, and a lot of action, but not something you'd expect to win awards. For what it is though, it is an excellent book.Once you get into the second part/book, it's obvious that the stories in this series are going to follow a formula. It'll start off slow, then shit will happen and Torin Kerr will have to save the day by being an efficient, competent badass.I love this. Too often it seems like lead female characters are labeled as strong, but really aren't. Some people try to label Bella from "Twilight" as strong, which... no. Katniss from "The Hunger Games" is a closer to my idea of strong, but next to Torin there's no comparison. Torin is a trained Marine, repeatedly put into situations where she not only has to try to keep herself alive, but is also responsible for those around her. She manages to keep a steady head in situations where most people to freak out, and she helps those around stay focused and moving forward.These books also have a good deal of humor and wit, which feel like authentic banter one might expect in the military. There were some lines that made me laugh out loud.Overall, I really like this book. I've read better, deeper stories, but these were thoroughly enjoyable and I intend to read the rest of the series.

  • LOL_BOOKS
    2019-03-13 04:41

    REC ME SCI-FI BOOKS ABOUT SPACE THAT AREN'T ABOUT WAR AND ARE MINIMALLY LOL MEN?INO YOU SAID NOT ABOUT WAR, BUT TANYA HUFF'S VALOR SERIES IS ACTUALLY REALLY GRATE, NOT AT ALL LOL MEN, AND THE CHARACTER ARC IS DELIGHTFUL AND ENDS UP WITH THE MC BEING KIND OF WEIRDLY ANTI-MILITARY DESPITE STILL LOVING EVERYONE SHE'S FOUGHT ALONGSIDE. HUNTER'S RUN IS PRETTY GRATE, IGNORE THE GRRM, IT'S NOT VERY GRRM-Y. IT'S KIND OF SCI-FI COMBINED WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER. NEKROPOLIS BY MAUREEN MCHUGH IS GRATE IF DEPRESSING, BONE DANCE BY EMMA BULL IS ALSO GRATE AND LESS DEPRESSING BUT VAGUELY MILITARY.I LIKE COMPLICATED FRANDSHIPS, CONFLICT, EXES AND UNREQUITED LOVE.TANYA HUFF'S "VALOR" SERIES MIGHT BE GOOD FOR YOU IF YOU'RE WILLING TO READ SCI-FI. IT'S PRETTY SOFT FOR SCI-FI, BUT HARD FOR MOAST ROMANCE.IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I READ IT BUT KERR IS A HARD-BOILED SERGEANT AND THE GUY SHE ENDS UP WITH STARTS OUT AS JUST A SCAVENGER WHO FOUND SOMETHING THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO MAKE HIM MONEY. THERE'S A LOT OF GRATE BANTER AND IT TAKES THEM A WHILE TO GET TOGETHER, AND KERR ACCIDENTALLY BONES HER NEW SUPERIOR OFFICER TO START OUT THE FIRST BOOK.SOMEWHERE IN THERE THEY DISCOVER A NEW ALIEN SPECIES AND ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP WITH ANOTHER. YOU KNOW, HER ACTUAL JOB.

  • Carolyn F.
    2019-03-19 04:26

    Two books in one.Valor's Choice. Torin has just finished with one battle when she and the remains of her platoon are thrown into another a diplomatic mission that is supposed to see no combat. The new lieutenant also happens to be a man she met and slept with the night before. That actually has nothing to do with the story. The platoon has to survive them being blown out of the sky and attacked by a bunch of young Silsviss. Very good story. Had me biting my nails with each turn of the page. ****1/2The Better Part of Valor. Takes place about a week after the first book. Torin calls the general a bastard in so many words and then is separated from her platoon to check out a UFO that no one can figure out who it belongs to. Everything seems too perfect and then its not. The time on the UFO was way too long for me and even though it was action-packed, it started becoming redundant. ****Good series, I've ordered and picked up the next book in the series from the library.

  • Amanda
    2019-03-02 10:42

    I loved these first 2 installments of the confederation series. I like military sci-fi, and I love kickass female characters and both were included here. Torin Kerr is one of the strongest female characters I have ever come across. Yes, ultimately she has to follow orders, but she does her damndest to keep all of her Marines alive while following them and it’s her passion to keep her Marines alive that’s one of her best qualities. In addition to a strong female lead character, the series (so far) has a cast of characters that I came to love. The rapid-fire dialogue really sets the tone of these two novels. The omnipotent description of the alien races didn’t help my understanding as much as the dialogue and interaction between the characters did. Torin’s internal dialogue, however, is the best source of information about the other members of the confederation. I flew threw this collection, and proceeded to devour the rest of the series. I loved every minute of it!

  • Marie
    2019-03-14 03:23

    Just what I needed - a fun and lighthearted read with lots of humor and tension. This is a compilation of two novels, and I was glad of that when I finished the first because I wanted more.Now, be warned - the main character is astoundingly competent at everything she does, but at least she escapes Mary Suedom through the fact that she is only perfect at those things within her job description.The first book was a bit better than the second, I think - more depth of characterization on the minor characters. The second book, I lost track of who was who. Though the second book was better in that it did not have gratuitous "That's an old earth saying" comments after every old cliche the author felt she had to use, but then had to explain away. That got annoying at parts.Still, straight-up space marine action through and through. I'll read the next one.

  • Laure Reminick
    2019-02-23 04:20

    I admit, I am now a fan of protagonist Sgt. Torin Kerr. I'd definitely want her at my back (pushing me beyond my limits) in any tough situation.Huff's mind-hopping Points of View at first bothered me a bit in the second part of this double feature: The Better Part of Valor. But Huff pulled it off by the end.The valor and bravery of various characters (highlighted by the silliness of others) can't help but inspire. And that's what I look for in fiction. Huff completely personifies the funny give and take among the Marines. You feel like you're right there with them every dangerous step of the way.I would probably never make it in the military, but I have always respected and admired strength inculcated by the discipline of facing the difficult straight up.

  • June
    2019-03-05 03:26

    I had read these before, but enjoyed them enough to read them again. Valor's Choice is about how Staff Sargent Kerr handles a new second lieutenant, while winning a new species as an ally and keeping as many of her people alive as possible. Author's note says her battle was loosely based on Rorke's Drift.Better Part of Valor has Staff Sargent Kerr leading a reconnaissance mission on an unknown alien spacecraft, hampered by a incompetent captain, reporters, scientists, marines who have never worked together before & the civilian salvage operator who discovered it. Lots of humor, some crass as it is about the military and a mixed unit. Dedicated to 911 rescue workers.I enjoyed re-reading these so much I think I'll continue re-reading the series.

  • Joanna
    2019-03-25 04:15

    Now given, I love basically everything Tanya Huff has written. But I went into this one with reservations, because the whole future/aliens/space travel thing really didn't appeal. It did take a little while to settle in, but once I'd gotten used to the various aliens and quirks of writing, MAN was this a fun read! It's an omnibus version, and I just read all the way through. It's got Huff's awesome sense of humour all through, and I definitely came to love Torin Kerr. There appears to be at least one more book in the series, which I will have to pick up. Also loved finding little Canadianisms that apparently made it through to the future civilizations, like jonesing for a double double :)

  • Cupof Tea
    2019-03-09 06:17

    I had already read the first book when I got another edition out from the library and I love the main character, Torin Kerr. The second book deals with an adventure on a mysterious craft in the middle of nowhere, introducing some more new alien species and of course they run into trouble and have a cool space battle.I'm not usually a fan of military themes, but the Staff Sergeant's point of view is such a good story, the rapport with the Marines is awesome, I love the banter and humour even in serious situations.If you have read any of Jack McDevitt's Academy Series, or watched Battlestar Galactica, this is the series for you :)

  • Susan
    2019-03-14 06:41

    You might notice that the cover for this omnibus is like a tube-altered pic from the painting Paul Youll did for the cover to The Better Part of Valor. Because that's exactly what it is. I contacted him to see if he did the manipulation and he says no—he didn't even get paid when they used this image, because HE didn't do it—someone on staff at the publisher altered his painting. Waiting to hear the outcome of THAT!finished first read 3/23/2002re-read both books 3/17/2013re-read both books 5/23 & 5/24/2015

  • Jenny T
    2019-03-15 03:15

    Military science fiction about Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr and the Marines under her command (as well as a cast of loathsome superior officers and a romantic interest or two). This book comprised of the first two books in the series: Valor's Choice and The Better Part of Valor. I enjoyed this book for its humor and its strong, sarcastic female lead, as well as for the delicious way the author differentiates between alien species--while making even the most alien among them very relatable. That, and there were lots of explosions...

  • Rebecca Johnson
    2019-03-07 02:12

    I really liked this book. Huff does a great job making a kick-ass strong female lead.Kerr is smart, tough-as-nails, committed to the Corps and the troops she leads, and likes sex as much as the next Marine. In the end I feel like I understand the military and those in it a little more and it makes my respect for our troops that much stronger. Oh and who can hate a book with humans fighting alongside aliens that will have sex with anything and aliens that can and will eat anything. This series is the reason I like my futuristic sci-fi military oriented.

  • Jeremy
    2019-03-23 02:19

    I couldn't get through this. I got halfway through chapter two, and had to skip ahead to chapter three. I read a bit, from there I skipped a head to chapter four. Each time I skipped a head I didn't feel like I was missing anything. Finally I had to put the book down. I just found the bit I read boring to no end. It might get much much better further on into the book but I just didn't care enough about any thing that was going on to even try.

  • sjams
    2019-02-28 07:42

    This book totally sucked me in and would not let me pay attention to anything else. There were very few slow parts, and I don't necessarily care for military plotlines. The world she's built is so vast and exciting, though, and Torin is a great, very in-charge character. I'm definitely interested in seeing her more in action!