So, just read 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.
A friend recommended the Valor series to me, and I have to say, the other two in the series? Those are the first books I bought with my new phone! Woo hoo! Internet access through a PHONE, I must be in the 20th century!
ANYway, loved ’em! 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. 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.