Valkyrie by Craig Alanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Valkyrie is Craig Alanson’s best novel in the Expeditionary Force Series. Get ready for more humor and more creative problem-solving. Then hold on to your pants for the last quarter or so of the story. It has even more awesomeness than usual, especially the cliffhanging ending.
This ninth book in the series is a little different than the others. Instead of little steps leading to the conclusion of an adventure, it’s really two separate adventures. In the first adventure, Joe Bishop is resigned to the fact that Earth can’t be saved. So rather than focus on this problem, he uses his new pimped out starship to kick furry alien ass instead. He has those kitties chasing their tails and hissing mad. Then one last amazing idea nearly takes those kitties out of the picture.
The second adventure has to do with another set of aliens who plan to experiment on human children. Saving the children will put both Earth and the humans on Paradise at great risk. But because it’s the lives of children and because Bishop comes up with yet another crazy idea, the Valkyrie crew proceeds with the rescue op. And this is the part where the story gets more intense than a Class O star. Plan on reading early in the day or you will end up reading way past your bedtime and being cranky at work. Maybe you can just call in sick, then mope around all day because you can’t read the tenth book yet.
In one way, this second adventure ends in success. But in another, it ends in a complete disaster. I won’t spoil it for you other than to say that you will be so angry at the cliffhanger. You’ll be even more upset when you realize the sequel will not be out for many months yet! Really, though, the ending makes me love this book more.
If there’s one thing I generally don’t like in Alanson’s books, it’s when he changes the point of view character from Bishop to one of the minor characters. Bishop is the Expeditionary Force! I don’t care about anyone else (except perhaps Skippy and Adams). However, whenever Alanson changes the point of view, it’s necessary—and thankfully not excessive.
If you haven’t read Alanson’s first eight books in this series, I highly suggest you do this. You’ll find yourself going through wormhole after wormhole of adventures. Then jump into Valkyrie for an even crazier ride!