10 August, 2018

REVIEW: SPECOPS by Craig Alanson

Title: SpecOps
Author: Craig Alanson
Series: Expeditionary Force 2
Genres: Sci-Fi, Space Opera
Publisher: Independently published
Release: 2017 October 29th
Source: Audiobook
Pages: 275

// Goodreads // Amazon //

The sequel to 'Columbus Day'. Colonel Joe Bishop made a promise and he's going to keep it; taking the captured alien starship Flying Dutchman back out. He doesn't agree when the UN decides to send almost 70 elite Special Operations troops, hotshot pilots and scientists with him; the mission is a fool's errand he doesn't expect to ever return. At least, this time, the Earth is safe, right? Not so much.


EXPECTATIONS: So, the first book was great, right? My expectations thus were sky-high. First of all, humans, us! Little us! Escaped the evil aliens in a stolen spaceship. And now Joe Bishop and this crazy AI are flying what is left of humans back to Earth in hopes to assemble a rescue crew. I was expecting EVERYTHING. Stars, unicorns, constellations, everything. A heist mission with target to steal: humans! At the same time I did keep the suspicion that things can't go that smoothly. And I was not wrong.

THE WORLD: An alien spaceship in Joe Bishop's and AI hands. A handful of saved humans. Maybe one or two have the ridiculous idea of how to fly this thing, but that's about that. They rely on Skippy to both teach them as much as he can, help them survive, and, well, mostly control the damn thing as they stumble in it. But that's not even the best part of this voyage, oh no. No, best part is, that they named this ship Flying Dutchman, and actually got back to Earth with it! Where humans from every nation greedily watched the alien technology landing, each one wanting the dibs on it, even before they found out there's an AI of technology so high, they can't even dream that far yet. Humans being Humans, air soon starts smelling of both civil war, and World War III, so Joe has no choice but to agree with as much as he can, and leave the planet, before someone called the shots with actual guns. 

CHARACTERS: Joe Bishop, on Skippy's ultimatum, remains the captain of the ship, even if he has a superior he must run plans and actions through. Back on Earth Skippy kept insisting he'll not have it any other way and will simply not cooperate with anyone he doesn't like, showing allegiance and loyalty to this one human, his only friend in the whole universe. Of course, Skippy will not admit that out loud, but we know what's going on there. The rest of the crew are interesting folk too, and Skippy makes it his job to get to know them, asking for jokes, stories, and helping them train in return. There's beautiful dynamics between them, especially when people realize that Skippy doesn't appreciate not being considered a person.

ROMANCE:  There still none. A fling, yes, but that's all. Got ruined by Skippy too, because hey, he was there, so, why not give Joe tips out loud!

GOOD: It was very interesting to read of human greed when they saw the alien spaceship, and the AI. And even more interesting was Skippy dealing with it, and putting everyone off. He only trusted Joe, he made that clear, and would not have anyone even try to separate him from his friend.

BAD: It's not bad writing. It's just that humans are awful.  

OVERALL: Yep, another great book in the series! This one, sort of, revealed how there's really little to none people out there, who'd not get tickled by prospects of immeasurable power. Not humans, not aliens. I really enjoyed their coming to Earth, but I sighed in relief when they finally left it too. At least one can't expect kindness from aliens and get disappointed when there's none to be found.

What do you think about SPECOPS?



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