We’re in the home stretch now! Just four more stories to go after these… it’ll be interesting to see how this all comes together in the end. As always, some thoughts on the recent installments:
#10: This Must Be the Place
I was a little worried about this one, as the entire Internet was telling me that it was a complete change of pace from the rest of the stories and probably about half of said Internet was telling me it was a no-good change of pace. Even my husband, who managed to read this one first, was like, “What the heck was that?” But I actually liked this one, so whatever, haters. In this episode, our old friend Hart is taking a vacation from dealing with aliens and intrigue and puppies to go home for Harvest Day (Thanksgiving, I’m guessing) and hang out with the fam. There’s obviously not much action here, aside from normal family squabbles, but it is a nice insight into Hart and also into how more or less regular (albeit powerful and rich) people are viewing from a distance all the fights we’ve seen up close. It’s going to be a weird chapter when this is a book, but as a standalone story I quite liked it.
#11: A Problem of Proportion
Holy crap, John Scalzi. We head straight back to the fighting in this one, right in the middle of some, in fact, and it is awesome. Even better, we get to meet up with our Conclave friend Hafte and get some more of that enemy point of view. Even better than that, we find out that there is a really mean person or group of persons (aliens can be persons too, right?) out there who apparently don’t like either the Colonial Union or the Conclave and are willing to be total assholes to mess things up. I am still bitter about this.
#12: The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads
And again, Scalzi just makes my mind boggle with his combination of politics, intrigue, and blowing stuff up. Also science, as we learn about a very interesting idea that hypothetically could be just as asshole-ish as what happened in that last story. Seriously, who are these persons who are doing things? How are all these mysteries going to be wrapped up in just one more story (double-length, even!)? How unlikely am I to drink tea ever again?
Rating: I’m gonna go 8, 9, and 9, because dang.