Friday, December 12, 2014

Theirs Not to Reason Why: Damnation

This week I decided to review Theirs Not to Reason Why: Damnation by Jean Johnson . The book opens with Ia, who can see every possible future and is struggling to prevent the annihilation of the Milky Way Galaxy a few centuries after the novel takes place, visiting an old comrade seeking recruits to fill holes that were torn in her unit’s ranks and her long term plans during the previous book, Hardship. She then begins to cement her hold of control of the Alliance military while setting out to keep the Alliance losses in the raging Second Salik war as low as possible. But when the Greys launch a new war against the Terrans, Ia must sever ties with her family forever and condemn her home to centuries behind Grey lines. And after turning a centuries-old Salik bioweapon against its creators, Ia must do everything she can to prevent the weapon from reaching Alliance territory while many are calling for her arrest for dooming the Salik to extinction. And with time running out, Ia must race to stop the Greys from accidentally dooming the Milky Way to destruction. But the cost to save the galaxy may prove to be even higher than even Ia’s worst fears. ..
I give the book a 6.5 out of 10. Much like the previous book I felt there was far too little attention focused on the battles Ia and her crew were facing. The only battles shown in any real detail were the final battle, a couple of battles against the Greys and a few pages of one-sided engagements. The author says the original final book was split in two because it was too big to be released as a single volume, but the resulting books were so short that there was plenty of room, in my opinion, to include some of the battles mentioned--but not seen--in more detail. Most of the book was focused on the planning, political, judicial, and temporal fronts rather than the front lines of the battle and it would have been nice to see some of the fights mentioned rather than skipping over most of them. The ending was very bittersweet but not in a bad way.

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