RogerBW's Blog

No Medals For Secrets, Elliott Kay 13 October 2022

2017 space-marine SF, side story in the Poor Man's Fight series. Alicia Wong keeps getting tapped for special missions that she's not allowed to talk about…

…and it's filler. With the exception of the climactic moment, this feels like material that could have been cut from the main series – most crucially for me, it doesn't have the focus on the economic aspects of the war, on what actually makes a nation or a company give up the fight and try to make peace, that made the trilogy worth reading.

So it's basically just space marine action, with a strong side note of "military good, civilian intelligence services bad". It's pretty good space marine action, and well written, but nobody gets any character development beyond what we see of them in the main books, and all the sympathetic characters are ones we know will survive into book 3 anyway. There is an incident which becomes so widely known that it's rather odd that nobody mentioned it before (even if Alicia wouldn't have been able to admit that she was anywhere near it). And… that's it. It also only just breaks 80,000 words, when the rest of the series has been 130-170K, which doesn't help me get over the feeling that it's trimmings sewn together to make a book to satisfy readers who wanted more after the story was over.

Not terrible, but there's a reason this stuff gets cut from the main books, and I found it something of a disappointment after a solid initial series.

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Previous in series: Dead Man's Debt | Series: Poor Man's Fight | Next in series: Last Man Out

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