Another “back-dated” post that was actually posted in September 2023. The books were read in June and July.
My latest “read” was actually the two books in Craig Alanson’s Expeditionary Force Mavericks series, Deathtrap and Freefall. This is a spin-off of Alanson’s Expeditionary Force series. Expeditionary Force is a space opera about how humanity is thrust into a galactic war following an alien invasion of Earth. The chief protagonists are Joe Bishop, a soldier in the United States Army, and Skippy, an advanced artificial intelligence from an ancient civilization who befriends Joe. They lead a group known as the Merry Band of Pirates who stole an alien spaceship early in the series. The Mavericks spin-off follows a group of soldiers that were left behind on the planet Paradise. Alanson had written an earlier novella, Trouble on Paradise, that was the foundation for the spin-off.
Alanson intertwines the story arcs of the Pirates and Mavericks throughout the main series. In May and June, I read Valkyrie (Book 9) and Critical Mass (Book 10) of the main series. Critical Mass occurs after the events in the Expeditionary Force Mavericks novels, so I decided to go back and read both before continuing with the main series.
Like the main series, Alanson’s world-building and story arcs in the Expeditionary Force Mavericks series are well done. The development of some of the key characters from the early books in the main series was solid. It was actually a nice break from the “Joe-Skippy” show in the main series.