Finally came back to the Expeditionary Force series by Craig Alanson which I started last summer. Alanson created Expeditionary Force as a reaction to the “plucky band of soldiers with rifles defeat an alien invasion” trope. These stories are so “serious and straight ahead that they are unbelievable. How can humans on the ground defeat an alien assault when those aliens can nuke us from orbit? Instead of this, Alenson set out to write a military space opera that was a hell of a lot more fun. Based on the first book in the series, Columbus Day, which was really enjoyable, he succeeded.
SpecOps is the second book in the series. It picks up at then end of Columbus Day. The two main characters from the first book, Joe Bishop and Skippy the alien AI are on a new mission with some of their original team and an extended group of special forces soldiers and scientists. Alanson leverages all of the tools that made the first book a fun read. His world-building is good. The banter between Joe Bishop and Skippy is really funny. You really pull for the characters to succeed.
All in all, a great “filler” between more “serious” reads.
By Craig Alanson
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.
Published March 7, 2017
277 pages (print)