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The Better Part of Valor (Confederation #2)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,615 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Telling a two-star general what she really thought of him was the mistake Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr made with General Morris. But as a battle-hardened professional, she took pride in doing her job and getting her troops back alive. So after she'd saved the mission to bring the Silsviss into the Confederation—instead of losing them and their world to the enemy known only as ...more
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Published January 19th 2009 by Tantor Media (first published March 1st 2002)
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Mike (the Paladin)
The last time we saw Sgt. Kerr she was somewhat obliquely telling a General what she thought of officers (view spoiler). It was however not quite "oblique" enough.

The Sgt. has been given a "special" assignment.

From here we launch off on another action packed military adventure. Sent to protect a team of (seemingly suicidal) scientists she takes her Marines off to the borders of enemy space to examine a huge and completely alien sh
Dana Stabenow
Even better than the first in the series (Valor's Choice). Torin Kerr and her three-specie space-going marines lead a team of civilian scientists and a pain-in-the-ass reporter into an enormous alien vessel they call Big Yellow. Their only handicaps are a glory-hound commanding officer the brass want to shine so as to placate his species' representatives in the galactic Parliament, and, uh, oh yes, the enemy ship that unexpectedly shows up, loaded and ready for bear. Turns out they've got people ...more
Even though I read this about a month ago, taking a very long time to review, I enjoyed the hell out of this book. In fact, I went into a serious reading frenzy. Taking a chance, I had bought the first four novels in this series (two of them in the omnibus edition, giving me a two for the price of one deal). I'm usually not really into military fiction, it's just not really my usual reading interests. However, I've found myself almost obsessed with this particular series. It must have something ...more
The Better Part of Valor is the second book in Tanya Huff's foray into military SF, the Confederation series. I've been liking these well enough; the heroine, Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr, is tough and fun and rather aptly described in editorial reviews of this novel as akin to Ripley in the Alien flicks. Huff's generally light hand with characterization is present here, as well as a pretty decent albeit not terribly unusual selection of alien species. The good parts about her collection of non-hum ...more
originally posted at:

Two months ago I read the first book in the Confederation series of Tanya Huff and was very impressed with the story that she managed to set down. I have read a few military SF books but I think all featured an male protagonist. In her Confederation series, Tanya Huff introduces a very strong female protagonist, Staff Sergeat Torin Kerr. She doesn't hesitate one moment to speak what on her mind, she's down to her point and when push c
This is the second book in the Valor series. I read it straight after the first one. Great book. Good exciting light entertainment. As with the first one in the series (which I've also reviewed) it is not weighed down with expositions of military tactics, or scenes of politics and politicians far from the action. There is military tactics in there, but it is fairly standard urban fighting and also fairly standard fighter pilot action - so if you like some very different new weapon re-writing all ...more
This is the second book in Tanya Huff's Confederation Novels.

One of the better books I've read recently. It was fun, fast paced, and a great way to take my mind off of all of the holiday stress. Much of the book read like a haunted house mystery. Very hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Confederation Novels
Valor's Choice (Confederation, #1) by Tanya Huff The Better Part of Valor (Confederation, #2) by Tanya Huff The Heart of Valor (Confederation, #3) by Tanya Huff Valor's Trial (Confederation, #4) by Tanya Huff The Truth of Valor (Confederation, #5) by Tanya Huff
Everything I said about the first book, in terms of quality, still applies here. It's very similar to the first book; enough so that I'm really not surprised that the two of them were released in a single volume.

What this one explores a bit more than the first one does is that looks more at the alien species that share in the Confederation with humanity. I remember years ago hearing a sci-fi author opine that it was curious that while humanity could produce both Gandhi and Hitler within a genera
Civilians might call Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr someone of valor. The marines who serve with her know she is just very good at her job: keeping those who serve with her alive, and accomplishing their mission. This novel in the second in the Valor series, following Kerr on another mission, this time with a new platoon to do reconnaissance with a team of researchers onboard unknown ship found in Confederation space. However, there is one catch; Captain Travik. Travik loves the spotlight, and is loo ...more
Hali Sowle
I just finished a re-read of this book and found it as enjoyable as the first time. Staff Sargent Torin Kerr is sent in harms way yet again when a strange spaceship is found floating dead in space by a salvage operator Craig Ryder. Torin is taken away from her platoon, which had just convinced the Silviss to join the Confederation instead of "the others", and sent to lead a few individual marines, a useless Captain who has the tendency to get his marines killed, and group of scientists into the ...more
Ryan Schneider
I bought this book at the library for $0.50. I'm very glad I did. It actually wasn't this edition, it was the omnibus of CONFEDERATION books 1 & 2 together, which is great: 2 fantastic, fun novels for $0.25 each. This is how I was introduced to Tanya Huff's work.

I am looking forward to the collection ARMORED coming out in April, 2012 featuring a short story by her, as well as by Daniel H. Wilson, author of ROBOPOCALYPSE.

My criticism remains what I said
The second book in the Confederation Series has recently promoted Gunnery Sergeant Kerr getting her “reward” for seeing through General Morris in the previous book. Along with a scratch team, she is sent to assist in the exploration of a vast alien ship of unknown origin. As they are stranded on board, the ship continually seems to change the environment in order to test the team.

This book is worth a read for the same reason as it’s predecessor. The characters are well rounded and well described
The second in the series and this book continued to impress me with the way that it flowed. Apart from Torin and a couple of the side characters it has a completely different cast than the first book, but you don't need anyone other than Torin to be completely drawn into the story.

For me, this read was a continual, "What is she going to do next?" followed by "Oh heck how is she going to get around this one?". It was perfect.

Even characters that at the beginning I did not like, such as Ryder, ca
Scott Karch
I agree this is as good if not better than book 1. The characters are good and varied. The giant ship reminds me a bit of the ship from the Rama series. The last 2/3 of the book is full tilt sci fi battle. I was riveted

It's from a grunts perspective and a lot of the type of swearing you'd expect. Not for younger kids. But the characters at nice and complex.

Loved it.
Space mariiiiiinnnnnnnnes.
The Valor series is brilliant military SF with a hearty dash of humor. The plot of The Better Part of Valor twists and turns, and leaves some great questions hanging for later books. The action is riveting and pulse-pounding.

The characters are fascinating. While there are certain stereotypes associated with the various alien races, the characters themselves come in a wide variety of flavors. They’re highly distinct and some of them definitely go against type. I really cared about what happened t
I left reading SF thanks to the military Sf and this was a little militariatic but more about the characters than the flogging. Sadly when i got it from the library sale i didn't know it was book2. I like Tanya Huff so I read it. Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr told off a general and is now on a mission with a stupid attention seeking captain of a race new to the alliances they’re trying to promote. It should be easy help salvage captain Ryder brings in a strange yellow ship but it’s an unknown ship n ...more
The first novel I have read by this author and I gotta say that I really enjoyed it. Yes, it isn't the most life-changing, philosophically deep or angst-ridden read, but then who needs all that? It's an entertaining, beat-'em-up kind of story and that's good enough for me.

Having not read the first book in the series, I hadn't met Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr before, so she bursts into the first few pages as a Marine being sent on a potentially dangerous mission as punishment for speaking up to a Ge
The second part of the Confederation series has our intrepid hero Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr sent off on a secret mission as revenge by the general she insulted and nearly killed in the last book. Tasked with learning the secrets of a mysterious alien ship, she has to contend with an annoying glory hogging commanding officer, an annoying group of scientists, an annoying reporter and an annoying civilian, who's only there because he found the ship. On top of that their enemies, the Others, have al ...more
Kim Aippersbach
More Torin Kerr. Sign me up! I can't express how much I love this character. Strong, no-nonsense, devoted to her duty but with her own definite opinions about it. As a reward for a job well done (or a punishment for speaking her mind to a general!), Torin gets to deal with a civilian salvage operator who doesn't know the meaning of discipline, a vainglorious useless superior, and a really, really annoying cute furry reporter. Oh, and a mysterious alien ship that . . . oh, wait, I can't tell you ...more
I know exactly why I keep listening to Tanya Huff's Valor audio-books. The reader is pretty good, but it a lot of it comes down to Staff Sergeant Torrin Kerr.

Torrin is a cliche in many ways, but I like her despite that. She will snark a superior officer when she can get away with it, and she is always smarter than those who sit at their desks light years away from the front lines. She is very competent at her job, and her job is being a Marine Staff Sergeant. Yes, she is a bit two-dimensional, b
Staff Sgt. Torin Kerr is chosen for a secret mission to explore an alien ship found floating in uncharted space. Only problem is, the Others seem to have found it, too. And as the ship starts doing unpredictably weird things, battle breaks out both inside and outside. This would make an incredible movie, actually, but it also works as really interesting written SF.
Shazza Maddog
The only thing that keeps me from giving this novel five stars is I wanted a scorecard for all the character names and their species. I probably should've taken notes to myself, but I didn't think of it until halfway through the novel.

The story is pretty straightforward - Torin is a Staff Sergeant for the Marines, and she is the NCO for a party being sent aboard an unusual spaceship found by a salvager. The captain of the unit is on the fast track for promotions, so Torin's general tells/orders
These books are just getting better and better... Gotta love space Marines.

In addition to all the awesomeness that is Staff Sargent Torin Kerr, this is one of my favorite bits:

"Lieutenant Commander Sibley added a few final flourishes as he brought the Jade up to cruising speed. "If you have to hurl, Staff Sargent, bite the black tab at the base of your faceplate. It'll open a pouch."

No answer. Not even the sound of a lost lunch.


Her telltales were green. She was conscious. Heart pumping a
Pascal Richard
When you read lots of book, it’s hard to know if you just like or really like one.
In my many years as a reader I have developed a strange but accurate way to rate books.
I give a plus when
I enjoyed the reading but read less than 250 pages a day (meaning I take attention)
I laugh or/and cry in the process
I quote passage of the book to my wife
And I want to reread the book before I finish it
I rarely gave a minus except when the typo is awful, when the characters are bland or when characters choices a
Wonderfully satisfying military SF, smart enough not to feel like a total popcorn read but not aspiring to literary greatness.

Torin Kerr is a perfectly badass protagonist.

The book remains engaging throughout despite the fact that the combat doesn't appear until relatively late in the game. Some interesting hints regarding the alien ship of unknown origin.

I love this series, and it's definitely due for a full reread. Unfortunately I only own the first two books in hardcopy, though I think the res
In a somehow familiar sounding plotline (isn't there a STAR TREK with the same premise?), our hero leads a platoon of marines onto a mysterious ship that turns out to be a staging area for a series of tests of ability and character between reps of the Confederation and the Others. The identity of the testers, who command godlike technology, remains unknown. Takes a while to get going, and in the end doesn't really go anywhere, but the action is hot and heavy when it finally starts up. Still, fir ...more
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I enjoyed the first book in the Confederation series, Valor's Choice, but didn't love it. The story was decent yet it was also somewhat cold and impersonal. But wow, Huff really kicked up the story and characters in this second book and by the end, I was absolutely passionate about the entire series. Each book would end up getting better and better but the seeds for the overall story arc starts here in the second book.

Charles Pergiel
US Marines in space, except they're from some confederation, they have a mixed group of bipeds for soldiers, some human, some not, and gender equality, meaning Sarge is a girl. Roberta's short story from last week could have been the opening chapter. It's a pretty good story: Marines in close-quarters-combat with evil bugs, cut off from resupply, saddled with political restrictions and obligations, and a battlefield that changes on whim.

The girl on the cover is too pretty to be Sarge. Does tha
Callum Shephard
Returned only a short while from her previous recon mission, Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr finds herself being sent into combat once more. Having insulted a superior officer, her well-earned leave turns into a reconnaissance mission of the worst kind. A massive UFO of unknown origin has emerged far across the galaxy. Paired with a glory-hungry superior, her task is to ensure the survival of a scientific expedition boarding the derelict. A task which increases in danger with every passing minute.

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Stupid Orders 1 15 Sep 05, 2013 12:18PM  
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"Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia: Although I haven't actually lived "down east" since just before my fourth birthday, I still consider myself a Maritimer. I think it's something to do with being born in sight of the ocean. Or possibly with the fact that almost no one admits to being from Ontario…

Raised, for the most part, in Kingston, Ontario. It was the late sixties, early to mid seventies. Enough s
More about Tanya Huff...

Other Books in the Series

Confederation (6 books)
  • Valor's Choice (Confederation #1)
  • The Heart of Valor (Confederation, #3)
  • Valor's Trial (Confederation, #4)
  • The Truth of Valor (Confederation, #5)
  • An Ancient Peace
Blood Price (Vicki Nelson, #1) Blood Trail (Vicki Nelson, #2) Valor's Choice (Confederation #1) Blood Lines (Vicki Nelson, #3) Summon the Keeper (Keeper Chronicles #1)

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“Lieutenant Commander Sibley added a few final flourishes as he brought the Jade up to cruising speed. "If you have to hurl, Staff Sargent, bite the black tab at the base of your faceplate. It'll open a pouch."

No answer. Not even the sound of a lost lunch.


Her telltales were green. She was conscious. Heart pumping at sixty/sixty. Respiration slow and steady.

Then it dawned on him. While he'd been flying a pattern designed to test the limits of Human physiology, his passenger had gone to sleep.”
“Experience had taught her that an enthusiastic officer was a bad thing; an enthusiastic idiot in a captain’s uniform was a” 0 likes
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