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The Better Part of Valor (Confederation #2)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,976 ratings  ·  121 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
Lilia Ford

This was my least favorite of the Confederation series, though it was a satisfying enough read and is crucial for setting up the books that follow.

For a review of the series as a whole, see my review of Valor's Choice.
** 3.5 stars **

I certainly enjoyed The Better Part of Valor, the second foray into military science-fiction in Tanya Huff’s Confederation series.

We meet Staff Sergeant Kerr again, as she participates in a unique and secret assignment: a mission to explore an alien ship found in space seemingly abandoned. She, once more strong and always moving forward, and her new marines, all hand-picked from different platoons, are commanded by a glory-seeking Captain. They are accompanied by a group of s
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
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
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
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
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
I liked book 1 better. Crocodile like aliens were in book 1. The villain in book 2 was a creepy ship that did terrible things.

I like how Torin (the heroine) is strong and a lot of the dialogue is funny.

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.
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 didn't even realize there was a whole different genre of guilty pleasure reading out there for me: space opera. I'm not going to claim this was some kind of literary masterpiece but it was super fun to read. I love the witty repartee and the adventure. The different type of aliens are interesting although I hope in later books we find out more about the bugs. I kind of wish there was a little more romance/sex (there's pretty much only significant looks and entendre). Also, this book basically ...more
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
I loved the first of these. Maybe I picked this one up too soon after, or maybe my expectations were just too high.

I was disappointed to see that we got a mostly new supporting cast. I liked the team from the first book, and I wanted to see more of Torin's second lieutenant. These different characters had their moments too, but it was hard to attach to them knowing that, if the pattern held, they wouldn't be a continuing presence.

The action sometimes felt difficult to follow, and I never got tha
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
On punishment or reward duty, Kerr is sent off with a ragtag group, Marines individually plucked from different corps, reporters, a civilian and a handful of scientists. The mission, infiltrate a ship discovered, Big Yellow as she is nicknamed. It turns deadly when the ship turns out to be sentient and Bugs are on their trail.

It's more intense action, Kerr kicking ass and excelling at what she does generally with incompetent higher ups as always. Also refreshing to see Kerr in charge of her sexu
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
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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 (Peacekeeper, #1; Confederation, #6)

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“You might not be aware of this, but it takes more than bright lights to damage a Marine. We’ve been highly trained to deal with loud noises, too.” 0 likes
“this situation was tailor-made for that last lesson in Combat Morale, “If you’re going to die anyway, see to it that your people die with dry underwear and a smile.” 0 likes
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