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The Better Part of Valor (Confederation #2)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  3,833 Ratings  ·  158 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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Dana Stabenow
Sep 09, 2010 Dana Stabenow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 05, 2011 Mardel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
** 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
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
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.
Dec 21, 2008 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
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
Apr 21, 2012 Carro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 28, 2013 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, space-opera
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
Jamie Collins
Re-reading this series, I enjoyed this second book as much as the first one, even though I’m not a big fan of this kind of plot: exploring a mysterious alien spaceship which appears to be deliberately setting up traps and challenges. I also dislike aliens with technology so advanced that it’s indistinguishable from magic; it’s the sci-fi equivalent of introducing gods, or the fae, in a fantasy novel. Characters with godlike powers tend to ruin a story for me.

But otherwise this is really good. I
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
Jan 27, 2017 Dee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Initially I was like 'Wha..? Where is everyone?'
Sergeant Kerr, having been so successful in her previous mission (apart from the dead squaddies of course, who in later books will increasingly impact events - but then the dead do lie heavy on the living) is sent away sans Sh’quo Company to survey an alien ship - but not one of our aliens - an alien alien! And damn, it's a creepy one! Big Yellow (and was I the only one conflicted with this name? Does it not hearken to sad eyed dogs tugging at he
Jul 15, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Apr 18, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sifi
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
Ryan Schneider
Jan 21, 2012 Ryan Schneider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 14, 2011 Andreas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 03, 2016 Beyonder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, good-writing
A rock solid follow up to the first book. The characters, the humor and the military drama keeps doing it for me. These books aren't the most epic military sci-fi ever, but they sure do have heart and soul through and through.

Little things like an officer demanding that the enemy not be talked about with an "it" pronoun even though they are insectoid and highly alien. Concern about dehumanizing an enemy that is fundamentally not human due to the terrible way it allows good people to behave... so
Jan 17, 2014 Simone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 31, 2015 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
This is bascially more of the same as the first book, except that this one takes place on a huge alien ship instead of an alien planet.

It was a little annoying in its echoes of every space story ever made with mysterious intelligent ships playing mind games with the humans, and I didn't enjoy the banter or secondary characters quite as much as in the first story. Mostly still fast fun, if you like bantering dialogue and shooting things up. And the narrator of the audio version gave the obnoxious
This series is excellent.

The politics still make me angry, but they are supposed to. I hate that Torin just has to suck it up.

And I hate that reporter. Torin should have drop-kicked her down a shaft. Or left her behind when she insisted she wasn't going down the crate. People like that are TSTL, and should be kicked to the curb before they kill everyone.

But I loved the book, loved the characters, loved the story.
Scott Karch
Apr 21, 2014 Scott Karch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 29, 2011 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
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.

Jun 03, 2014 Jasmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: daw
Space mariiiiiinnnnnnnnes.
Dec 14, 2013 Sense361 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, sci-fi
The Big Yellow actually got in:)
Another action-filled story about Staff Sargent Torin Kerr on a mission she's ordered on by her favourite General. She's with a different bunch of Marines on this mission, which is to provide some protection for a bunch of scientists who will investigate a strange, apparently abandoned ship.
Things go wrong almost as soon as everyone steps on board the ship, and it's up to the Marines, and in particular Torin, to get the scientists off the ship to safety.
This story, like the first in the series,
Jul 23, 2015 Riley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, sci-fi
I just finished listening to the audiobook of The Better Part of Valor by Tanya Huff. Book 2 in the Confederation series, it follows the format of a tough female Staff Sergeant on a mission that seems simple but turns deadly. The heroine must hold her own against officers of questionable judgment and skill as she directs a platoon of the toughest marines in space, while saving the civilians – and the day – against the both the unknown and the odds.

Staff Sergeant Tobin Kerr, or ‘Staff’ as she is
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 t
Aug 09, 2014 Otherwyrld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
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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 (7 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)
  • A Peace Divided (Peacekeeper, #2)

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“Why is it the big, fukkin’, friendly ones who die, Staff?” “They’re not the only ones who die, Werst, it’s just we miss them more than the short, fukkin’, cranky ones.” 1 likes
“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
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