Because of my arm hang ups, I didn’t get to blog live during the book group’s consideration of Tanya Huff’s Valor’s Choice. This is going to be a shorter version of the usual as well.
Readers who both liked the book and who didn’t like the book had the same main reason: the book was predictable. About half of our group appreciated the nods to the genre of paramilitary science fiction, and found the book to be a familiar roller coaster ride that they enjoyed. They relished the familiar. On the other hand, part of the group felt that the book should have broken away from what they felt was cliche and predictable. The English teacher (yours truly) suggested that the book was beloved genre to half the readers, and predictable cliche to the other half.
One reader suggested that the real story starts about chapter 5. Again, some of the readers suggested that they liked the back story of the characters and disagreed. Others wanted to get right into the action. Interestingly, we had two separate editions of the book, and they were marketed to different expectations. The older version, which focused on the action and the choices, frustrated readers who wanted the plot right now. The new version of the book focused on the main character and her growth, and those readers felt that the book delivered on its marketing promises. Certainly, the consensus of the book was that it was closer to the marketing blurbs of version 2.
Other things at random: last part of the book was strongest part. Someone felt there were too many characters. Some folks wanted more of support characters. Others thought that it was definitely Torin’s book and should remain that way. Many of us appreciated the nod to the Michael Caine film Zulu.
Overall, the book was touted as a fun ride, better for some than others.
NEXT MONTH: Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry, just in time for Halloween. Get your questions for Mark to Cath by October 10th. Book talk, Monday, October 20th at 6pm at Coffee Talk Cafe. All are welcome. Do read the book.