Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Homefall" by Chris Bunch

Years ago I read a sci-fi trilogy called the Last Legion. I liked it a lot and even got my best friend to read them. More recently, I was at a used book store that had the fourth book in the series. It never occurred to me that there would be a fourth book, and so was totally shocked when I saw it. This is that book. I read it immediately.

Summary: First, a little bit about the trilogy. It follows two recruits, Garvin Jaansma and Njangu Yoshitaro, of the Confederation Legion who are sent to the outer edge of the known galaxy to a quaint star system known as Cumbre. On their journey the transport is attacked and they barely survive and make it to their destination. On Cumbre it becomes clear that they were the last people to have any news from the capital Centrum. All communication and trade with the Confederation stops leaving Cumbre to fend for itself. Each book is a war, first there is a civil war on Cumbre, then aliens attack, then a neighboring star nation. Throughout the books it is just assumed the Confederation is gone and forgotten, but this fourth book finally addresses the issue. Garvin and Njangu are given command of a special expedition discover what happened to the core worlds. Their commanders had already tried sending drones to Centrum, but all were mysteriously lost. The two soldiers decide to disguise themselves as something everyone loves: a traveling circus! Collecting up performers and a big ship, the Circus Jaansma blasts off on an adventure. They jump world to world investigating the fall of the Confederation and getting tangled up in local politics. These circus/soldiers struggle to keep their identities secret as they piece together clues to answer their biggest questions.

What I Liked: It gave me a chance to revisit a favorite series of mine and see again some loved characters I had missed. It also had a lot of intrigue and spycraft which is exciting. I also found it comical when these ultra-violent soldiers were confronted with subtle politics, like a bull in a china shop.

What I Didn't Like: Bunch glossed over some stuff, making it feel like he was rushing through the book, not really savoring the story. Also, I suspect some of the scenarios would have ended differently in real life, assuming we had the technology.

Rating: I recommend the whole series for some fun military sci-fi action.

Also Read By This Author: The Last Legion, Firemask, Storm Force.

Reviewed By: Nick

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