SpecOps - more laughs in Expeditionary Force book #2
If you enjoyed book one of the Expeditionary Force series and wanted more of the same kind of humor then Craig Alanson has you covered here; however, if you were starting to get tired of hearing "stupid monkey" insults being hurled at the human crew of the Flying Dutchman, then you should definitely steer clear of this one. The story heads back into space when Joe Bishop and an elite crew of special forces and scientists attempt to help Skippy find the Elders who created him. A mission that must be carried out in secrecy because if anyone figures out that humanity has a ship capable of traveling through wormholes then Earth will become a target once again. But there is no need to worry because nothing will go wrong with Joe Bishop and Skippy working together to lead the mission, right? lol
The Elders transcended physical form long ago and left behind traces of their vast civilization, but at this point they are more legend than anything else. Is it even possible to make contact with them? Joe and Skippy do make a great team but their combined intellect may not be enough to solve this mystery, and doing it in a stolen ship may not be possible at all. Of course, no matter how much sci-fi is served up as the story progresses, the insult laden, military style humor keeps things light even when things get dire. The universe makes for a formidable adversary and no plan survives first contact with the enemy.
Alanson's nice mix of military sci-fi and humor made Columbus Day a real standout in the genre and I appreciate that he didn't want to mess with his formula too much, but there is such a thing as taking it too far. By the time this one was over, I had grown tired of the sameness of both the problem solving and the humorous character interactions. I was thinking that might be enough for me to walk away from the series; however, the title of the next book is Paradise and since I definitely want to find out what happened to the UNEF forces trapped on that planet, I have decided to go for at least one more book in this series. No matter how it turns out, I am glad I got to spend a lot of time with Joe and Skippy and appreciate that they have renewed my interest in the humorous sub genre of sci-fi.
For the audiobook version R.C. Bray once again knocks it out of the park as the narrator and he makes listening to this series a pleasure.