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Cursed Command by Christopher Nuttall
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This book, the third installment in the Angel in the Whirlwind series, maintains the same very high levels of being a good read as the two first books. I really like Kat and I really like Mr. Nuttall’s writing.

As the book blurb states Kat is sent on a new mission to the Jorlem Sector to try and forge alliances and fight pirates at the same time. Naturally she encounters a number of nasty customers including the sleazebag ruler of Jorlem itself. She also discovers a Theocracy warship. It is perhaps not the “juggernaut” that the blurb states but it is, apparently, a crossbreed between a battleship and a battlecruiser. Definitely big enough to complicate things for Kat & Co.

This book is not all about Kat though. She has to share the glory, or the disgrace, with her former XO who has been promoted to Captain and his new ship is going to follow Kat’s Lightning into the Jorlem Sector. The book flips between Kat and McElny as well as, to a lesser extent, the Theocracy tugs.

Speaking of the Theocracy thugs. The Theocracy are a real nasty bunch. ISIS in space! They are religious fanatics of the highest order and as such they of course have tunnel vision in their relations with other nations as well as a total disrespect for anyone not of their twisted beliefs. Their younger acolytes are thoroughly brainwashed into believing in the Theocracy and their supposed superiority society wise as well as military wise.

Surprisingly enough the Theocracy cleric and his dumbass aide are not the most despicable characters in the book. Just to make life even harder for Kat and McElny Mr. Nuttall throws in a malcontent officer in McElny’s crew. This guy is not only despicable but really the lowest of the lowest type of scum in that he does not hesitate to sell out the entire Commonwealth to the enemy to achieve his short sighted goals. He is a total asshole of the worst kind and I am never too happy about these characters in the books I read. He even manages to throw more crap into the fan than the Theocracy, at least within the scope of this book. Needless to say Kat and McElny prove to be a tougher nut to crack than previously mentioned various low lifes expect but the cost is high. Very high.

Then we have the annoying, somewhat lazy, and very bigoted new XO that was pushed onto Kat. I was about to write that he is the typical example of a narrow minded aristocrat child with an overinflated ego which has done nothing but lick the jam of the silver spoon he was born with. That would be a little unfair though. He is actually rather good at his job. He is bigoted and annoying like hell but unlike the Theocracy tugs and the above mentioned malcontent Kat’s XO could probably be turned around given some time.

In the end Kat has yet again improved her reputation as being someone you do not mess with. There are of course plenty of well done action in the book and, as usual, the characters and their interactions are equally well done.

I am looking forward to the next installment in the series. This book did not really end in what you would call a major cliffhanger but it nevertheless pointed, not so subtly, in the direction of a major showdown between the Theocracy and the Commonwealth. I have already preordered it and the book blurb certainly appears to support the “It’s clobbertime” theory. ( )
  perjonsson | Oct 28, 2017 |
Angel of Death!

Another rewarding adventure with Kat Falcone and crew as they are ordered to investigate the outer reaches of space for the Commonwealth, seeking out allies and partners in the war against the Theocracy. (The Theocracy has some of the earmarks of a combination of the Havens and the Masadans in the Honor Harrington novels. They are implacable enemies of Kat. She has bested them in all encounters.) This time Kat's former executive officer has been granted his own command. William McElney is to captain his own heavy cruiser, the HMS Uncanny. The cruiser has been dogged by the deaths of two former captains. It is commonly referred to as HMS Unlucky--not a glowing recommendation. Captain McElney is faced with command of a cruiser where the crew are undisciplined, both the crew and the ship are physically and mentally unready for action, and with some crew discontent verging on mutiny. All this as McElney sets forth with Kat and HMS Lightning to the Jorlem Sector, a sector rife with piracy and possible Theocracy intrusion. Kat as usual is an unpredictable counter on the battle chessboard. Not as forceful a novel as previous contributions, although the character of McElney and his place in things, his viewpoint as someone who's come up through the ranks and is not from the elite echelons of the Commonwealth, more than makes up for that. This for me is where the full interest lies of this story--how to break through the circle of power and attitudes of entitlement of the Commonwealth's inner circles that extend to the command structures of the armed forces. This continuing saga of Kat and her people places all in readiness for the next episode in Nuttall's exciting interplanetary space opera.

A NetGalley ARC ( )
  eyes.2c | Mar 7, 2017 |
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