Today's book review is Blackcollar: The Judas Solution by Timothy Zahn. This is the third and (and fairly certainly final) book in the Blackcollar series. Blackcollar was one of Tim's earliest novels. Blackcollar: The Backlask Mission was several years ago. This book uses the world set up in the first two and specifically refers quite a lot to events in the second. I think it would be confusing to read it without knowing any of the backstory, but since my memory of the backstory is not very fresh and it mostly made sense, it might stand on its own.
Partway through this book I was starting to feel bored with another military SF book; stories of wonderful fights are wearing a little thin right now. But then the plot started getting more twists than a pretzel factory, and there was a little more fun to it once we finally learned how all the pieces fit together. The overarching plan, once it's revealed, is kind of cool, though it does leave us wondering how, if humans are that much smarter than the aliens, how they lost the war in the first place to set the stage for the entire series.
One thing I do have to say is that this is a much better book than its cover. If you're like me and can't keep yourself from looking at the cover picture over and over during the reading of a book, do yourself a favor and take the dust jacket off before starting this (assuming you have the 2006 hardcover edition with the Mattingly cover, just in case another edition comes along).
Overall, a pretty good story; it kept me engaged, though somewhat confused, all the way through. 7 out of 10.
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