Rameau Friday: An Officer’s Duty – Jean Johnson

I’m rounding up the rating because while it wasn’t as good as the first in the series I really enjoyed reading the book.
As Ia advances through the ranks of the Terran Space Force she continues to walk that very thin line between lie and deceit in the best interest of all humanity. It takes her to the Navy Academy and pilot school… and I lost count on how many things I’m misrepresenting in my review. Military isn’t my forte.
The world of future is still there, only expanded and further explored. The ever changing character gallery introduces new faces and names all the time while rotating a couple of familiar names to focus for a while. There were some I’d missed but didn’t see, and there were some I hadn’t missed but glad to see all the same. 
What’s different to the first book is the shifting focus onto Ia’s character growth. Johnson doesn’t switch genres in the middle of a series but she does spend some time on illuminating through the interactions with her family who Ia was before she became hell bent on saving the galaxy, and who she could be if she wasn’t so stubborn to not allow anything for herself. 
And that’s where this book’s greatest weakness lies. 
Ia does find her Achille’s heel, which was something I’d been waiting to see from the very start. Just as Johnson, Ia doesn’t quite know what to do with it, but she tries. And it would have worked—adequately—hadn’t that revelation discussion been botched. In my opinion Johnson fails to hit that precious balance between avoiding repetition and doing justice to the character—Ia’s blind spot in this case. What I read was rushed and unsatisfactory instead of a poignant scene between two people facing and accepting a personal tragedy. I am glad, though, that the heel wasn’t completely forgotten and I’m hoping that as the series progresses the character gets a chance to pervade Ia’s life just as Bennie has. 
I like Bennie and hope to see much of her in the future. August can’t come soon enough.

4 stars
Series: Theirs Not to Reason Why #2
Pages: 439 (paperback)
Publisher: Ace
ISBN: 9781937997690
Published: July 31th 2012
Source: Bought


30 thoughts on “Rameau Friday: An Officer’s Duty – Jean Johnson

  1. Aurian says:

    Nice review Rameau, glad you want to read the next one. What did you think of the Lottery? That was a fun part, and especially how it was handled to keep it out of the hands of greedy governments.

  2. rameau says:

    I like the covers too but I think the model should be a bit more muscular based on Johnson's description of Ia. Or what I remember of it from the first book.

  3. rameau says:

    No it wasn't, but I'm aware that not all think alike. It also helped that I've learned to take little notes even while reading a paperback novel. I can highlight things on ebooks but having a list of names I thought might become important later and page numbers helped.

  4. rameau says:

    It's similar but it's not the same and I like that the cover model is the same for both books. I remember pictures better than I remember titles.

  5. rameau says:

    It is quite heavy on the military stuff but it sort of builds over what's known from the first book. There's a logic to it that I've almost grasped.

  6. rameau says:

    I really liked the first book, but I can see why Linda didn't. I've reviewed it but it's on Goodreads only. The military and academy stuff are well done, again, as are her precog moments. Johnson also expounds on Ia's family a bit.

  7. rameau says:

    Thanks. I liked it. It didn't quite go as I thought it would, which is always a plus, but part of it felt little deus ex machina-like. Then again, these books are about a precog manipulating the galaxy's future so that's to be expected.

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