Book 6! I did it! And before I got book 7 from the library!
I have covered before how much I love these books. Grown up me reading these is like teenage me reading the Star Wars expanded universe. This one may have been a bit of a letdown after how much I loved book 5 (don’t ask me the specific title, because that is long gone), but the standard is so high that doesn’t mean much. Still would recommend over and over and over.
I think the wrinkle that drags this book down, relative to the others, is that the Big Bad just isn’t all that compelling. The ideas behind the Free Navy are fascinating and juicy and ripe for exploration but Marco Inaros himself is cardboard. For six books these characters have been wonderful chocolate chip cookies, but damn if Inaros isn’t a bad surprise oatmeal raisin. Given that nobody around him actually likes him either, I feel like he’s a problem that could be solved fairly easily if they all just talked to each other. The Naomi Ex Machina at the end was cool, but I also feel like these guys studied at the GRRM school of “they’re not dead till you see the bodies”. Those fifteen ships are going to come back to bite us.
Filip, however, there was a chocolate chip cookie I could get behind. He feels very, very real. A conflicted kid raised brainwashed practically from birth to trust only his father and look for betrayal around every corner. When he finally starts to see through the mask and make decisions for himself you are just rooting for him so damn hard.
Can I have more Amos and Alex, please?