My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the third in the Galactic Football League series, and Quentin Barnes and the Krakens are back for another season of football. This time, they are gunning for the Galactic Bowl and are determined to win the championship. As usual, it’s not a smooth road to victory and there are things surrounding the team and Quentin that threaten not only their season but the team as a whole, their friendships, and even their lives.
I love this series. I am a fan of American football (I say that to distinguish our beloved game from that other one the rest of the world knows as football). The Galactic League was born of football, now spanning a galaxy-wide array of teams and a variety of sentient beings, not just earth natives. The basics of the game are familiar but the brutality is ramped up quite a few notches. Deaths during games are not unheard of. The books aren’t excessively bloody or gory, but players get hurt, sometimes devastatingly so. The series is a futuristic homage to a game the author definitely knows and loves.
I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but things don’t quite go the way Quentin plans them to, and the title might mislead some readers. The alien sentients are diverse and, well, alien. They have distinct societies and governments, although most are part of a greater empire, ruled by bat-like creatures who conquered and gave order and peace to the various worlds. They are also pretty universally hated. A few new characters are introduced and they fit in well with our known cast. More bits and pieces of the people we know from previous books are revealed. Quentin himself shows some glimmers of growth, but he (IMO) might be a bit more grown-up by now. Then again, I do see some things about him that remind me of certain celebrity types, both within the football world and without. He is still a bit of a spoiled brat, and lets his emotions and temper get away with him. I suppose that just makes him human (and he is one of the humans in the story). This book ends on a cliffhanger which is different for the series so far.
It’s a good book, with lots of action. The pacing is fast with small breaks in the action that let you catch your breath for a moment. It helps if you know at least a little about football since a lot of the book is set during games. Sports fan? Sci-fi fan? Action fan? These books will satisfy all of that.
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