Friday Review: The Champion (Galactic Football League #5) by Scott Sigler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the fifth installment in Sigler’s Galactic Football League series, and it picks up right where the fourth left off. Quentin Barnes, star quarterback of the Ionath Krakens and probably the most recognized sports figure in this future world, is off to the Portath Cloud to rescue his sister. He had been separated from her for many years, and only just reconnected in the previous book, when she was taken into the cloud by one of his many enemies. And the cloud is the place that no ship has ever returned from. Quentin and his teammates need to find a way to get to the cloud without either the ruling alien race or the team’s gangster owner finding out, rescue his sister, and get back in time for the start of the new football season.

Okay, I love football. And I love these books, but not only for the football, although it is obvious Sigler is a fan and knows the game. The future sport he portrays here is true to the essence of American football, but adds some really good far-future scifi elements to the game. Sure, there are aliens playing along with humans, and the game is more violent here, with deaths being a common statistic in the weekly league rundowns. Quentin has grown a lot over the course of these five books, moving from a naïve, racist youngster to a more mature leader for all of his team. The rest of the cast is mostly familiar, with Quentin’s teammates, coaches, and rivals here to help- or hinder. There is plenty of action, both on and off the field, although in this one, the football is the side story and what’s happening in the greater world takes more of a front seat. The ending was a shock, I admit, but it fit the story, however much it hurt (and it did).

You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy this series. Sure, the game is there, but the scifi is solid, and the stories are always about more than just the game. If you are a football fan, you’ll get plenty of game action, and a good story to go along with it. I definitely recommend it.

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