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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review: The Back Channel (Human Division #6) by John Scalzi


The Back Channel (The Human Division, #6)The Back Channel by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the sixth of thirteen installments in The Human Division, a serial novel by John Scalzi. New installments are released on Tuesdays, though the entire book will be released, as well. As much as it might frustrate a reader to jump around between installments all at once, we're almost at the halfway point, which may be too much for some to catch up on.

This episode introduces members of the Conclave, a group of alien races allied for common benefit. Apparently they've encountered humans before, and came out far worse for the confrontation. They lost ships, while the humans lost nothing. Understandably, they're wary about facing them head-on.

The story is told mostly through the perspective of Hafte Sorvahl, a very tall and imposing alien woman, who's sent to encourage the Colonial Union to remove its "wildcat" colonies (colonies who happen to have CDF officers among them) from unauthorized worlds before it starts a diplomatic incident. Along the way, she eats some churros and negotiates with some white supremacist types.

The human who speaks to Sorvahl has shown up in previous installments, and I'm starting to wonder where he stands. His actions in this episode serve the greater good of the CU and all sentient races, but he's involved in so much that I can't imagine his ability to keep secrets hasn't come in handy in other ways.

We'll see.

I listened to the audio version of this episode, as with all the previous ones, and found no change in the quality of narration or sound. If you're an Audible member, these actually turn out to be less expensive on audio than on ebook, and they're a quick listen. If you do want to catch up, I recommend you pick up the audio versions.


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