Strands of Sorrow (Book 4 of Black Tide Rising)
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
Did I mention that this series just keeps getting better? Oh, good because this book is definitely the best of the lot so far. It's actually hard to pin down exactly which part is the best (would that be the best of the best?) though. The entire book is one long roller coaster. Faith is pretty much still doing her thing, but Sophia is now a (semi)trained helo pilot. No mean feat considering that her training before sitting in the copilot's seat was reading the manual.
Wolf Squadron has finally started clearing the US mainland . . . from both ends. General Montana is heading a force working from the pacific and traveling east, while wolf starts on the east coast. Each has their own . . . unique set of problems, and solutions.
I must admit the Colonel on Blount Island really pissed me off on the first reading. On a second reading I'd have to say that while Faith was out of line, his attempt at relieving her of her commission was so far over the line it was sad. I don't claim to be an expert in military law, but I think Faith was within her rights to shoot him in the head when he tried, for mutiny in combat.
Either way I'd never trust the fuck stick with command of a two man rowboat afterwards. His actions (including the inability to clear Blount with 600 marines) suggest a complete buddy screwer. Someone who would wait till he could plant a knife in Faith's back and who will do anything to get ahead. He went from zero to taking authority he didn't have in three sentences. In short his attitudes strike me as that of a political officer, which might explain why he was commandant of a training facility.
And Steve doesn't do anything about it, because: impartiality! I mean, its a cut and dry issue. It's not open to interpretation or debate. It's not a decision based on personalities or opinions. But he is so concerned about showing the slightest concern for his daughters that he will let people walk all over them. What kind of example does that set?
My only other issue with this story is the reaction of virtually every officer when a fucktard higher in the chain of command than Galloway shows up and tries to sentence all remaining survivors to death by decreeing an immediate stop to clearance operations. Oh, and charge virtually everyone in Wolf Squadron with crimes against humanity for performing the very acts that saved her. Do you even hypocrite bro . . .
And what is their response? Shrug and 'that's the way it goes'. The elections are only a year and a half away. Of course everyone in every shelter will be dead of starvation or dehydration first. But we took an oath. We can't violate that oath because we'll lose our honor. We can't make a Junta. Which, by the way, isn't the case when Galloway is put back in charge. And how much honor do you have when you'd rather let those people die than break your word?
I get it. Such acts are a dangerous precedent. And deciding you can kill someone because they stand in the way of progress is the first step on the road to dictator. But we're talking about countless people's lives here. The very people they agreed to protect and defend, even at the cost of their lives.
And the worst part here is that a precedent was set earlier in the books by the Russians. No one had an issue with them killing their leader to stop his crazy from making things worse. Does anyone think they didn't have to break an oath for the greater good of humanity?
Personally I'd have locked the crazy bitch back in the hole they pulled her out of, seeing as how she deplores the acts it took to rescue her and all. Barring that I'd have shot her and surrendered for execution. But leaving the hypocritical bitch in charge should never have even been considered.
That said, it does allow for Faith and Sophia to do some amazing hero shit. But the truth is the more heroic the act the more dangerous. And making them have to take such a hail Mary approach to stop a person unqualified to hold the position of idiot isn't exactly honorable either. Honor is a fickle thing really.
Despite the above rant (that really only covers about 2 chapters) I enjoyed this book most of the series so far. Faith's birthday is a great bit. The ending is powerful, although not as good as the previous book. My biggest issue with Ringo is he seems to have a very optimistic view of humanity. Every problem person gets with the program (exept the Sec. Ed.). No one is trying to screw the other guy to get ahead. It's a refreshing view, I'll grant, but I'm a cynic. Still, I give this a 94%.