Books Military Science Fiction

Hellfire – Another enjoyable book in the series

HellfireHellfire (Theirs Not to Reason Why, #3) by Jean Johnson
My rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Her story began in the national bestsellers A Soldier’s Duty and An Officer’s Duty. Now Ia is captain and commander at the helm of Hellfire, where she is finally free to chart the course for the fulfillment of her destiny…


As captain, Ia must now assemble a crew that can rise to the ultimate challenge of saving the galaxy. The hardest part will be getting them to believe her, to trust in her prophecies. If they don’t, her own crew will end up being the biggest obstacle in her race against time.


The Salik are breaking through the Blockade, plunging the known galaxy into war. Ia cannot stop it this time, nor does she want to. This is the terrible price she has seen all along—that some must pay with their lives so that others might live. Now only time itself can prove whether each member of her crew is merely a soldier or truly one of Ia’s Damned.

This is the third installment in the series and, even though these books are not without a fault or two, I still find them enjoyable reading. Ia have now graduated from the navy officers school and given command of a ship, and not just any ship. It is time for some Salik clobber time.

There are plenty of enjoyable action in this book. At he same time, as the previous book did, it sometimes slows down and becomes a bit boring. Also, as in previous books Ia’s speeches can be a bit over the top at times. Luckily the action and the good parts of the book weighs up the not so good parts with quite a margin.

The space action is perhaps not on the level of the best authors out there but it is still enjoyable and comes with a reasonable amount of believability. Well, if you discount some minor details like the fact that the ship’s captain can predict the future etc. Speaking of predicting the future, I thought the incident somewhere around two-thirds into the book was not so well thought through. I mean, Ia have carefully predicted and planned the future and for some reason she did not see this coming? Okay, it made for a spicy episode afterwards but I felt her lapse of judgement needed a bit more reason behind it.

One thing that I find somewhat annoying is the attitude of the high brass against Ia. She has saved their bacon and pulled miracles over and over again and they still give her a hard time and with stupid idiotic arguments as well. I know that some of them are compromised by the Feyori but not all of them. That is just so frustrating. Having said that I also have to say that reading her taking down their “arguments” is very enjoyable.

As in the previous books Ia is evolving even though her academy years are over. I do miss those parts but then, she cannot be a junior forever if one want the story to progress. Anyway, when it comes to Ia, evolving means more than just maturing psychologically but I will not spoil the book by going into details on that. I do hope that this particular thread in the story does not go all overboard though.

The ending of the book was perhaps somewhat predictable but regardless of that, after having read said predictable ending, I am indeed eager to see where the story takes us next. Overall a fun book to read and I am looking forward to the next one in the series.

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