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March in Country by E.E. Knight book review

March in Country by E.E. KnightMarch in Country is the latest book in the Vampire Earth series and it carries on the same story as Fall with Honor and Winter Duty, as Valentine plays a role in bringing Kentucky out of the grip of the Kurian Order. Knight is clearly working with American history, and the last three novels have been trying to turn Valentine from a commando into a commander of armies. But Winter Duty was weak, and too many Kentucky novels may have made the series too joyless, so March in Country sends off Valentine from Kentucky to Missouri to pull a Grog population out of the grip of the Gray Baron, a top human servant of the alien Kurians, and back to Kentucky.

The material isn’t all that new, we’ve seen Valentine working in the Kurian order’s perverse societies before, but it’s a vast improvement over Winter Duty. March in Country has more content and a grander scale operation, on par with what Fall with Honor promised us. But there are major logic flaws. Some of it may be bad editing. But March in Country is full of events that happen for no real reason. The entire climactic showdown with the Grey Baron happens out of thin air. And it doesn’t get much better from there.

Knight has always had problems with anticlimactic endings, and March in Country is no different. There are solid moments, including an ambush by a school of teenagers and a battle against the Delta, but just as Winter Duty had Valentine miss the major battle, so does March in Country. And then there is the traitor from the last novel, who has somehow become a trusted operative with no explanation given of how the transition happened. A hidden lifeweaver is revealed and then possibly merged with Valentine or not, it’s hard to tell. March in Country is a large book, but there’s too much missing. Like the rest of the series, it’s a decent enough fast food read, but the narrative doesn’t hold together as well as it should.

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