The Rats, the Bats, and the Ugly by Eric Flint and Dave Freer

The Rats, the Bats, and the UglyPublished: 2004

Genre: military science fiction

Length: 560 pages

Setting: Harmony and Reason, far future, immediately following the events of Rats, Bats, and Vats

Interest: I wanted to finish the story started by Rats, Bats, and Vats. It is a Baen book, so you can get it electronically as well.

Summary: Chip’s rescue of Ginny and the subsequent destruction of the Magh’ scorpiary threatens to expose the treachery of the Korozhet. To try and maintain control, the top brass orders a trial of Fitz and Chip, bringing in the secret service branch t create evidence against them. Ginny is taken back to her house under control by a doctor, trying to drug her into compliance. A legal team is assembled to defend Chip and Fitz since the prosecutor’s case is full of holes and lies. The rats and bats conspire to free Ginny from her prison of a house. At the same time, the scientists are working to develop defenses against the Korozhet, particularly the command bias found in all the soft-cyber implants. The Korozhet decide to cut their losses on Harmony and Reason and gather all the humans to be mind-wiped for slaves. This precipitates a battle against the Korozhet, which the humans ultimately win.

Final thoughts: The book delivered what I was hoping for – some action, some intrigue, and nothing too deep. That being said, it wasn’t quite as good as the first book. The rats and bats, in particular, felt tacked on to the story. We were back in the city with a lot more humans, though, so it wasn’t too surprising. Once again, Ginny started out as the helpless maiden in distress, but stepped it up when she realized no one was coming to rescue her. Having Sanjay be killed by the main bad guy was a bit melodramatic, but OK fine. We did get to see some more of life on the Korozhet ship, which was interesting. Overall, an enjoyable book.

Title comes from: It sticks with the naming schema from the first book. The Ugly part could refer to the actions of the Korozhet or the top brass in the military clutching to keep power.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 63/100 in the Read-a-Latte Challenge

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