Spoiler Free Summary: Operation Breakout byJ.R. Handley is the third book in The Sleeping Legion series. I’ve read the others. Here’s the review for book one, and here’s the review for book two.
The Human Legion is still putting the pieces together following a crippling betrayal, but they’re fighting back. They’re working to take the continent while keeping a hold on their fragile, newly-formed union.
Character: I got frustrated with Lance’s arc in this. He’s still pretty much a badass, and it’s not so much the challenges he faced that bothered me; it was more the way he handled those challenges emotionally. Again, this book is great for readers who like fast-paced action, but there are too many characters in too few pages for me to keep straight. I have a few that I liked, but they didn’t get the air time I wanted. Honestly, these books always feel like they need to be another hundred thousand words or so to justify the number of points of view. It’s more of a lost opportunity than anything else, but it’s been my gripe on the series from book one.
Exposition: Three books in, I expected this to get better, and it did. I didn’t feel much in the way of info dumping. I think Handley improved his description and dialogue to reduce the amount of “telling” vs “showing.”
Worldbuilding: A race (one reason the number of characters hurt is that I can’t really recall this race exactly…they’re basically giant war rabbits…) gets center stage, and I appreciate when scifi has non-human characters take center stage. They were cool to watch. We get more insight. I think this was the best in the series in regard to this category.
Dialogue: There wasn’t exactly a lot of it when I think about it. What was there felt pretty decent. I thought it was average. I remember some of the back and forth best.
Description: Handley took another step forward in this. It wasn’t so much the amount, but the placement I noticed. I found the world more inviting because I could see what I needed to see when I needed to see it. It’s fun watching a new writer develop like that. Each book was better than the last.
Overall: While it didn’t have some of the arc I wanted from book two, it had what the others have. If you like scifi action at a fast pace, this book won’t disappoint. There’s more development here than in the first two, but readers will have to keep their eyes sharp to keep track of which character is where. Quick reads like this do help to break up the monotony and rest the eye from some of the thicker tomes I usually read. This had more action that the others (a huge plus). The fight scenes were particularly fun. If you like his work, you’ll like this book.
Thanks for reading,