Thursday, October 22, 2015
Scout's Duty, by Henry Vogel, is now on Amazon
I reviewed an advance copy of Scout's Duty here on my blog on March 3. Henry has just added this third volume of the trilogy (Scout's Oath & Scout's Honor) and I hope he sells a million.
Yesterday was the day Doc Brown and Marty McFly picked as a destination in the Back to the Future franchise. That was a good opportunity for the family to binge-watch all three movies, so we did.
(By the way, I hate watching movies with the family. I'm a grinch.)
The watching family, in case you care, consists of my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA; 10 year old Kenneth; 9 year old Alicia; adult daughter Elizabeth; son-in-law Vincent; and intermittently, the fat black Manx cat SugarBelly. And me. We have a big TV; it's ridiculously huge, something like six feet across or thereabouts. I don't know fer shure, I just paid for it, I don't watch it.
Anyway, one SPOILER ALERT scene where George McFly has an awesome day in the new and updated 1985 is the day his ....FIRST BOOK IS PUBLISHED!!!! And by the looks of things, must have gotten a huge advance, too, because there are lots of toys and cars and things at the McFly house.
I'm hoping that will happen for ALL of my friends who write, not just Henry; millions of bucks in advances to afford shiny cars and people who keep them shiny...
But, here's the recycled review from six months ago with minor edits for continuity. Or something.:
David Rice is a Scout, First Class. He's many other things as well, but being a Scout goes to the core, and has an impact on the kind of friend and the kind of husband he is. When he was a little boy, and later on an older boy, he loved listening to the stories of an old, retired Scout who lived across the street from him, so every thing he does is a culmination of a lifetime dedicated to the concept of duty.
In this book, David starts off at what most would consider the top of the heap. He's married to the beautiful Princess who is destined to rule her kingdom, and there is really only one other superpower on the planet. So, David could be content either to rest on his laurels, or set about a conquering the Tartegians and then ruling the entire planet. To his credit, neither course of action seem to appeal to him.
The outside world intrudes, through the wormhole in a crippled ship, David, being a Scout, goes to rescue them. And we get to meet the really, honest, no-kidding nasty bad guys, because that's no ordinary ship: it's PIRATES!!!
For a Juvenile/YA book to be good, in the Heinlein tradition, certain things HAVE to happen. The hero can't just stand off and give orders. He has to give the bad guys a fair fight. And, he has to win, in the end. And THIS is a good Juvenile! There's not a thing in here that would make me uncomfortable if I was reading it to my 10 year old, Kenneth. The pirates have tortured and tormented a young boy to make him into a cruel cyborg; David kills the cyborg, but not without a pang, as he considers that the boy was a victim, too. He refuses to lie to the bevy of gorgeous babes, scantily clad slaves forced to be entertainment for the captain: nope, he gives them shirts, and promises to do his best by them.
Okay, let's sum up: this is the best of the trilogy, in my opinion. It's clearly an excellent juvenile. It's also well written enough that I enjoyed reading it as well, and I am NOT a type who reads at the level of see Spot run! While you would benefit from reading the other two books (Scout's Oath and Scout's Honor), you don't have to read them first to enjoy this book. Give it some good cover art, and I'd be happy to see this in every school library in America.