Choice of the Cat (audio) by E.E. Knight
David Valentine returns home for a break in Choice of the Cat, but his rest is short-lived, as he quickly becomes the victim of military bureaucracy and is given a special assignment: he is to partner with a special agent who goes by the code name Smoke. Smoke, a small, attractive female killer with mild psychotic tendencies, is a specialized soldier called a Cat. While we learned a little about Cats in Way of the Wolf, we get to see what it’s like to be one in Choice of the Cat. Valentine (now code-named Ghost) and Smoke are assigned to gather intel on a group of Nazi-like super soldiers who are under Kurian control. These “Twisted Cross” soldiers are capable of organized destruction and have been to known to wipe out entire fortified cities overnight. This may sound a little silly, but if you’ve read the first book, you know what you’re getting into (and if you are contemplating reading the VAMPIRE EARTH series, check out our reviews of Way of the Wolf).
The story format E.E. Knight chose is the same as the first book: Valentine is placed in one tight situation after another, and usually cracks a few heads to get his way out. It’s fun, a tad bawdy, and exactly what you want from this type of book. There are books that enlighten you, make you cry, or try to change you for the better. Then there are the books that just kick ass and chew bubble gum, and are all out of bubble gum (thank you Duke Nukem). Choice of the Cat is that second type of book. There are no elves, no fairies, and no magical glades of wonder. Guns, explosions, punches to the face, and just a touch of the human spirit are what you get in the VAMPIRE EARTH series.
I listened to Choice of the Cat on Audio CD by Brilliance Audio. The novel is once again read by the talented Christian Rummel. (Go back to my Way of the Wolf review to see exactly how I feel about Rummel.) Suffice it to say that he fails to disappoint in this sequel. As the number of characters increases, so does the range of voices he has to cover, and he manages all of it without ever breaking you out of the narrative flow. This is a fun book and a very nice addition to Brilliance Audio’s library of titles. Highly recommended to those who like action-adventure type SF&F.