In this third volume of the David Birkenhead series, David Birkenhead, former slave and recent Academy graduate, finds himself defending a deserted outpost against overwhelming odds. Following a rabbit into a brier-patch isn't a good idea, however, and David has salvaged weapons, a fortified position, and a crew of loyal but untrained slavebunnies, pitted against the fullIn this third volume of the David Birkenhead series, David Birkenhead, former slave and recent Academy graduate, finds himself defending a deserted outpost against overwhelming odds. Following a rabbit into a brier-patch isn't a good idea, however, and David has salvaged weapons, a fortified position, and a crew of loyal but untrained slavebunnies, pitted against the full might of the Empire. "Whatever you do, please, don't throw me in that brier patch!"Rabbits have been outwitting their enemies for as long as rabbits have had enemies, and that's a very long time indeed. But few bunnies have ever found themselves in as tight as a spot as recent Academy-graduate David Birkenhead, assigned to Graves Registration work and trapped far behind enemy lines by the unexpected outbreak of war. Nor have many lapines been forced to make-do with such a miserable brier patch-- the highly strategic (and aptly-named) Zombie Station, already twice-crushed by Imperial forces and now garrisoned only by rotting corpses. David's superior officers are incompetent or worse. The guns don't work. His only effective troops are illiterate slavebunnies. No one would reasonably expect an officer in his position to hold out against a major Imperial offensive for as long as five minutes. But, as the universe is about to learn, there aren't any other officers like David Birkenhead....
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|Number of Pages||:||151 Pages|
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Review: Lieutenant, by Phil GeuszThis is the third book in the David Birkenhead series. I reviewed the first two books already. It’s the story of the apparently epic career of… well, a rabbit in the royal space navy. More specifically, he’s a genetically engineered rabbit-human crossbreed, raised as a part of a slave race but elevated to the status of a free person in reward for an act of bravery.Lieutenant picks up David’s story as he gets his first assignment following his graduation from the naval academy. Just as plenty of people tried to push him down in the academy, the defenders of the status quo intend to tuck him out of the way, never to be seen again. So, instead of the ship engineering position he desperately wanted, he is posted to graves registration, seeing to the collection and proper burial of the humans who have fallen in service to the king.Disappointed, he does what he can to perform at his best, but he is starting to accept that he will never escape this dead-end job and will simply have to serve out the remainder of his term before trying to find his way in the civilian world. But then, as plot contrivances would have it, he finds himself out on assignment collecting bodies from an old battle that sparks back to life. Left in command by acts of foolishness and desertion by his superior officers, he has to face impossible odds, resigning himself to die in a hopeless cause.To some extent, this is young Birkenhead facing the Kobayashi Maru challenge from Star Trek, deciding how to face death and lead his fellow officers and rabbits willingly to it, but much like James T. Kirk, he does not believe in the no-win scenario, and woe be to the enemy who expects him to lay down and die peacefully.So, in that respect, it’s a great bit of space opera worthy of any of the better known authors and universes. But I still have to admit, it’s this rabbit thing that makes it both really weird and strangely compelling. In many ways, Birkenhead’s status as a free rabbit acts as a placeholder for any groundbreaking career officer, perhaps the first black officer or the first female officer here in the U.S. He faces many of the same challenges that they would, from the prejudices of his fellow officers to the outright hatred of those who must defend the status quo against the inevitable pressures of the future. On top of that, he is dealing with both the admiration of his fellow rabbits as well as their own preconceptions of subservience and inadequacy. And yet he is also dealing with many problems that are unique to being a rabbit instead of a pure human. He eats different food, so he’s not necessarily welcome in the officer’s wardroom. He’s covered in fur, and that makes a difference in some of the special engineering suits they require. And for that matter, his feet are enormous by human standards, so his dress uniform is decidedly lacking in the polished boots department. So, all of that keeps this from being a simple proxy for the standard “first minority officer” story, and that combination, as I said, keeps it both weird and compelling.The title of the next book hints at his continued rise through the ranks, and I’m looking forward to reading it. I’d rip right through the whole series, but I’m trying to pace myself.
This is pretty much a direct continuation of the previous book in the series. Actually I am almost tempted to call them short stories instead of books since they are so…short. I almost wrote my previous review as a review of both the previous one and this one since I finished both in two evenings.As with the previous ones I quite liked it. Actually I like them more and more even though I still have some serious gripe about the rabbit stuff. It’s such a shame that the author got this silly idea. In this book it actually annoyed me more than the previous ones since the story contains an episode of food shortages and actually discusses rabbit digestive systems. Apparently the author is either ignorant about the digestive system of a rabbit or chose to “forget” certain details. Especially the process called cecotrophy. You have to look that one up yourselves in case you’re reading this close to a meal time (in which case you would want to wait) by the way.Otherwise I think this book was the best one so far. It of course starts off with him being screwed buy the political manipulators and back stabbers. His assignment is nevertheless a rather unusual twist and a fairly enjoyable read. Said back stabbers of course think that they have disposed of David for good but it doesn’t take long until he gets into quite some action and, not surprisingly, comes out on top. Not only that but he deals with at least one of the worthless human “officers” in a quite satisfactory way.So again a nice read despite my main gripe with it.
In book 3, Lieutenant, David Birkenhead leaves childhood behind and more adult themes come into play. Best of the series by far. I have read the series to the end and the first three books make an excellent grouping by themselves. The final four books take on the more adult themes and follow a mature sentient, therefore are not quite as lively as a result.Note this book covers sexual abuse (very tastefully), starvation, and using just about anything around to win a battle, even respected dead corpses. The sexual abuse is very lightly touched on and happens off screen; thereafter the only mention is stuff like "Nestor once had something bad happen".I am enjoying how each military adventure becomes gradually more of a thought/strategy challenge to the main character. Each book concentrates on one military exploit of High Space Opera genre. The book also gave me insight into a little touched upon military aspect - cleaning up battlefields and retrieving the dead for burial with honors. The MacGyver solutions David (the rabbit) brings to defending a twice-defeated and presently unmanned space station makes the book a classic for people who love this sort of thing!Overall, I find the flavor and pacing of the series similar to Kris Longknife (by Mike Shepherd).
This third book in the David Birkenhead series is quite the page-turner. Assigned to a particularly odious detail for being (forgive me phrasing it this way) and uppity Rabbit, our hero nonetheless not only turns his assignment into something useful but manages to turn both his Royal navy and the enemy Imperials on their collective ear. Without giving away anything that you wouldn't get from the descriptive blurb, I'll just say that this bunny kicks Imperialist tail with exceptional skill and more than a little flair. Geusz continues to tell a great story. Highly recommended.
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/13359306Much more exciting than the previous book in the series. He handles the hard science as deftly as the emotional truth of his characters. I'm still not a fan of the covers or the titles, but there's no arguing with the style or plot points, except that I would have added more commas. Rabbits must hate commas.
Another great book in the series. Thoroughly enjoyed it, moving on to Commander.
Wow. Action! :)
This entire series is some of the best young-adult fiction I've read in decades. The stories and characters are on-par with Mr. Hornblower, Mr. Aubrey and Dr. Maturin.