reviews

Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition, Vol. 2 (Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition, #2) by Greg Rucka - Book Review

Write on: Fri, 19 Feb 2021 by  in Max's Reviews Read 1058

“Everyone uses everyone, Tee. Way of the world, isn’t it?”

When I first began reading Queen and Country, by Greg Rucka, I was by no means a spy thriller aficionado. In fact, I’m still not. His stories, however, have opened up a whole new genre for me that I can’t seem to get enough of. In Volume Two, Rucka decreases the action, and increases the drama, while the story reaps the benefits. 

Assassinations, political manipulations and backstabbing, and blackmail. These are all things that Tara Chace – Minder Two of London’s S.I.S. – has had to contend with during her tenure as a field agent. But when another agent with whom she had been close to suddenly dies – with no apparent foul play – while on an operation abroad, Chace is faced with one of the most difficult trials of her career. 

I found Queen and Country, Vol. 2 to be superior to the first volume, and I absolutely loved the first volume. This is due, in part, to two factors: Rucka’s storytelling and Carla Speed McNeil’s illustrations in the book’s second story arc, "Operation: Stormfront." Rucka has put Chace through the proverbial ringer before, but never on such a personal level, the effects of which are indelible for her character. Chace is forced to carry the weight of both a personal and professional loss (not to mention the ongoing impact of her actions from the first volume), while at the same time navigating the political machinations of some in the government she’s sworn to work for. 

Likewise, McNeil’s art on "Stormfront" is exceptional. Through vivid facial expressions and body language, her pictures speak loudly, adding even more emotional depth to compliment Rucka’s excellent narrative.

This is not to say that the other arcs in Vol. 2 aren’t good. As a matter of fact, they’re quite exhilarating. In the opener, "Operation: Blackwall", Chace is thrust into a mission dealing with the blackmail of a wealthy, French elite, who just so happens to be the father of one of her college friends; and in "Operation: Dandelion", political maneuverings threaten to change the game for not only Chace, but her colleagues and superiors as well. 

Queen and Country, Vol. 2 is a fascinating, deeply personal look at the life of a field agent in the world of espionage. At times ruthless and at times heart wrenching, the story of Tara Chace is always thrilling.

Max

Max’s passion for fantastic stories began with weekly trips to the comic book store as a child. Now an English teacher at a boarding school, he is always reading. Max has written for sites like Geeks of Doom and SF Signal, where he created the Indie Author Spotlight. Max lives in Connecticut with his wife – who graciously embraces his need to display action figures all over the house – and daughter, who is inheriting her parents’ affinity for books.