Ah, see this is more like it. The Almost Coup (pronounced COO fools) is the second book in Kenneth Tams Defense Command series, and it tops the first by a great margin.
The story features Ken and Karen making a race home to Earth after the events of The Rouge Commodore to warn them of the coming Martian assault. But unbenounced to them a political force back home (lead by all-around asshole Caddlecott) has sprung up to try and put the DC out of commission right when they need it most.
The tension keeps mounting through the brunt of the book and does a great job of keeping the reader in a state of constant climax. The action rises on two fronts, both on the battle lines and at home, and shows great characterization and well-thought-out plot development. It also features great humor. I’ve become enamored to Tam’s wry, dry style; but sometimes I get the feeling that he’s making a joke that I just don’t get. It makes me wonder if I’d appreciate a rereading of the first novel in the series.
Upon a careful search on Wikipedia, I’ve discovered that The Rouge Commodore and The Almost Coup were released on the same day, as seems to be practice with the DC books. It kind of makes me wonder if that explains the difference between the books: if Tam was editing them at once as one big story, he may have been less inclined to notice the pacing flaws in the first novel. On a similar note, many readers may never notice, because if they bought both books at once and read it as one large story it might be better received: a slow start with an epic finish. A search on Amazon discovers that the series is now collected into a volume of four books. This is likely the way it is best to be read, as the remaining year came out later the following year.
Still, I have to judge each book individually… And this one gets high grades. 5/5. The Almost Coup is definitely a coup for great literature.