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The Rookie - Scott Sigler Despite the fact that I dislike football (soccer and American) I loved this book. And it is my favourite of Scott Sigler's books so far.

In the Rookie the characterizations are strong creating a connection with the characters, even the various aliens species.

Quentin Barnes is a fully developed personality engendering empathy and even affection as he is introduced to the world of the Galactic Football League.

Each new setting, both alien worlds and space craft, are beautifully and imaginatively depicted, well suited to the history and physiology of the aliens they house.

But probably the element that gave me most enjoyment were the aliens themselves.
I am the kind of reader who finds it difficult to translate even Sigler's vivid descriptions of the aliens' physical presence into clear mental images. However the gradual development of the each race's personality throughout the story enabled me to differentiate easily between the different types of aliens and I developed a particular fondness for the Sklorno females.

I am not a great sports fan and when I encounter most 'action' descriptions I tended to bumble through them slightly bored and very confused with little idea of what is going on even when I do understand the rules of the game.
To make it worse American football is a totally mystery to me. Somewhat similar to rugby with padding and ridiculously frequent breaks for god-knows-what.
Scott Sigler has included additional episodes to explain the more basic rules and techniques which are clear and informative.
But the descriptions of the football matches are based on the personalties of the players rather than the intricacies of the play and recounted with such clarity that the reader will be infused with the excitement of every game.