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Series: Kris Longknife
Author: Mike Shepherd
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Kris heads out into the vast reaches of space to investigate the area where Iteechee ships are disappearing. She wants a quick, small force that can get in, look and get out like hell was on their tails.
Due to politics however, she gets saddled with ships from all the main political groups [United Sentients, Peterwald Empire, etc, etc] and must forge them into one unit while keeping command herself.
And when the aliens are found, and found to be humanlike, but so hostile that they kill themselves, families and all, before there is even the chance of capture, Kris must decide how to play this. Does she start the next interstellar war, or does she toss in the chips and let the politicians at home make the decision.
This was a pretty good action/adventure story. However, the death of billions of the aliens by Kris’s hands was a hard pill to swallow. What kind of man is Shepherd that he thinks up a scenario where his character has to kill BILLIONS of people all at once to survive? The setup made it the correct and the ethical choice, but that scope? If this story was real life, Kris would soon go crazy from the guilt of her actions, no matter how right. That scope of death is not something that can be lightly shouldered.
The emergence of the romance between Kris and Jack is no surprise, to anyone. It really felt more like a plot device than anything else.
And the ending, where Kris is going to have face a court for her “crimes” against the aliens? It is a great setup for the next book but it really sucks as an ending for this one.