Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kris Longknife: Defender (review)


4 out of 5 stars

Kris Longknife: Defender by Mike Shepherd is part of the imaginative and exciting science fiction series featuring the eponymous heroine who continues to display the heroism and innovative thinking that she has become known for. The discovery of a long lost relative who has formed an alliance with bird-like aliens known as the Alwans is complicated by ongoing threat of annihilation by the inimical beings whose goal seems to be widespread destruction. Kris and her associates, faced with very real threats to their continued existence also examine their personal desires and the rules dictating permissible relationships. As usual, the intrepid princess assesses her options and takes decisive action, both in her personal and professional lives. She is ably assisted by her various allies, including some who arrive in the nick of time to aid her in her defense of yet another world, but there are still a few detractors, including an officer who has reason to resent Kris’ success. Fortunately, it is difficult to keep a Longknife stymied for long and Kris has no trouble living up to her reputation.

This fun and entertaining addition to an exquisitely well-developed space opera saga provides the action and remarkable warfare that has characterized the series. There are a surprising number of relationships which seem to proliferate in this particular volume, some of which seem to be a more natural progression than others but it was nice to see the main romance finally progress even if some of the scenes felt a little awkward to me. I enjoy the multiplicity of functions that the remarkable Smart Metal facilitates and am intrigued by the repurposing of the compartments and delighted by the way the furniture shifted to assist Kris (particularly in dealing with recalcitrant newcomers). This author continues to display his wonderful imagination which explores various scenarios possible after contact with other beings and the breathtaking battles which result continue to enthrall. The interpersonal relationships described are a work in progress and hopefully will become less of a jarring note but one cannot help but be curious about how Kris’ life will continue to progress to accompany her meteoric rise in rank as she juggles the myriad roles thrust upon her. Stay tuned for more breathtaking adventures!

© Night Owl Reviews

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I am a big fan of space opera and have enjoyed many of the stories in this series.  I am not sure how believable the romantic elements are since they don't quite flow as smoothly as I would like and I thought there was a fair bit of gratuitous nudity in this particular story but the science fiction elements never fail to intrigue me.  This is number 11 in the series (I believe) and some of the previous titles (which all start with "Kris Longknife") include:  Redoubtable (my review is at this link), Daring (my review is at this link), and Furious (my review is at this link). 


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