This week I decided to review Kris Longknife: Defender by Mike Shepherd. When the book begins the heroine and namesake of the series has made contact with a world populated by both a non-space faring indigenous species and a group of shipwrecked humans, including her grandmother who was believed to have been killed during a war long before the birth of Kris. She sends news back home which brings her Grandfather, King of one of the largest alliances of Human worlds, racing to reunite with his estranged wife. He brings with him a group of new advanced frigates and everything needed to build a support station for them. He appoints Kris commander of the forces assigned to the system. This leaves Kris having to deal with problems ranging from an angry captain who views her as an undisciplined hellion, learning as much as she can about the enemy she faces from wrecked ships and ruined worlds, and convincing the native species the aliens who have been stripping nearby worlds of everything down to air and water have to be stopped to repelling attacks on her position while finding a way to obtain food supplies when its discovered the planet she is defending doesn’t produce enough excess food to handle having a fleet’s worth of extra mouths added to the eaters. She also manages to find time to get married in the havoc.
I give this book a 9 out of 10. The Author is fast becoming one of my favorites due to his skill at writing space combat both ship to ship and fleet actions, the problems Kris faces as she tries to establish and support her base and fleet are well thought out. I would rate it higher but there were a few questions I felt should have been asked by characters in the story which never came up. Not enough to ruin it by an stretch of the imagination but enough to keep it from being a perfect rating.