Friday, December 5, 2014

Kris Longknife: Tenacious review

This week I decided to review Kris Longknife: Tenacious by Mike Shepherd. When the book begins, Kris and her husband Jack are in the middle of their second attempt at a honeymoon, the first having been interrupted during the previous book. But this honeymoon is interrupted when a mission that was sent hunting for the homeworld of the genocidal aliens that are the current antagonists of the series returns with a likely location. As Kris is organizing a squadron to scout the suspected homeworld, a reinforcement fleet arrives with a number of warships and support vessel to join Kris’ fleet at Alwa and orders promoting her to the rank of Vice Admiral. After setting up the integration of the new ships and training of their crews, Kris leads her task force to the alien homeworld. There they find a stone age people with a trophy gallery of the hundreds of species that the aliens have exterminated, and after much effort, along with a disaster, they manage to find a few aliens willing to accept help and learn their story. Over a hundred thousand years prior to the book, the aliens, who call themselves the People, were a peaceful stone age level race. Then they were enslaved by an alien race from a neighboring system. After about ten thousand years the People revolted and exterminated their enslavers. After this, the People split into two groups. One group set out in spacecraft to exterminate all life that might someday be a threat to the People while the other returned home and took up the ways of their pre-enslavement ancestors, with the starfaring people destroying any of the second group who tried to advance beyond stone age technology. With this knowledge, Kris returns to Alwa just in time to discover a freighter that is fleeing the system. Fearing that the freighter could be captured by the People thus revealing where the majority of human worlds are to an enemy dedicated to destroying all life not their own, Kris set out in pursuit. When her forces catch up with the freighter they also discover the survivors of the first People mothership they defeated who are trying to build a new mothership, and a world inhabited by a sentient feline species that is at approximately the 1950s technology level complete with nukes. Admiral Longknife is forced to attempt to unify the newly discovered world and set them on the path towards space travel before setting out to destroy the People forces in the system. And when she returns to Alwa she will find more surprises waiting there…
 I give this book an 8.5 out of 10. The portions on the People homeworld were an interesting--and chilling--example of what happens when the conquered revolt and become worse than their conquerors. I thought the interactions with the feline species should have had more space given to it, and the battles were few, and nowhere near the quality of the author’s best combat scenes. 

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