Friday, July 24, 2015

James Review -- Vicky Peterwald: Survivor

This week I decided to review Vicky Peterwald: Survivor by Mike Shepherd. When the story begins, Vicky and Gerrit Schlieffen, her naval bodyguard, are flying towards the planet Saint Petersburg in an antiquated shuttle hoping to meet the mayor of the planet’s capital. Meanwhile, the planet’s ground control is ordering them to turn back and threatening to shoot them down, but in the end, they reach their meeting safely and manage to find the mayor despite him not wanting to meet them. Vicky eventually manages to recruit many of the local leaders to aid in her plan to rebuild the local economic and industrial base which has been left in ruins due to extreme neglect from the Greenfield Empire’s central government, now run by Vicky’s stepmother Ana and her family in all but name. 

In the aftermath of the meetingm the convoy Vicky is travelling in is attacked by assassins seeking the price Ana has placed on Vicky’s head, leaving Gerrit critically injured and needing long treatment to return to service. He is replaced by Franz Boch, his roommate at the academy. Vicky soon returns to work gathering merchant ships to carry relief goods to nearby worlds, and she is assigned to the Disdain-class cruiser Attacker to lead the convoy which she takes to the mining world Presov.

 While on Presov she discovers that the local mining company which rules the world is greatly abusing its workers, and she seizes control of the company, arresting its leaders and appointing new ones to reorganize the world and restore its productivity. She then moves on to the nearby world of Poznan where she must face a local warlord who has appointed himself Duke of the world and armed his forces with weapons left behind when the Greenfield Empire disbanded and purged its State Security force. Vicky returns to St. Petersburg to find that she is being given a battleship to serve as her transport, while her allies have discovered that the mangers of Presov were bribed by Ana’s allies to reduce their output and make life horrible for their workers as part of a plot to collapse the Greenfield Empire and purge those Ana finds undesirable. 

Vicky begins trying to assemble a force for the inevitable battle against her stepmother, But her stepmother’s agents are closing in on the ground, while a fleet sent to put down the anticipated strikes on Presov is racing to its target and pirates roam the local space lanes, endangering the newly forged trade network that is vital to Vicky’s plans.

I give this book 7.5 out of 10. It wasn’t horrible but there was far too little action for my tastes and the action scenes in it were mostly very short and usually too one sided for my tastes. Plus I feel the author is going extremely overboard on the wicked stepmother cliche. At times, it felt like I was reading a bad fairy tale set in space. But, overall, despite the flaws, it was fun and I look forward to seeing what comes in book three. 

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