Thursday, February 22, 2018

Aragami Cover Reveal

Here it is, people: the official cover for Aragami. Much thanks to Ramon Moncairap for putting this together. I'm shooting for a March 13 release, but I won't put it up for pre-order until all the formatting has been accomplished which hopefully won't take too long.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

James Review -- Kris Longknife: Admiral

This week I decided to review Kris Longknife: Admiral by Mike Shepherd. 

Kris Longknife was assigned to establish an embassy in the Iteeche Empire. But when she arrived she found that the empire was in the middle of a civil war and that the Emperor had requested her presence so he could give her command of the loyalist fleet. 

This book opens with Kris leading a training exercise which turns into a battle when a number of her captains turn against her. After defeating the turncoat vessels, Kris returns to the Imperial capital just in time to save some of the merchants that came along in hopes of negotiating trade deals from public execution.

Once back on the Imperial capital Kris struggles to work her way through the Iteeche military bureaucracy to gain information that would aid her efforts against the rebels while also trying to maintain the peace between the human merchants and the Iteeche. Also she finds herself facing an attempt to assassinate her and the emperor in one blow when rebel agents attempt to force a vessel she is planning to disassemble to crash. And she also faces an ongoing struggle to find ways to incorporate human advances into the Loyalist ships without violating traditions held dear by the Iteeche

Eventually the rebels attack a key loyalist industrial center and the loyalist fleet under Longknife’s direct command moves to assist the planet’s defenders. But when they arrive they swiftly realize the attack was a diversion, leading to a desperate race to defend the Imperial capital’s population from a rebel attack force that massively outnumbers Longknife’s fleet.

I give this book 8 out of 10. I liked learning some more about the Iteeche culture and the various problems Longknife encountered because of Iteeche beliefs and taboos. But while I usually love the battle scenes in this series, I found the climatic battle in this book very disappointing. Also, I had hoped the five year time skip in the setting would lead to a restored diversity in warship types. Instead it seems like almost all the warships seen are battlecruisers. I’ve always been interested in ship classes and types and I find this uniformity boring.