Sunday, September 23, 2018

James Review -- Peacekeeper: A Peace Divided

This week I decided to review Peacekeeper: A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff. 

When the story begins, former Confederation Gunnery Sargent Torin Korr is leading one of the Confederation Justice Department’s new strike teams, elite units formed to deal with the threat posed by armed criminals and former soldiers turning to crime in the aftermath of the war between the Confederation and the Primacy. During a raid on a group of arms dealers, however, Kerr’s team finds a pistol. Due to how easy they are to conceal, handguns are banned by the Confederation to the point of attempting to wipe all knowledge of how to create them from member civilizations. Investigating the weapon soon leads to a theory that one of the Confederation’s largest weapons manufacturers may be linked to a human supremacist group plotting to seize power from the Elder Races that lead the Confederation.

Meanwhile an archaeological team on planet 33X73, a restricted world, is studying a long-fallen civilization and finds plastic in a latrine despite this civilization apparently never having developed plastic. This leads to rumors that the plastic is in fact the corpse of one of the bioplastic beings responsible for the war between the Confederation and the Primacy, and soon a group of attackers arrives to force the archaeologists to find and hand over the rumored anti-plastic weapon even though no such weapon has been proven to exist.
Kerr’s strike team is sent to rescue the surviving scientists, but due to the presence of Primacy members among the hostile force, this mission becomes the first planned joint operation combining Confederation and Primacy forces. On top of the difficulties in merging soldiers from two distinct-- and recently opposing--forces into one, it is soon revealed that one of the Primacy team members has kin among the attackers. Matters become worse when one of the Primacy soldiers is captured, mistaken for another who the attackers believe can aid their mission. And during the desperate mission to free the prisoners the true secrets of 33X73 will be discovered…

I give this book 7 out of 10. I like the characters and the overall story, but there are many sections I wish had been covered in more detail, and I would have liked to learn more about the Primacy’s culture. Also, I feel the Confederation handgun ban and its apparent effectiveness are so absurdly unrealistic that it utterly cripples my ability to suspend disbelief. Even if all legal handguns were banned, as long as there is any gun manufacturing industry, it is far too easy to make the jump from other guns to handguns for such a ban to be even remotely effective, or worth the effort, to attempt to enforce in my opinion.

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