This book has some really wonderful elements. Even though it's sci fi, it's more a military novel, following t..Show More »he Navy career of Kris Longknife and the political structure of 100 planets with human life. We don't see any aliens, and most fantastic elements have to do with computers and technology. I should mention that the book was written in 1994, meaning that Nelly - Kris's personal (pet) AI computer - is probably a bit less powerful than the newest Android. Be it as it may, the story is excellent, and very, very military. If you're into the politics of internal command hierarchy, or into rescue and humanitarian distress mission, it's a fun read. Mike Shepherd does a good job with a 22-year-old female, but I think it's more because she's a soldier, and Mike Shepherd was Navy himself, so he knows a thing or two in the regard.
My only real criticism is that this book was a lack of cohesion - it seemed to be separated in three parts: rescue mission & return home (very well done; we really understand Kris's history from the mission, and we get a good understanding of her family - the prime minister family of an entire planet - from her return home); humanitarian mission on Olympia (this part sags. It tells us a lot of Kris's character and leadership abilities, but it gets too bogged down in the moral implications and reflections on a soldier's duties); and mission to attack (this is the crowning moment and the name-sake of the book). Unfortunately, these three parts don't meld too well. I would have liked to see a bit less soldiering, and more politicking, maybe more love interest.
Dina Pearlman is excellent (Anna Strong series, or Weather Warden series). She does a wonderful Irish accent, which takes up a good half-hour of reading when the Highlanders visit Olympia. She also does a great job with internal dialogue versus external dialogue is very important to the listener, and she does it well.
There were parts of the first book, Mutineer, that I thought could have been improved and Deserte..Show More »r addresses everything I found lacking. Nelly, Kris’s personal pet computer, was not fantastic enough (probably a bit less powerful than the newest Android). In Deserter, Nelly gets a major upgrade. Nelly now docks into Kris’s head and talks with Kris mentally. Nelly also starts developing a personality, one of a spoiled Justin Bieber fan. In Mutineer, Kris seemed more a soldier than a 22-year-old chick. In Deserter, with no military-appointed mission to follow, our heroine gets a lot more fem. Thanks to Kris’s new governess, we have some serious wardrobe changes, clothes descriptions, and other womanly upgrades.
Unlike in Mutineer, there's cohesion with Deserter. The subplots tie to together smoothly, and dip back to Mutineer, making the story flow easily from Kris arriving like a princess on Turantic via a Titanic-like luxury cruise ship to her going incognito as a limping Arabic boy. She seamlessly goes from a whore, to a maid, to a pregnant girl in a burqa. I also felt that Mutineer lacked the politicking I expected from a prime minister’s daughter. There’s so much of it in Deserter: the royal “we,” the dressing up, the appearances. Oh, and finally, things get sexier as well as more sophisticated. There’s tension, there’s flirting – no sex, but it’s not really needed. Also, I love the more-developed supporting character, like Abigail, the Q to Kris’s Bond. Hence the booby traps – actual falsies that turn into bombs!
I’ve previously mentioned how much I liked Dina Pearlman’s reading of the Mutineer, where she did a great job with internal dialogue versus external dialogue. This becomes more important in Deserter since Nelly and Kris now talk both externally and in Kris’s mind. On a textbook, that’s easy to figure out. In an audiobook, it’s all Dina Pearlman’s skill.
Defiant starts out like Down Periscope. The Navy promotes Kris to command an experimental ship full..Show More » of misfits no one else wants. Things change when Kris is arrested. Mike Shepherd describes the arrest with so much feeling and emphasis, I expected the trial to be a focal point. This changes when Kris is sent on a diplomatic mission to a planet Hikila (planet Hawaii), which turns into a hostage/terrorist situation. Sadly, very little of the book is spent on Kris’s rehabilitation from the arrest. About 8 hours into the book, Kris returns from Hikila and maybe five minutes of the audiobook are dedicated to a summary recounting of how while she was away a few people from Olympia talked to the media and charges were dropped. I would have loved to hear this part in detail. Instead, we have Tom and Penny’s wedding leading right into the major conflict of the book: the invasion. Disjointedness aside, the invasion was great. Mike Shepherd uses that third-person narration to present us with the enemy sans-Kris, making him more realistic and the conflict more suspenseful. Around 5 hours to the end of the book, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach you get when you are a few hours away from giving a big speech. About 4 hours to the end of the book, I could not stop listening. I stay up until 2 a.m., on a Tuesday night, to finish.
While I liked Dina Pearlman’s reading of the first two books, I had issues this one. Her reading after they land on Hikila slows down and becomes over-emphasized which makes it sound insincere. That aside, what really killed it for me was her reading of “the March of Cambreadth.” Mike Shepherd dedicates about 2 hours integrating that song to the fight. He quotes all the lyrics, and gives it a fake history. Kris and her crew screaming along to it. They even shoot on the song’s command! And Dina Pearlman reads the lyrics with the cadence you use when playing “patty cake” with a toddler.
This is my favorite book of the series, though the series isn't complete yet so I reserve my right to change my mind later. :) I have read them all, ..Show More »and am now really enjoying listening to Dina Pearlmans' rendition of them. I highly recommend the series if you like military sci-fi!
Kris Longknife is another great female character around which a whole universe of action can be created, much like Elizabeth Moon's Kylara Vatta or Da..Show More »vid Weber's Honor Harrington. All the Kris Longknife stories all have a similar structure but it works from beginning to end, leaving you wanting more. Can't wait for "Undaunted" to arrive on audio.
I am writing this because i think it is one of the best series books out there. Mike Shepherd always tells a good action packed story. This one has a ..Show More »female lead and she has some great friends that are willing to die for her and what she stands for. The narrator Dina Pearlman is also one of the best !! ALWAYS REMEMBER TO READ THE BOOKS IN ORDER.
Some reviewers have said or implied that the story is "ho hum" or the narration is "sub-par". I disagree. The narration of this book was just as goo..Show More »d, or better than the rest of the series. The story has many twists and turns. I will finish the series and expect from a sci-fi series that looks at gun control, lack of gun of control, democracy, noblesse oblige, adolescent rearing, theocracy, aliens, war, peace, among other ideas via the science fiction forum.
Of course, if the worst thing they can pick on are such lowly things, it is a positive recommendation in itself. One more to go in the series and I am looking forward to it!
Another action packed, great dialogue filled Kris Longknife story. Lately I was feeling the volumes were one half continuation of the previous storyli..Show More »ne and the other half the next storyline. But in this book the story is dedicated to find the BEMs(Big Eyed Monsters), kill them and get back home.
As usual Kris finds herself in heap of trouble and barely finds her way out. I hated loosing some people I have come to like during the past novels, but that's the price you have to pay when you associate yourself with one of those "damn Longknifes" I suppose.
For those of us rooting for romance in Kris' life FINALLY there is a tiny tiny romantic scene. I do hope there is going to be something in the next volume, although they got separated.
After all this years and space battles, after all of this Political and diplomatic intrigue!!! We are finally ready to see what we've been waitin..Show More »g for?!!!!
Kris has been hiding on the bottom of the bottle for a month, when she decides it is enough! She leaves the place of her "Exile" after she learns that everything was totally screwed up at home.
Jack is assigned to "Hell Freeze Over", Kris is wanted for crimes against humanity on 160 planets, King Ray's Union is coming apart at the seams, while he is trying to create a new fleet, Grandpa AL chose the wrong time to go back to politics, and to open new trade routes and Prime Minister released a warrant for Kris longknife.
Kris is a fugitive, Nobody even want to speak about homicidal aliens, and she doesn't know who she can trust.
Everybody want to know everything and to blame her, but nobody wants to listen!!!!
NEXT BOOK IS "DEFENDER" FORMERLY CALLED "VALIANT" Expected publication: October 29th 2013