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First contact the Longknife way
on 24 December 2011
Ninth in the series of military science fiction novels centred around the exploits of Kris Longknife.
Whilst there's a reasonable amount of exposition early on in this one, and new readers to the series might be able to get into it, there's still a lot of back story so you are far better off starting with book one.
Regular readers, read on.
This one runs for three hundred and fifty six pages and is divided into sixty three short chapters.
And there's a note from the writer at the beginning which promises that it's the book where it all changes.
Can he deliver on that promise?
This does pick up the plotline that began two books back about the mysterious alien force that threatens the race of aliens called the Iteeche. And it sees Kris leading an expedition out into uncharted space to try and find more about the nature of the threat.
The book starts in the thick of the action though, with Kris and Jack about to come to grief, and then flashes back to show us how they got to that point.
That's by having to put together this expedition. Which brings in various disparate humans forces, including one time family enemy but now almost friend Vicky Peterwald. With all the planning and the various actions of all the characters including the regulars on Kris' team, the pages do fly by very pleasantly enough, in the style that regular readers who enjoy these books will be accustomed to.
New planets are seen and a few mysteries result.
Then aliens are encountered. And Kris has to make a fateful choice.
Even bigger ones await..
The second of these comes halfway through and at this point the book really does shift up a gear and the writing delivers on the promise in the introduction. Space battles and drama and powerfully emotional moments await - as ever the wounds of past battles loom large here, making for some very strong character scenes - and the decisions Kris makes really are life changing ones.
This is one chapter in a bigger story, and thus the book ends in a manner that will leave you even more desperate than usual to know what happens next. There are also questions still to be answered.
This moves the big story along very nicely, and really does develop a few things. It also contains some very powerful and gripping moments that you won't forget in a hurry. A very good entry in a good series. Roll on book ten.