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VINE VOICEon 27 October 2010
Eighth into Mike Shepherd's very successful Kris Longknife series and the pace is not letting up, even if she is hobbling a bit from the last book's attempt (that time inadvertently) on her life. That's an encouraging start; the hero is not shrugging off injuries.
This book finds newly promoted Lieutenant Commander Longknife picking up on unfinished business with the rival Peterwald clan. Being in pursuit of very unpleasant pirates, she's not going to let a little thing like pursuit into Peterwald territory slow her down. Readers of the previous book will know that once Kris has a target she will not be stopped until justice is served up.
Darker than the previous books, dealing with slavery and slaughter nonetheless this is up to the usual standard, easy to read, funny in parts, sobering in others and engaging without insulting the intelligence. The Peterwald territory has very obvious parallels with Russia and the old USSR. Kris' gang of irreverent, but loyal stalwarts are there, both human and computer; complaining, but carrying out orders and keeping her alive. Peterwald heiress and once-foe Vicky has a large role and is now Kris' firm friend; Kris being responsible for her brother's death a few books ago does not spoil this relationship, dealt with in such a way as to illustrate how very grim and deadly being a Peterwald can be.
OK maybe in the Longknife universe, the ever growing Longknife band is a bit too easy going, efficient, comradely and firm but fair (unless you don't surrender when asked) for some tastes; maybe some might prefer a few more dark rivalries and tensions within her group, but to be honest I am comfortable with this universe, and there are many other good authors serving up alternatives. By the way I never worry about the science in these books, it's three hundred years in the future, so who knows?
So if you've read the previous you will not be disappointed in the standard.
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Latest novel in the Kris Longknife series of military science fiction books. Eight books into this series now and whilst there's not a lot of exposition for the benefit of new readers, they might not have too much trouble picking it up. But you're better off starting at the beginning Mutineer (Kris Longknife Novels). Because there's a lot of backstory by now. And it's a series worth getting into from the word go.

This volume does pick up a lot of plot threads from recent ones. Kris not quite having shaken off injuries from events in the previous book. Events from an alien contact in that one are constantly in the background and need to be kept quiet. And her developing friendship with a girl from a rival family that began two books ago develops a fair amount here.

Kris's ship deals with pirates. And then tries to help a famine stricken planet in Peterwald territory which is also plagued by a very nasty warlord. The plight of the people on the planet is convincingly described and some of it is believingly gruesome, although never gratuitous. You can feel for Kris as she has great intentions and those lead to tough decisions. And well described combat.

All of which leads to the development of her friendship with Vicky Peterwald, as her new friend has a favour or two to ask. And a bigger picture slowly emerges....

This could read like a typical mid book in a series because it develops ongoing story arcs and set bigger things up, but it's so very readable and entertaing and well up to standard that for those into this series it is a real page turner. And some of the villains do get their come uppances in very satisfying manners. Watch out for Vicky's highly astute admiral who makes a real impression as a character.

There is clearly a great deal more to come for Kris and it will make you eager to find what happens next.

A thoroughly entertaining read for fans of the series.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 August 2015
The Kris Longknife novels form an ongoing series, before reading Redoubtable, if you are new to the series I highly recommend reading these first:

1 - Kris Longknife: Mutineer
2 - Kris Longknife: Deserter
3 - Kris Longknife: Defiant
4 - Kris Longknife: Resolute
5 - Kris Longknife: Audacious
6 - Kris Longknife: Intrepid
7 - Kris Longknife: Undaunted

For some reason I have seen a lot of people who have jumped into the series at random books, I mean why would you start a series at like book 6? Anyway I digress, I'm a big fan of this series and I found Redoubtable pretty tough to put down much like the other books so far. It's easy to read high adventure space opera.

This novel has Princess and newly promoted Lieutenent Commander Kris Longknife leading a small squadron of ships (There is a nice nod to the Lost Fleet book series by Jack Cambell in there I might add) going off pirate hunting on the edge of rim space. This was actually a small let down after the lead up to a seemingly larger story arc following the Iteeche alien race being introduced in the previous book Undaunted. After this initial disappointment though Redoubtable is still a fantastic read. While hunting said pirates, Kris has to deal with a kidnapping of someone close to her while still dealing with her battle wounds. Throw in the political element of acting so close to Greenfield space and the fast maturing enigma Vicky Peterwald into the mix and things certainly start getting interesting.

A lot of the support cast don't get all too much attention this time around though a lot of the bater between them is still highly entertaining. There have been hints of developing relationships that kind of get ignored outside of the Kris/Vicky friend or foe element (which I am rather enjoying) and despite liking the book a lot it really feels just a bit like a filler novel in the series. Regardless if you have read this far in the series this is another great entry all the same and the loose plot threads teased get a lot more attention in the next novel Kris Longknife: Daring


+ Vicky Peterwald's involvement continues to interest.
+ Great mixture of action, amusing banter and politics.
+ Easy to read.

- Feels a bit like a filler book skirting around a bigger story arc.
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Mike Shepherd's Kris Longknife series was one of the first SF series I read and liked. I fell in love with the main character, unsurprisingly named Kris Longknife and her merry band of... what shall we call them, compatriots? Soldiers? Employees? Let's go with friends, because the main supporting cast are Kris' friends, sometimes despite their own best judgement. The books are filled with fun characters whose snark and humour tickle my funny bone and I really love the dialogues and interactions in the Longknife books. Every book is its own separate adventure, while at the same time advancing the over-arching story. Books can be read as a standalone but you lose out on some of the in-jokes. Redoubtable, the latest instalment of the series, is no exception to the rule and didn't disappoint.

As in previous books the reader literally gets dropped into the action. If there is one thing Shepherd writes well it's action scenes. The book gets going and just keeps rolling at breakneck speed. Shepherd doesn't shy away from showing the atrocities of war and the bad guys in the first act of the book are pretty horrible. But the gore and horror only truly come out in the second part of the book, when Kris takes out the second pirate base. The famine, treatment of the slaves and the callous disregard for live is chilling. Shepherd might write military SF, but at no point and in no way does he glorify war. He does celebrate the camaraderie, loyalty and bravery of Kris' troops, who consist of both Navy and Marine personnel.

In between the big action-filled confrontations, we do get to breathe during several more political sequences where Kris has to deal with the consequences of her military actions. While good and bad are clearly delineated in almost black and white, there are also some grey areas and characters that are explored and in this book we get a further look at the Greenfeld area of space and at Lieutenant Victoria Smythe-Peterwald in particular. I like how she and Kris more or less bond of being scions of ruling houses and the drawbacks to growing up as such. We see both young ladies growing up, Vicky being tutored by Admiral Krätz and Kris through being through out to swim on her own by her Grampa Ray, though she's helped by her friends. I like how Kris is taking responsibility for the people around her, even going so far as thinking of ways to convince them to stay behind, so they'll be safe.

I was disappointed that we didn't get to see more of the Iteeche, the alien race humans fought decades ago in a crippling war, as I really wanted to know what was going on there! I found the Iteeche story arc in the previous book, Undaunted, so cool and I had expected to get back to that instead of having a sort of in-between adventure. I can understand that it would be necessary to cement alliances within the Greenfeld territories, but hopefully the next book will go back to advancing the Iteeche story arc. And I hope we'll see more of Nelly and her kids. I LOVE Kris' AI computer and the way that she is slowly developing her own character and becoming a true separate entity.

Despite my disappointment at the lack of Iteeche action, I did love the book! If you are looking for an entertaining read you can't go far wrong with a Kris Longknife book and Redoubtable is a great addition to the Longknife universe. I can't wait for the next instalment, Daring, in November!
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on 16 March 2016
A dark and evil force is at work abusing, starving and enslaving the people of the rim, Kris Longknife is hunting for a truly vile foe, her path will lead to peterwald space, what will too opposing ideologies do in the face of a greater horror.
The abduction of a 12 year old, the intervention of Vicky (l still hear the plumy british accent you know like the best movie villians).
A great addition to the long running series, can be read as a stand alone but to really get the most out of it grab book 1 first.
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on 25 June 2011
Weak science fiction in my opinion. There are some good parts but I found it quite boring to read. Unfortunately, I purchased 3 books in the series and each one was more difficult to read than the next. I found that there was need for some serious editing, as the story didn't flow that well.

Still, others love Kris Longknife so it may be your cup of tea but I will stick to David Weber (Honor Harrington), Chris Bunch (Sten, Halo and Shadow Warrior), William C Deitz (Legion of the Damned), Stephen Kent (Clone Empire) and Ian Douglas (Star Carrier).
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on 19 September 2013
I was disappointed by "Redoubtable", but this book weaves it's predecessor's plot holes into a much more intelligent tapestry. I for one am plowing straight through into the next installment.
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on 28 December 2013
i have not started to read this book yet as i am waiting to get the whole set of books
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on 9 January 2014
I was reading some of the books in this series while I was on holiday, and I have to say that I found this book to be the low-point of the series.

There were two things I really, really disliked about this book. The first was that there were long sections that were very heavy on text that really contributed almost nothing to the story, and mostly consisted of the main characters talking about how great they all were. A lot of this could have been cut without losing anything from the actual story, and it just felt like a very annoying strategy for upping the page count.

The other thing which I found deeply annoying was that after spending several books protecting planets from being oppressed by gangs of thugs, in this book Kris somehow seems to take for granted that the collapse from within of the Peterwald empire would be a bad thing. Actions in previous books to prevent hostilities between the Peterwald and Longknife clans made sense, but I can't understand at all why Mr Shepherd would make his character so sympathetic to the idea of providing support to a family which employs black uniformed police who vanish people without proper trials.

From the way things are described in the books:

1. The fascist empire in question is newly formed after the collapse of the previous human-wide political system - so it is not like the state has existed for generations
2. The collapse is coming from within - it's not like it means war for the rest of the galaxy if a few Peterwald heads end up on pikes
3. A lot of the "citizens" of this oppressive state would seem to have a very good reason not to want to be part of the system

I just cannot understand how a character who is mostly such a do-gooder can just take for granted that the continued existence of a newly formed (!!) fascist state is in any way a good thing. The complete conflict with the character's previous actions and stated morality meant that I couldn't buy it, and I found myself really struggling to read the rest of the book.
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on 9 May 2015
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