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Kris Longknife Just Keeps on Keeping On!,
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This review is from: Kris Longknife: Furious (Kris Longknife Novels) (Mass Market Paperback)
Volume 10 (12 when you add on e-books) of the irrepressible Kris' saga finds her exiled to a backwater system in nominal command of a local patrol flotilla, and to begin with not so irrepressible. She's taken to drink with a smary XO to make sure she stays that way, and of her entourage; there are only surrogate niece Cara, the redoubtable Abby and of course computer Nelly who is by now scarily self-aware and taken AI to a whole new level. Kris is down on her luck, and pinning for Jack.
Up pops Penny the intel officer with news that the more shadowy of her relatives Grandpa Al is up to some sort of commercial skulduggery that does not bode well, also Kris is now wanted on 160, rising to 173 worlds to stand trial as the one person responsible for the loss of the fleet during the encounter with the monstrous and unnamed foes from `Daring'. With some straight talking help, the appearance of Jack and from way-back Col. Hancock Kris is back on her feet, sneaking out of exile, covertly going to home world Wardhaven outrageously over-riding and evading security to try and speak to Al. Then follows a typical Kris ploy, by means of escape from her family and Wardhaven authorities she places herself in the custody of the planet Musashi (populated by Japanese descended settlers) to stand trial for aforementioned crimes; this planet still has a death penalty by the way. Yes for those of us versed in Kris Longknife ways, a typical episode of her life. No more detail in case of major spoilers.
As you will gather, this chapter varies from earlier volumes, Kris and her folks are fugitives and very much reliant on their wits and the good-will of others, she is also quite, quite broke and cannot buy herself out of some scrapes. Romance with Jack is now a feature and yep, in a very discreet way `fulfilled'.
Mike Shepherd keeps the pace, the humour and the serious in good balance, and of course when you least expect it the very dark undertone; a short segment confirms those Peterwalds are not a nice bunch at all. There are some very wry parts such as the pursuit by a very competent and dedicated Wardhaven security team always one step behind Kris and her crew; the use of Kris' arrival by the political rival establishments on Musashi to suit their own ends to name but two. Very funny episodes such as trying to fit six-foot (or two metre) tall Kris into a kimono, comments by the security team after their CSI people confirm what Kris and Jack have been up to. Nelly's replies to any human interruption and Penny's seemingly limitless patience at being hauled through one scrape after another.
The events of the previous novel form the basis for the trial on Musashi, and I have to tip my hat to Mike Shepherd for the way he engages the reader, for there was I getting quite the wrong impression on Kris' judgement at the time, and when I read this volume in the trial setting I realised I had made the same mistake as Kris' fictional detractors! Oh my any book that draws you in to one side or the other has to have very much going for it! And I found myself saying `Sorry Kris I doubted you'- I love it when you become that engaged.
Quite a few surviving characters from earlier works turn up, and you now have the impression that Mike Shepherd is truly comfortable and very familiar with the universe he created, for I have seen no evidence of breaks in continuity.
If you wish to find out how Kris Longknife started you are advised to go to the first book `Mutineer' otherwise you will be lost, if you've not read all the volumes it would be best to have read the previous one `Daring' to get the full impact of this book. If such as me you've been reading them since the onset then you will not be disappointed.