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4.3 out of 5 stars
4
4.3 out of 5 stars
Peacemaker
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change

on 23 May 2014
Virgin Jackson is a ranger. She loves her job and the solitude it brings, that is until she is told a Marshall named Nate Sixkiller is coming to work with her and she has to show him the ropes. To her its an annoyance and something she isn't looking forward to but that is only the start of her troubles. Dead bodies seem to be following her around!! The first body she finds is inside her park after dark. The police think she did it and besides having them trailing her everywhere she has to put up with multiple kidnap and murder attempts. Why did this all start happening as soon as Sixkiller came? Can she stay alive to solve whats happening? And why is she seeing an imaginary animal that she hasn't seen since she went to therapy?

I have to say that this is one of the strangest books I've ever read, in a good way of course!! When I first started reading I was like, wait, what is happening but by the end I was like, wait, what, I need more!!

Virgin is a kick ass character. She is more than capable of looking after herself. When she finds the first dead body her life spirals out of control. She is shot at, pecked at, had a spear thrown at her and had multiple kidnap attempts, yet each time she gets up and gets back on the horse so to speak. She is a straight talking, no nonsense type of girl and I loved that.

Sixkiller meanwhile is mysterious, strong and someone you would want on your side. With the multiple attempts on Virgins life, Sixkiller kind of becomes her bodyguard, which amuses him but annoys her!!

Peacemaker was a total surprise for me. It was extremely faced paced with well developed characters. We have a little romance thrown in, Heart is an exotic dancer and has a casual relationship with Virgin. As the story goes on we see him showing that he really cares about her but will the Marshall throw a spanner in the works? Well you will have to read it to see.

Overall we have a plot that has layer upon layer of twists and turns that unravels slowly. We have gang wars, we have myth and legend and imaginary animals! We have spiritual undertones, a feisty MC and a strong male MC, we have a western feel and all the gunslinging that comes with it, we have a suspenseful plot that will keep you turning the pages to see what will happen next. Wrap all them up in one tidy bow and they will produce Peacemaker. It has a mix of everything a great book should, mystery, suspense, fantasy and awesome characters. Its a unique and fascinating world that's rich in detail and its definitely a book not to be missed!!
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on 10 July 2014
Peacemaker (Peacemaker #1) is Marianne de Pierres’ new novel out from Angry Robot Books. With a combined setting of both future Australian mega-city and Wild West style landscape expanse, Peacemaker dips its toes into multiple genres. With such a unique and interesting setting to play with the question of whether this is too much for the story is present from the offset. However, de Pierres manages to keep everything in check while delivering a quick and action packed story.

Virgin Jackson is a ranger in Birrimun Park, the last natural landscape on the planet, her days taken up with the general maintenance of such a large reserve. With public access limited and strict controls in place to monitor the park, it comes as somewhat of a shock to Jackson when she walks into a gunfight in the park, one with people who should not – cannot – be there. Ending up embroiled in a murder investigation, one which paints her firmly as the chief suspect, is not her typical day, and with no evidence to corroborate her side of the story the situation starts to get messy.

With the arrival of Marshall Nate Sixkiller, a stoic and somewhat reserved American cowboy, and the reappearance of her childhood imaginary companion, the eagle Aquila, Jackson has more on her hands than she bargains for. Following up with her own investigation into the murder she discovers even more strange occurrences within Birrimun Park, and also in the wider city, all of which leads her to places and people on the murky edge of society.

My first impression of Peacemaker was, quite simply, cool. The setting – a Wild West style landscape set in the future – cried out to me as somewhere that could tell some very interesting stories. While the sci-fi side of the coin is perhaps not quite as prevalent as I would have hoped, it really didn’t matter. There were touches here and there to remind you that this was the future, but it was the western elements that really enriched the story.

One of the reasons that Peacemaker works so well is its main character, Virgin Jackson. The story is told through her eyes, dealing with situations as they arise, viewing – and judging – other people based on her values and opinions, and generally driving the narrative without much pause. There isn’t much let up in the pacing because of this, and it works that Virgin is determined and strong willed to keep the story going. I liked her because of her strengths as well as her flaws. She is judgmental, and the biggest issue this causes is the way she views Nate Sixkiller. She doesn’t give him an inch, and it feels like she’s fighting against him the whole time despite his actions. Having two very strong characters could have been an issue, but it isn’t and they do complement each other – to an extent. However, despite how much I enjoyed Sixkiller’s character and the time he’s present on the page, Peacemaker is very much about Virgin Jackson.

There are also mystic elements to Peacemaker, particularly in Virgin’s spirit pet, Aquila. When she turns up it sets many aspects of the story into motion, and Virgin’s understanding of why and how she is there is never firm. Something that is clear from the outset is that Sixkiller is a font of knowledge, but he rarely offers opinions, and Virgin doesn’t trust him to delve and ask questions. When this starts to resolve later in the novel it opens up even more questions about Virgin, Sixkiller, and the world in general.

Being quickly paced and entertaining, Peacemaker is successful, if slightly uneven, in its delivery. Enough questions are raised early on to keep the pages turning, and the world de Pierres has created is deep and rich, begging for further exploration. I, for one, look forward to the next novel in the series, especially after the revelations in the closing pages…
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 6 May 2014
This is a strange mixture of a science fiction novel, a western and a supernatural novel. The mix was intriguing but I didn't think that it quite worked.

Virgin works as a ranger in one of the last nature parks. She keeps things safe for the visitors in their enclosed buses but like them she returns to the city at night. She is visited by mythological creatures at the same time as she is involved in the murder of people in the park. Then there is Nate Sixkiller (yes, really !) who is appointed to work with her on the investigation but who she doesn't trust.

I think that the author tried too hard here. There were too many different things going on so that I didn't really properly understand any of them, I am not sure exactly when this book was set and I didn't get an overview of the culture in which Virgin lives. I also didn't understand the supernatural stuff as this is not a mythology with which I am familiar (unless the author made it up in which case she didn't explain it well). I didn't know if everyone believed in the supernatural or not as this wasn't clear either. There just wasn't enough background and detail to flesh out the interesting ideas and the character of Virgin wasn't enough on her own..

In the end, the book just didn't have enough about it to grip me which is sad as there were some great ideas here which were not fully realised. I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 May 2014
With the number of books I read it is seldom that a book or new author takes me completely by surprise. This was one of those books. The cover grabbed my attention, it looked like a mix of old school western, and classic science fiction. The story was even better than that. It reads like a cross between Robert A Heinlein and a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western. From the first few pages I struggled to put the book down. It was an addictive read. This book contains great characters, awesome storyline and stunning attention to details.

The two main characters Virgin Jackson a local park ranger, and Nate Sixkiller a US Marshall that has been brought in and Virgin is not happy. With a murder in the park and an attempted kidnapping of Virgin the book starts at a quick pace and does not let down. The story set in Australia, Virgin's father lobbied for a preserve. But he also died in a way that Virgin does not believe the circumstances. With a cop trying to pin the first murder on her, Virgin must trust some friends for help and consult with criminal elements to get to the truth.

This was a great read. It was my first book by Marianne de Pierres and I can only say it will definitely not be the last.
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