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on 21 March 2016
Book 1 Mutineer.
Kris a young woman, a very rich young women (when I say rich I mean her monthly allowance is greater than the GDP of the UK), her family has of course planned her life and career down to the smallest detail.
A family tragedy at the age 10, affects her dreadfully, and the only escape become an adrenaline junkie, fighting her families plans she joins the Navy.
With her world view skewed by the ealer tragedy in her life, it polarised into the good people who surround her and the bad who seem to want to kill her, hunting the one responisble for family misery, smart villians derailing her plans. Stumbling onto a threat to millions what can a lowly Ensign do?
Kick butt and take names, thats what!
This is the start, of a epic saga get started now, you wont regret it.
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on 10 March 2004
This book follows the story of Kris Longknife, who has recently graduated from the Navy academy. She is from a very rich and famous family (her fathers the president of half the galaxy). Wanting to give something back to society, Kris joins the navy and her first assignment as an ensign, is in a leadership position is to rescue a kidnapped child being held by men who have technology not available to the public. From there on thing's really get complicated, with too many inexplicable attempts made on her life, with war looming with Earth.
It's very interesting to see how she tries to cope with being the youngest child of a family with a giant reputation, trying to make her way through life (with the help of her trusty AI computer), in space as well as land combat situations. This was a good read; no it isn't Shakespeare, but gripping and a stay up till 3 in the morning type of a good read.
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on 5 November 2006
Kris Longknife is a spoiled brat that wants to prove to the Universe, and everyone else besides, that she's just a normal girl like the others, except she has her name to live with, as "one of those Longknife's".

Ok, throughout the book we get pestered with this catch phrase, along with Kris' champion-like achievements, and never ending resourcefulness (back when she worked as a campaing manager for her father, grandfather, great-grandfather, the lot). Mary Sue syndrome ensues, since everyone else near her gets -5 in IQ , and she never fails, even managing to produce a few useful gemstones.

And since this is military sci-fi, here comes the Scots with their martial traditions and bagpipes... I don't know what's going on with writers these days, I've seen this in three or four different stories, and every time it sounds the same. It gets annoying after a while for a fan of military sci-fi. I wouldn't hold it against the writer if this was my first read of this sub-genre, but nowadays it has become boring reading time after time the prowess, bravery, and traditions of the Scottish Highlanders. Bleh.

There are a few positive things about the story, like the interplay between generations due to age-treatments, interesting off-shoots of the technology, and an over-arching plot that can keep things interesting over the coming books.

Anyway, if you ignore the Mary-Sue-ism of the main character it can be a fast and interesting read, if you can't ignore it, just give it a go and forget about it.
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on 16 September 2008
I find myself in agreement with a previous reviewer to some extent. I know mw Scotish friends would be less than happy with all information, traditions and 'style' then being attributed as England; its perhaps a minor point, but its certainly an inacurate fact. Nor did I find the appearance of them well done; there hadn't been anything in the story before this to suggest any particular old earth tradition had really survived (except perhaps on old earth but we remain largely ignorant of it) - then this scotish regiment appeared not even connected to old earth. Oh and whilst I remember, london fog, and over cooked vegetables have pretty much disappeared; the fogs have been gone many decades, and only poor restaurants still serve the dodgy veg - my advice is if it smells bad when u walk in - walk right back out.

I started reading the book and for some time found myself with mixed feelings about the story (good but). However it was drawn together at the end very decently on the whole, and I am likely to try the sequal. Not as good as David Weber's Honor Harrington series, but better than the first Elizabeth Moon Vetta's War. Although its early days yet for me with this series, I certainly prefered the characters in Vetta's War to to this series, but after only one book that is allowing them less time to develope than the full series I have read of the Vetta's War.

I found the coralations between this book and Honor Harrington's universe slightly annoying; surprisingly I found the differences more so, as though it was different for the sake of it.

Nevertheless, an enjoyable read.
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Mike Shepherd has been on my to read list for a while being a fan of military sci-fi (David Weber, Elizabeth Moon etc) and being easily lead by cover art (I never learn). If you've read the authors I just listed than you pretty much know what to expect in Kris Longknife: Mutineer and pobably enjoy it.

(Note: There is a prior trilogy this leads on from known as the Ray Longknife or Jump Universe books that may be worth reading first, I was unaware when I started this series though I didn't feel lost particularily)

The book follows surprisingly....Kris Longknife, daughter of a planetary president, billionaire and Navy officer through and through. After a dramatic rescue of a kidnapped girl Kris is stationed out on a backwater planet in severe need of aid and a base not up to scratch leaving Kris to take the lead and get things back in order. It's fairly standard space opera which is more plot than slowing down the pace with tech jargon and science exlpanations. The book has some pretty unique ideas and scenarios keeping the pace pretty steady.

I have read people complain about Kris being too perfect, but I rather enjoy seeing the protagonist kick ass and overcome obstacles thrown in her way and I rather like Kris as a character though she could do with fleshing out more. That's not to say the book itself is perfect, I found Kris's position as a Navy officer unlikely as a candidate for leading a marine charge against terrorist kidnappers. Surely the marines would have their own leading that kind of assault? There seems to be a real lack of military structure throughout. There are a few other moments that made me question the plausibility of it but nothing that really stopped it from being enjoyable.

The bottom line is Mutineer is a little campy, but it's fun easy to read entertainment. If you want something a little more serious though, this isn't for you.


+ Interesting scenarios for Kris to work through.
+ Likeable characters.
+ Easy reading

- Some implausible moments, especially regarding military line of command.
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on 17 May 2006
An enjoyable story, with a heroine who, unlike Honor Harrington, isn't perfection all the time and learns better ways she could do things.

The author may want to steer clear of the Scots though. He has a Highland regiment, complete with kilts, bagpipes etc, but constantly refers to their traditions as English!
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on 7 July 2014
The measure of how good this book is can be summed up by the fact I immediately got the next in the series as soon as I finished it! The work is, however, definitely not in the same league as, for instance, the Honor Harrington or Black Jack Geary series.

I am sensible of the fact the author is American but the standard of English and grammar is poor even when you get beyond the differences of English and American English: there are even spelling mistakes for American English(according to my Webster). Nevertheless, the story zips along and, believable or not, is a fun ripping yarn.
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on 17 October 2010
Kris Long knife comes from very wealthly family, in this book we find she was born and bread to be a beauty on some elses arm, Kris has other ideas thought. following in the foot steps of some of her realtives she signs up for the marines and thats were the fun of these books comes into its own, once you read one you`ll just get hooked and youll have to get the next. so be aware theres plenty of reading in the rest of the books that follow.
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on 15 October 2013
I've given up halfway through this book, as I'm so bored of nothing happening. It's just generally dull. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Tanya Huff's Valour series, which I would highly recommend. I was hoping for another kick-ass military heroine, but it turned out to be quite a disappointment. All the other reviews seemed so positive, I felt I needed to add my more negative thoughts!
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VINE VOICEon 6 December 2009
This is where it all started! The entertaining and intelligent written SF-Military series involving the indefatigable (for a moment I was stuck for a suitable word Mr Shepherd had not used as a title) Kris Longknife. With the burdens of powerful and distrusted forebears and demons from a tragedy as a child Kris ignores her parents wishes and strikes out on her own to make a career in the interstellar navy of her home confederation, but cannot shake loose from the family influence or the distrust the name Longknife instils, not that this slows her down much. This character is independent, intelligent, quick witted, opinionated, headstrong (and it has to be said) exceptionally rich (which does come in handy from time to time). The first book revolves around Kris getting in the way of an ill-conceived plot to start a war with Earth, it also allows Mike Shepherd to begin to assemble the cast of characters which will accompany her through the series. Although she has a lot going for her, problems and challenges pile up for Kris and Mike Shepherd does not allow her to overcome these with a 'smile and a witty sign off' - she has prices to pay (not just momentary either). Having said that, this is a remarkably light and enjoyable read, not as heavy on science detail or the grim loneliness of command as with some in this style. I make no apologies for being a great fan of the series or writing this in hindsight having read all seven of the books; from this vantage point I can assert these are thoroughly good books, I'm re-reading the series again-what more can I say? (As for the 'Scottish' question - not really an issue -don't forget these events happen in the future- perspectives and legends get altered by the passage of time - in a later book World War II is referred to as a 'civil war'-when you think about it a stellar travelling folk who have fought aliens would see it that way-sobering thought really)
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