FROM THE BOOK COVER:Peacekeeper is the debut novel for author Laura E. Reeve and is a pure science fiction action adventure with a fresh new kick-ass heroine – Major Ariane Kedros. The blurb above is a good summary of Ariane’s background and nicely sets the stage for several converging story arcs.
NOTHING GOES UNPUNISHED.
To her partners at Aether Exploration, Ariane Kedros is the daring pilot of their prospecting ship. She is also a reserve major in the Consortium of Autonomous Worlds who accepts mysterious assignments to fulfill her duty.
To the Terran Expansion League, she is a war criminal. Fifteen years ago, she piloted a ship on a mission that obliterated an entire solar system. Those involved in the incident were given new identities and lives in order to protect them from retribution—though no new face or name can wash away the guilt Ariane feels, or chase away her demons.
But now her government wants something in return. Twelve of Ariane's wartime colleagues are dead, assassinated by someone who has uncovered their true identities. And her superiors in the Autonomist army have placed her directly in the assassin's line of fire on a peacekeeping mission that will decide the fate of all humanity. Fifteen years ago, Ariane Kedros piloted a ship on a mission that obliterated an entire solar system. Branded a war criminal, she was given a new identity and a new life in order to protect her from retribution.
But now, twelve of Ariane's wartime colleagues are dead, assassinated by someone who has uncovered their true identities. And her superiors in the Autonomist army have placed her directly in the assassin's line of fire on a peacekeeping mission that will decide the fate of all humanity . . .
Ariane and Matt have just returned from an extended in-system exploration mission where they have discovered and staked claims to sites of alien ruins and technology. One of their discoveries has the potential to break the stranglehold the alien Minoans have over star drive technology.
Colonel Edones, Ariane’s superior at the Directorate of Intelligence sends her on a two-fold mission to the Karthage Point orbital station – the first objective being to protect the station commander, one of the few remaining survivors from the mission that branded them war criminals and at the same time draw out the assassin. The second objective has Ariane acting as the official head of mission for disarmament inspections by the visiting Terran Expansion League delegation who will be trying to gather intelligence.
In Ariane’s absence, Matt becomes involved in intrigue and investigations originating from their discoveries that lead to a murder and may link to the events of Ariane’s past, ties to the Minoans and illicit AI’s programs.
The political intrigue and espionage machinations of the rival Terran factions are seen through alternating POVs that illuminate the motivations and agendas that fuel the conflict. Reeve’s futuristic world-building is detailed, but carefully avoids infodumps that would slow the pacing. Her real-life experience in the air force is reflected in the realistic portrayal of military protocol and procedure.
Ariane is a complex and flawed character with the usual attributes of strength and loyalty but also deeply troubled because of her past, manifested by a substance abuse problem. Despite her role as heroine, Ariane doesn’t always triumph. There are some very intense scenes, physical and emotional, that strain the limits of Ariane’s endurance making her character feel very real and authentic.
All of the plotlines and characters converge in a hair-raising and rousing conclusion. It also becomes clear that more then a professional relationship is in the works between Ariane and Matt. Some science fiction romance perhaps? Plenty of mystery remains surrounding the aliens, Matt’s and Ariane’s discoveries and the Terran Leagues provacateurs to fuel many future adventures for Major Kedros. Peacekeeper is an excellent first novel and well worth checking out.
Penguin Group (USA)
Ariane Kedros Series: