So often these days I find myself in a love/hate relationship with books in a series primarily the most recent book. I love that I finally got a chance to read it, but I hate that once I finish it I have to wait for the next one to be published. Alas, such is also true of this volume, the latest in the Kris Longknife series by Mike Shepherd.
The book itself wasn’t quite what I expected from this series. I have grown used to the character rampaging through space causing (and fixing) trouble wherever she goes. This book was anything but that, and for the first half of the book I was afraid that the entire book was going to revolve around nothing more than her trying to visit family. Fortunately the story took a turn shortly thereafter and moved on to more interesting venues, but the story continued to be rather minimal on the action front right to the very end.
In all honesty, this book feels more like a bridge book, perhaps something that might have been better presented in a couple of novellas as a precursor to the next book in the series. Looking at the structure of the book there are two main “acts” with what could be termed a prologue and an afterward. Present these pieces as a couple of short stories and a couple of novellas and you would be just fine. I don’t remember other books having such clear delineations between the different stages of the story. In the end the story eventually worked its way through to a conclusion of sorts, but one that was clearly a setup for the next book which further reinforces my thoughts on the structure of the book.
Regardless of structural issues, the book was a fun read, and while I would have enjoyed more action sequences, which have become rather expected in this series, I did enjoy the book. I only hope that the next book does not suffer from the structure issues that I encountered in this book.