Author(s): Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Publication: Baen (August 2, 2011)
Description: New novel in the Liaden Universe® series. Over a quarter million copies sold in this series to-date! Space ships, action, adventure – all tied together with a strong dollop of romance and family saga – make this a compelling series for a wide range of readers, from romance to military SF lovers alike.
Theo Waitley is an ace starship pilot – and pure maverick. Her mom is a renown Terran scholar and her birth father is an interstellar aristocrat in hiding. Whatever, thinks Theo. She still feels like a socially-challenged misfit. But after being selected to train with the best-of-the-best at the pilot academy, she figures she can leave behind those gawky, misfit days of teenage angst that made life so complicated before! But for Theo, life is about to get even MORE complicated – and deadlier still. For even though she’s survived the Academy and become one of the best pilots in the galaxy, the past is about to blast her with gale-force winds. Theo can run, but she can’t hide. Her destiny as master pilot and leader of a powerful Liaden clan calls, and there are LOTS of enemies who will try to make sure she’s quite dead before she has the chance to make an answer.
My Thoughts: This was another great adventure in the Liaden Universe. Theo has come to the Delm of Korval with a couple of problems that are beyond her own solving because that is what she learned from her father Jen Sar Kiladi when she was a child on the safe world of Delgado. Now she needs to try to figure out what to do when a ghost ship containing Old Technology wants her to be its captain and what to do about helping her injured friend Win Ton who may be able to be healed by that same Old Technology and, incidentally, what happened to her father who has disappeared suddenly from Delgado.
Theo is a competent pilot who is just learning to make her way in the broader universe. She has been expelled from piloting school for being a "nexus of violence" and what Liadens call "the luck" does also follow her around. Seeing Korval through her eyes gives us a new viewpoint. She is struggling to understand why and how her father has reappeared as a pilot of Korval and a member of one of the most powerful clans of Liadens in known space.
She comes to Korval as they are being forced to leave Liad and take refuge on the planet Surebleak and while they are still in major danger from the Department of the Interior which is trying to eliminate all of Korval from the universe.
The episode was a nicely braided series of stories that talk about Korval's relocation on Surebleak, Theo's adventures as a pilot, and the doings of the Department of the Interior. We get a chance to reconnect with the old friends we have met in earlier volumes of this series -- among them are Dav and Aelliana, Miri and Val Con, Pat Rin and Natessa -- and learn about some of the children who are growing into more public roles -- Quin and Padi.
This wouldn't be a good beginning place for readers interested in the Liaden Universe but it is a wonderful story. I am fascinated with the Liaden Universe where manners and face are hugely important, achieving Balance for wrongs is essential, and smart Liadens go armed into the world.
If you do not already read the Liaden Universe stories of space opera, why not? The books are filled with adventure and fascinating characters and worlds. My recommendation is to begin with Agent of Change (now in an omnibus edition with Carpe Diem called The Agent Gambit) and immerse yourself in the Liaden Universe. Ebook fans can find the whole series at Baen books too.
"The trouble is, Theo," she told herself rolling up the all-duty-all's legs so she could walk, "there's just too many people who could be after you, and not enough dating about who is after you."I bought the eARC from Baen Books as soon as it became available because there was no way I could wait until August 2, 2011 to read this book. August 2 is my birthday and one present to myself will be the hardcover of this title for my Liaden Universe collection.
Unless it was all of the above.
On which cheerful thought she went out to the bridge to talk with her ship.