Vigilante: A Major Ariane Kedros Novel
by Laura E. Reeve
Review by Harriet Klausner
Roc Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451462985
Date: 06 October 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Everyone who knows of Aether Exploration and Consortium of Autonomous Worlds Armed Forces Reserve Major N-pilot Ariane Kedros, besides her partner Matthew Journey, sees her differently depending on their respective side of the galaxy. For instance, the Terran Exploration League (TEL) believes she is a war criminal who needs execution but is protected by their rivals the Consortium of Autonomous Worlds who see her as a heroine. The TEL hold her culpable for eradicating an entire solar system killing billions; while the CAW consider her a war hero protecting her for future assignments. The hot war has turned somewhat cold, but hostiles and ill feelings remain strong between the Autominists and the Terrans.
At a time when a temporal distortion bomb has been abducted by a powerful individual with a strong grudge and even stronger connections and influence on both sides of the Cold War; tension mounts between the Autominists and the Terrans. Meanwhile the Autominists draft Kedros and Journey to escort CAW Master Sergeant Joyce to system G-145, a strange enigmatic planet in which everyone has an interest to control, including the relatively unknown alien Minoans. Also coming to this seemingly out of the way nothing orb are those terrorists who stole the bomb with plans to explode it on G-145.
The exciting sequel to the exhilarating Peacekeeper is a fast-paced action filled outer space thriller starring an intriguing lead female who is a heroine to one side of the war and a war criminal on the other. The story line is faster than the N-technology can fly in space yet also immediately introduces readers to the vernacular of Laura E. Reeve's fascinating universe.
Obviously the remorseful Kedros and to a degree her male sidekick is the star of this terrific military science fiction thriller. She remains filled with remorse and guilt over what happened and believes she deserves the death penalty that the Terrans demand of her though she refuses to quit on life while accepting the protection and assignments of the AFCAW. Her current job on G-145 radically changes once she and others realize terrorists with the temporal distortion bomb have arrived on the planet. Once again Kedros is willing to die as she believes she deserves to in order to prevent the explosion of a weapon of mass destruction.
Although Kedros is a fascinating lead protagonist and her partner is interesting in his own way, the key to this super military SF is the multiple perspectives that Ms. Reeve juggles deftly without slowing down the plot or losing sight of who's who. The changing viewpoints enable the reader to better understand the motives of differing sides to include a deep look at the Autonomists and Terrans; a lesser but in some ways more intriguing glimpse at the Minoans; and a profound insight into the lead terrorist especially the inspirational drive. Fans of powerful military science fiction thrillers with a deep character base that brings realism and validity to the mix will want to visit Ms. Reeve's outer space with Major Kedros as their pilot.