In Mike Shepherd's sequel to Kris Longknife: Mutineer, his headstrong protagonist -- a junior lieutenant who also happens to be the daughter of a powerful politician, the heir to a billion-dollar corporation, and a princess! -- is lured into a deadly trap when she comes to a friend's rescue.
With her ship temporarily docked for repairs, Kris decides to take a leave of absence when she finds out that a close friend has suddenly gone missing. Tom Lien was supposed to go on a short vacation to explore ancient ruins on a remote planet; but when Kris learns that he has been kidnapped, she decides to find and free him -- no matter how suicidal the mission. Her search leads her to a world on the verge of political revolt. Shortly after Kris lands, the entire planet is quarantined and all interplanetary communication is lost. With the elaborate trap to ensnare Kris sprung, can she somehow find a way to free Tom and escape the planet?
Fans of military science fiction who are looking for something a little out of the ordinary should definitely check out Shepherd's Kris Longknife saga. Comparable to Elizabeth Moon's Esmay Suiza and David Weber's Honor Harrington -- underappreciated female protagonists in military service -- the Kris Longknife novels focus a little more on political intrigue and a little less on militaristic space opera. And although the conclusion of Kris Longknife: Deserter adequately ties up all the loose ends in this adventure, Shepherd shrewdly plants the seeds for many more Kris Longknife escapades in the near future. Paul Goat Allen