Wars may end. But vengeance is forver.
Reserve Major Ariane Kedros needs a shot at redemption-and the mysterious aliens known as the Minoans need an extraordinary human pilot with a rejuv-stimulated metabolism like Ariane for a dangerous expedition to a distant solar system. But there’s a catch. The Minoans have to implant their technology in Ariane’s body, and it might not be removable. Ariane is willing, but as she begins the perilous journey, there is an old enemy hiding within the exploration team who is determined to see them fail…
Major Ariane Kedros is back as the guilt ridden heroine here in a new book that is mostly about the aftermath of the last book where she saved the system from destruction when she pushed a terrorist temporal bomb into N-space where it went off.
The alien culture that gave humanity the temporal technology to reach the stars is called Minoans since they share symbols from the Greek equivalent. Generation ships travel from star to star setting up Temporal Buoys as they go binding worlds together with FTL travel.
The Consortium of Autonomous Worlds was formed by the outermost colonies and their war with the Terran Expansion League (XL) ended less than 20 years ago. Major Ariane Kedros was pilot on the ship that deployed the Temporal Displacement Weapon that ended the war. Now she and everyone in their line of command have been given new identities by the government. Terra has declared them all war criminals but her identity is known to some Terran officials and attempts have been made on her life. What really ended the war was the Minoans declaring Pax Minoan and outlawed the use of Temporal Displacement Weapons, and the humans damn better follow it.
Laura is a great world builder. Her Minoan Space is greatly influenced by Greek culture and the alien are alien. I really like the characterization in her books too. It took me a while before I started reading her first book Peacekeeper, the cover and everything said yet another military science fiction with the usual female protagonist, love story, alien artifacts, and bad memories from the war, misunderstood and under appreciated military until I started reading. Her books are nothing like that, her characters are real people and the society around them is plausible in a refreshingly new way.
We knew from before that the very advanced and old ancient race that is called the Minoans has been around a long time and here we learn more about them. This is something I like reading about, alien mysteries that are slowly revealed.
As usual much of the plot centers around politics and clandestine maneuvers in the dark by the main powers but there is a shift in this book over to something different.
Most of the ‘action’ in this book centers around the inquiry into what went on the last book. That might sound boring but it is not. Laura makes it all come to life and become interesting. It should be noted that she served as a Military Inspector.
All the fractions involved have their own hidden agendas even the Minoans and Ariane is at the center of it.
In the end of the book and far, far less than the synopsis make likely she takes on a mission involving yet another mysterious alien race called the Builders. The ones that built that powered down Temporal Buoy is of interests to the Minoans so they hire Ariane to go.
Much is revealed on that trip, there is a conspiracy to kill Ariane but this time there is something much bigger going on that will have consequences for the next couple of books.
This is Laura’s strength, her characters pop out of the pages likable, lifelike, imperfect and driven. There is as usual a love story here between Ariane and her boss, but I am afraid we are in for the long run there.
The illegal AI they have in their ship is getting more and more interesting, I have this thing for sentient ships since Mutineers’ Moon.
Pathfinder is a great military science fiction with a little less action than I expected especially since reading the synopsis that only feels like 15% right (this is not the writers fault, I blame the publishers for that). I continue to love the setting and the characters and can’t wait on the next book.