Read Mutineer by Mike Shepherd Online

mutineer

Kris Longknife is a daughter of privilege, born to money and power. Her father is the Prime Minister of her home planet. Her mother the consummate politician's wife. She's been raised only to be beautiful and marry well. But the heritage of the military Longknifes courses through Kris's blood-and, against her parents' objections, she enlists in the marines....

Title : Mutineer
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780441011421
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 389 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mutineer Reviews

  • David
    2019-04-06 00:28

    I wanted very much for this to be better than it was. But while it was not bad, neither was it particularly good. It's a Big Mac of a space opera, a perfectly average, standard, processed serving delivering a pleasant if unexceptional taste but no nutritional value. Mike Shepherd seems to be trying to imitate David Weber or Lois McMaster Bujold, and since I am not particularly a fan of either of them (I know, sacrilege), this story did little for me. It was entertaining enough for the time I spent listening to it, but I don't really care about Kris Longknife and her future military career and whatever political shenanigans will continue through the next few books, nor was I even lured by the promise of the aliens repeatedly mentioned in this book but never seen.Kris Longknife is a daughter of privilege in this far future where Earth is a corrupt, decadent old world at the center of a union spanning hundreds of colony worlds. Her father is the Prime Minister of Wardhaven, and he's been a cold, political creature since Kris's little brother was killed following a botched kidnapping when she was ten. Kris, following years of guilt and a bit of teenage alcoholism, was inspired by her war-hero grandfather to join the Navy, much to her parents' horror.In the first part of the book, we are introduced to Kris as a boot Ensign in charge of a bunch of space marines who are on a rescue mission to save a little girl who's been kidnapped by terrorists. Of course this dredges up all of Kris's issues, and already she was trying me, because the whole time it was "OH, the angst! I'm coming, Tommy! I won't let this little girl die like you did! Oh, how can I focus on the job when I keep remembering my dead little brother angst!angst!angst!"I'm sure something like that will haunt you for your entire life, but it happened when she was a kid, and now she's an adult and a naval officer. One would think she'd have developed some coping skills by now. But saving the little girl was clearly meant to be the point where she finally is able to put her brother to rest.Then we get more family background, Kris takes a lot of crap from fellow officers because of course she's one of "those Longknives" and everyone knows she's a rich girl who decided to join the military for whatever reason. She is assigned to a humanitarian mission on a nearly-abandoned colony world where people are starving and facing floods and plagues, and since she's so exceptional, she manages to whip the green, bottom-of-the-barrel unit she's assigned to into kick-ass troops who beat off bandits and save the starving farmers, etc.In the meantime, there's some kind of plot where political enemies of her family are trying to set her up to be killed, which introduces the main bad guys and a dubious romantic interest for future books.The "mutiny" of the book's title does not take place until nearly the end of the book, and like all the things Kris does, it's an act that requires a certain amount of bravery and competence, but no hard moral choices — throughout the book, the reader is never left in doubt that Kris is absolutely doing the right thing and anyone who opposes her is wrong.If you really like military SF and female protagonists, this may be worth checking out, but I'm unlikely to pick up the rest of the series unless I'm starved for something better.

  • Jacob Proffitt
    2019-03-29 01:35

    This was my take-a-risk purchase in our anniversary trip to Powell's in Portland this year. Since that was only days ago and I've already finished it, well, it obviously didn't suck. This is the first in a long-running series and you can kind of feel the freshman jitters of it. For one, there are some pretty awkward flashbacks done as memories in the first chapter that were unnecessary (provided the information had been given later—more proximate to the need later).That said, this was a decent space-Marine (even if she was actually Navy) story. By which I mean that it held my interest and kept me engaged to the end. Better, it interested me enough that I'm eager to continue with the next. Again, nothing groundbreaking, but Shepherd has good pacing and a plot that held together and characters I liked spending time with. I have minor qualms about some of the background, but nothing major and the setup has lots of room for things to blow up in interesting ways. As is the norm for such stories, the heroine is, of course, the right person at the right time to be outstanding and show her superior leadership and imitative. So it was good that Shepherd seems to know enough about people and command to make those scenes believable and the situations dynamic and interesting (and without pulling weird rabbits out of his hat for his main character while he was at it). Not that Kris doesn't have rabbits to pull out of her hat, but they're all accounted for well in advance of need and that makes all the difference for narrative flow and believable developments.So this was a gratifying find and I now regret not buying more of the series when I had the chance. Which is the better regret to have when taking one of my book gambles.

  • Laura Ownbey
    2019-03-26 02:29

    The quick and dirty:Rating: 2.5 starsLength: On the high end of average (389 pages)Publication: January 27, 2004 from Ace BooksPremise: The book opens with Kris Longknife, a Navy ensign fresh out of officer training, commanding a frantic hostage rescue mission. She struggles to balance her own doubts and the shadows of her own past with her drive to succeed and prove that she's deserving of her family's oldest histories. As soon as the mission ends, she's put on leave. She thinks that going home for a short visit with her parents will just kill time, but instead it introduces her to plots that were moving long before her birth and to the stirrings of a potential interstellar war.Warnings: recounting of a past gang rape against many one-shot characters, past death of a child close to the protagonistRecommendation: If you really adore space opera with a dash of politics then you might enjoy this, but I can't honestly endorse paying full price for it. Take a look on your next used bookstore run if you're interested.Why this one is such old-fashioned fun:Mike Shepherd knows how to start by flooring the gas; the opening sequence promises great things of the rest of the book. A tense hostage situation with high stakes, rescue on the fly, and hints of larger forces at work make for an incredibly strong first few chapters. Kris is new to command, but her marines and her sergeant aren't, which creates a rooted sense of connection with the rest of the military. She's taking point and owning the responsibility for her decisions, but she's doing so as part of a unit. Combining the chain of command, the solidity of the veterans with her, and the willingness to risk life and limb for another gives the story a sense of being anchored in military structures that date back to our present day and centuries before. That aura of tradition grounds the book more solidly in reality than most other space opera, and the tone absolutely works.This book shines in the fashion of most good space opera. There's a proud military tradition of trying to avoid war whenever possible but doing anything necessary when the time comes. When the Space-Scots Highlanders show up, we're treated to a really wonderful story of Kris's great-grandfather leading a night charge up a hill to save a city. This story is told in high style, comes off as genuinely sorrowful for the lost, and places military history in a proud tradition, especially given the emotions and demeanor of the people telling it.Kris's family history also works well in that vein, though by the end of the book you'll certainly be tired of seeing people call her "one of those Longknifes." She's part of a military tradition that skipped her grandfather and father, leaving her with two legendary great-grandfathers. Their style of getting it done in off-the-wall ways shows itself again in her. In most books I'd call that trite and simplistic, but space opera does Ancestral Tradition of Awesome really well. David Weber, author of the Honor Harrington series (more on that below), is the king of this trope; he tends to write dangerous-but-virtuous space monarchies that actually feel convincing.Seeing Kris as a former debutante and daughter of a politician works well because it's unusual, a contrast to the straightforward damn-the-politicians protagonists you see in so much of space opera. Those lead characters certainly work, but watching Kris analyze how she can work with the flow of politics to steer the course of conversation, or compare the military to her father the Prime Minister's campaign strategy, provides a fresh perspective. Her mistakes tend to show up when she forgets all that background and moves on impulse, but impulse is often the source of her best ideas. It's nice to see her strength and weakness mirrored as one trait instead of trying to give her a set of good traits and a shoehorned tragic flaw. Kris's trauma over the death of her brother and her lingering alcoholic tendencies are by and large written well. We also see some well-written group trauma when Kris encounters a large farm that's fallen victim to raiders. Not many writers are capable of writing anything in that vein without getting stereotypical and playing the trauma as either plot point or a way to yank at the emotions, but Shepherd does a strong job showing how different people react to similar traumatic events.The relief work on Olympia, a planet struck by natural disasters as well as looting and raiding in the aftermath, also provides most of the moral ambiguity. Many of the raiders are terrible, but many aren't; most are hungry in part because of the actions of the people they're now attacking. Explaining precisely why would involve spoilers, but Kris's musing over how to sort out the truly guilty from the weak bystanders when live fire means there are no second chances is quite compelling. It's refreshing to see that level of uncertainty, since much of space opera deliberately goes for us-versus-them to emphasize the good fight. Given that the raiders are so unambiguously immoral, it was an even more pleasant surprise to see that the soldiers hunting them down were new enough to the Navy that they started asking questions about their right to kill. They didn't act gung-ho about shooting the raiders after the first short firefight; they were unsure, not quite trained, and inclined to head back to base and dodge the whole problem. Kris's solution to that uncertainty reads as realistic and effective, but seeing the initial bravado collapse into very human reactions and then build into true confidence worked beautifully.Liquid metal technology, used to take a ship from leisurely cruising configuration to a heavily armored smaller warship, is a really fascinating idea. We also see it used to make boats and bridges and the like, but the Navy use of liquid metal is where it really shines. Normally in military science fiction there's the obligatory discussion of how you trade off size, mass, armor, weapons, engines, and speed, and liquid metal both dodges that and puts it in a different light. It's not without flaws, sometimes relocating valuable supply cupboards to god-knows-where, and that keeps it from seeming too convenient. That element of worldbuilding shines, especially given the way it makes you feel like the universe is changing almost faster than the people in it can manage.The red pen:I hate to start with the title, but honestly, let's do. Kris becomes a mutineer in the last forty pages of the book in a frankly underwhelming sequence filled with prose so purple that it makes Willie Wonka's suit look positively tasteful. This deeply unsubtle title means that by process of elimination, you hit about three-quarters of the way through, calculate pacing, and decide that she's obviously going to become a mutineer on her next ship. Given the intrigue behind the reasons for that mutiny, this shoots the tension with tranquilizer darts and leaves it to twitch feebly in the road.In articles with a short editing window, like newspapers, things like typos and inconsistencies are to be expected. In a published book, basic typos and subject-verb agreement issues in the first chapter are very unimpressive. While typos mostly clear up after that, many of the later inconsistencies cast doubt on the structure of the worldbuilding. If your characters are using entirely metric units like meters, you've made a good guess because in the future everyone will hopefully ditch irregular units; however, then using degrees Fahrenheit to discuss the latest gadget comes off as distinctly odd. Ditto the fact that under 3.25 gees Kris weighs nearly 400 pounds (again, where are the metric units?). Math tells us that she weighs 123 pounds in normal gravity despite being described on the third page as being six feet tall. I do not care how notably small her breasts are in the tiresome and overplayed token attempt to make female protagonists physically unattractive, you cannot be in the military and pass strenuous physical exams with that height-to-weight ratio.Similarly, hearing about Kris's college class on current twenty-fourth century problems when we're shown past events happening in the year 2422 smacks of the universe's timeline not being thought through at all; 1922 was in the twentieth century, 2422 is in in the twenty-fifth. When firing three-laser bursts at an enemy ship, the fourth shot in the three-laser burst is closest to the target two times in a row. Kris breaks into the top fortress-office that's firmly stated as the most secure building on the planet by walking past a sequence of guards who were saying "hey, you can't go through that door" instead of hitting some sort of panic button to slam the door on her, shooting her with tranquilizer darts, or calling more competent security. Individually they seem like small details, but collectively they slap you out of the stream of the story because they do not make a cursed bit of logical sense. Neither, incidentally, does having people in the 24th century talk about Ghirardelli chocolate chips or compare an incoming ship to a Klingon Bird-of-Prey. Yes, good brand names have staying power, but throwing around things that are popular now without providing any indication that pop culture has even existed in the intervening time is shaky writing.Tommy, Kris's loyal companion, has decent characterization, for a sidekick who just follows Kris's lead and appears to have neither a spine nor any original thoughts; he's on the better side of the dull secondary characters. That said, his cultural background is shallow. An Irish-Chinese colony is a fascinating idea, but despite having names from both sides of that heritage, Tommy shows no substantive evidence of belonging to that culture. Discussion of the leprechauns and ancestors mercifully dies off about halfway through the book, but even that sticks to tropes that you can pick up from the standard bag of cultural stereotypes. The Irish background gets something of a nod by way of Tommy's brief spurts of Catholicism, but the Chinese elements may as well not be there. It could have been fine if his planet had been a piece of trivia and he never mentioned his ancestry, but ancestors and leprechauns make for a patronizing and one-dimensional look at actual living cultures.It's perhaps an unfair comparison, but this really comes across as an unfocused version of the Honor Harrington series. Calling it a ripoff would be a stretch, but they have quite a few themes and tropes in common; a dedicated young woman goes into the military, does brilliant things, is well-regarded by people high in the chain of command (less so by her immediate superiors), and has to use a mixed bag of grit, cunning, and improvisation to fix truly bad situations Against Impossible Odds. The difference between them as characters is one of approach to military life and its structures. Honor Harrington, starting out as a commander in the first book, exercises initiative when the chain of command is absent or criminally negligent; Kris Longknife is less compelling because she sees the chain of command as somewhat optional as an ensign. One of these people belongs in the military and the other needs either to find a better outlet for her need for community or figure out how the military operates.For a character to succeed amid treachery and other obstacles in a high-intrigue space opera, he/she needs to have unbreakable strength of will, nigh-inhuman improvisational skills, or both. Kris lacks that steel spine or the mental agility to adapt. She's not stupid by any means, but she's slow to make connections and a bit too much of her information comes from family members just passing things to her so she can chew on them for ages and finally spit out a conclusion when it's convenient for the plot.All in all, the first part of this book shines. I wanted to like the rest of it, but just couldn't sustain the suspension of both disbelief and common sense. The inconsistencies and errors break the flow to the point where it becomes annoying to read. The characters are too lightly sketched to make me invested to the point of not caring about the details, and there's too little buildup to the end to make it really feel like the future of the galaxy is at stake. This book needed to focus on either the chillingly hard demands of duty and concern about the loss of humanity's future that you see in large-scale space opera or the vividly drawn characters of a smaller-scale adventure. Unfortunately, the opening of this series couldn't deliver enough on either front.For ongoing recommendations about similar books, check out this post at Red Pen Reviews.

  • Vanessa
    2019-03-30 23:28

    The daughter of a governor to a settled planet, Kris enjoyed a life of luxury and prestige--but she felt it was more of a prison than anything. In an effort to make her own way in the universe, she joined the marines. Unfortunately, the military of the outer rim planets lacks the support it needs to continue operations, as there isn’t much conflict like there used to be.After a spectacular rescue of a little girl from terrorists on a neighboring planet, Kris is relegated to humanitarian duty on a planet whose environment has gone haywire from man-made interference. She realizes that her assignment may not be coincidence, and that her brush with death on the kidnapping rescue mission may not have been coincidence, either.When I picked up Kris Longnife: Mutineer off Amazon, I did it because a lot of people seemed to like the book, the cover is cool, and it’s about a woman military type and I think it’s cool for a woman to be able to fight. Not very good reasons to choose a book, as I found out. It’s not a poorly written book, but neither is it stellar writing, and after coming off the high after reading Bujold’s Curse of Chalion, it was hard not to compare the flat prose and boring characters.The opening chapters are slow and pedantic. It’s supposed to be this exciting rescue mission, but we’re instead jerked out of the here-and-how with too many flashbacks from not only when her brother was kidnapped and murdered, but her troubled teenage years.Shepherd's prose is basic, rife with cliché and not descriptive beyond the required setting elements and sci fi technological details. This story is all about plot, no doubt, as one event after another occurs, strung along as we follow Kris’s travels from one planet to another. You’d think that all this information was to build up for a spectacular ending. But…the climax events have little direct relation with Kris’s actions in the rest of the book, which, as a plot-based book, should have tied more directly into the main body of the story.The characterization is little more developed than the setting. Shepherd attempts to give Kris flaws, but this 21-year-old woman is a know-it-all with better solutions than her more experienced senior officers. It goes so far beyond reality it suspends belief. She always knows the right thing to do. I don’t remember being that mature and smart when I was 21. Shepherd tries to write Kris as a woman, really he does, but in essence she’s a man in a woman’s body with a few irrational emotional episodes tucked in for good measure. I had a hard time identifying with this woman on any level. Kris does have issues she struggles through, it's just that Shepherd isn't very subtle about it.If you like a good adventure, perhaps compared to Gemmel's books, where your hero is a truly heroic, then you will probably like this book. Otherwise, I probably won't read the rest of the books in this series, just because I can't care enough about Kris to do it.

  • Michael
    2019-03-21 18:15

    Promising story line in the genre of military space opera, but ultimately this debut of a long series (9 and counting) was disappointing to me. Ensign Kris Longknife, daughter of a planetary prime minister seeks a career in the space navy as a means to achievement and adventure away from family politics. But her family connections and privileged background either prejudices people against her or raises unrealistic expectations. The scenarios on planets and shipboard provide interesting challenges to her leadership and courage. The premise resembles that of David Weber's satisfying Honor Harrington series, and it's okay that Shepherd leans more to the action sphere and less to the social and political. However, as a character she is not as engaging, and the comic relief is not as successful. But I will try another one or two to see if the stories improve with the writer's experience.

  • Elecampane
    2019-03-24 21:19

    I love military sci-fi, but this book was overall a disappointment. I should have had my first warning when the back cover said that she "enlists in the marines [sic]" and yet it's made clear by page 7 that Kris is, in fact, in the Navy. The entire book is like this, riddled with typographical errors (apostrophe errors, to/too and its/it's errors, incomplete sentences) to a degree that made me wonder if it had had an editor at all.There are a number of enjoyable elements, including a promising opening: Kris has been placed in charge of a Marine drop-mission to rescue a hostage. Flashbacks to the kidnapping of her younger brother, when she was ten, gives us the basic story behind why she joined the Navy against her parents' wishes, and why this mission is so important to her; a bit of an obvious ploy, but the actual mission parts are nicely tense reading, as several things in a row go wrong and Kris has to improvise her way to success. Essentially the same thing happens on her second mission, a rescue-and-relief mission on a planet overwhelmed by a volcanic eruption; it's a bit reminiscent of Miles Vorkosigan at Kyril Island, in fact, with the intrepid Ensign faced with a demoralized, ineffective, slovenly outpost she resolutely jump-starts into effectiveness. At the end of her first mission, the Chief asks Kris why she's in the Navy. Kris responds that she wanted to "do some good" and get away from her family's restrictive attention. The Chief tells her that's "enough reason to join. Not good enough to stay. Let me know when you figure out why you want to be Navy," and this is essentially what ties the book together: we're watching Kris figure out the answer. The main reasons for my disappointment were the pacing, which was rough and laggard at times, and the handling of Kris's character.The pacing of the novel is awkward, even jarring. It almost reads as three missions separated by filler, like short stories that were roughly joined together into a novel, given the vast differences in the situations, from hostage extraction to humanitarian aid to a major interstellar battle (or at least the start of one). In between these sections are stretches of dull nothing - Kris visits her aunt for a computer upgrade, talks to her parents, and all the narrative tension built up during the action becomes motionless. The pacing also feels very uneven: by page 300, I was starting to wonder why the subtitle of the book was "Mutineer" -- three-quarters in, there was no sign of any mutiny, and in fact Kris was still stuck on Olympia, wrapping up the aid mission. The entire mission wherein the "mutiny" occurs takes up only the last 63 pages, hardly time to build the tension needed.As for Kris, she was far less enjoyable when she wasn't on a mission. I do not read military science fiction novels for the joy of seeing an adult woman whine about her small bust or try to buck her security detail after there have been three attempts on her life. Nor do I expect a character who has been in the military to be so sexually clueless that she panics at the mere possibility of a slightly flirtatious joke from a friend. I read a review that called Kris an "unintentional" man in a woman's body, and this does seem true at a few points -- most notably, the state dinner where the men are all dismissed in one clause as "ignorable" and the next five paragraphs are about the women's dresses (specifically, how much breast the dresses display). However, most of the time, I felt Kris was a woman as written by a man with no female friends: when she's being a Naval officer, she's a person, but whenever the subject veers onto personal ground, she becomes "a girl," which is to say a cheap copy of every teen-movie character of the last century: insecure about her body and attractiveness, but completely nonsexual; rebelling against her mother's attempts to make her fashionable/attractive, but analyzing what all the other women wear. It's as if Shepherd has no idea what women think or do, so his characterization of Kris leaps from one pole to the other, rarely touching the middle ground where real people tend to be.Overall, I suggest skipping this novel in favor of something by Tanya Huff, Lois Bujold, or even David Weber -- all of them write more convincing and entertaining military sci-fi with female leads, and they don't make me grind my teeth every other chapter.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-04-11 20:26

    I changed the rating on this a couple of times. I almost went two stars but in the end the book was a disappointment. (I didn't even force my way through the final few paragraphs.) Some of you will disagree with me on this and not all of you for the same reasons. This could have been a very good book. I started it with high hopes. I liked the opening sequence (view spoiler)[ the rescue of the little girl (hide spoiler)]. But over all the book was slow and annoying though with periods of interest.Now one thing I'll mention that WOULD NOT have been a deal breaker is that I have seen this character so often before. Off the top of my head I can think of 3 science fiction series with "this character". She's the rich daughter of a powerful family who has decided she needs to do something "good" and "meaningful". She has to put up with officers and/or superiors who resent her and give her a hard time. She then performs brilliantly to the surprise of all...the dismay of many and so on.Now...let me give you the part that will please some and displease others.I read in the review of another "military science fiction read" by another reviewer that "said" military science fiction is often told from a politically conservative point of view. Well good news for all of you who don't like conservatives. this book is firmly in the "large government" corner. We get left wing slogans and even sarcastic shots at a famous Thomas Jefferson quote. So you've got your left wing military science fiction read, enjoy.I tried to like the book. the problem was that as the book went forward it got more and more involved in it's political points and less involved with it's story. We had of course early on the "obligatory" trip home on leave where "the military daughter" wanders around the home planet, puts her nose in political problems...and goes sailing (don't ask me they always have to go sailing, or swimming, or horse back riding, or something to show their "wealthy background no matter what the writer's political stance).When we got to the final big climax and the "villain" was such a caricature that he reminded me of Stephen Colbert's character it finished me.(view spoiler)[ The crazy war hawk colonel jams all communication about a peace treaty and tries to drag the entire human population of the galaxy into a war with each other. This takes place after Kris has been on a planet where government was so small that it couldn't handle a planetary disaster. See climate change destroyed the planetary economy and was starving everyone. The big problem was of course not only that the government wasn't big enough to handle things....BUT THAT EVERYONE ON THE PLANET OWNED GUNS!!!!!!! We are treated to scenes of Kris joyously smashing guns against trees after taking them from the bandits.... You progressive left wingers will love it. (hide spoiler)]No, could have been a great read. That said i assume the writer accomplished what he was going for and his target audience will be happy. So if that's you enjoy. As for me, not much actual military science fiction here, too bad.

  • Niall Teasdale
    2019-03-25 19:19

    While I generally liked the performance on this one, Dina Pearlman can't do Scottish accents for toffee. I'm inclined to believe she's reading the written down accent however, since the author doesn't know what a Yorkshire Pudding is.I liked this, but it did seem to have more text than story; ie. it was a little long, as in elongated for word count. Kris suffers from that most unfortunate of character conditions, not seeing the bleeding obvious until 5 minutes after the reader. However, the plot is pretty good, the action is realistic, the spaceships actually use a form of Newtonian physics (at least as far as sublight travel is concerned), and Kris is a likeable character.One of the strongest points of the book is also its weakest. Mike Shepherd was a Navy brat according to his bio and the book is jammed full of naval jargon which is very authentic-sounding, very atmospheric, and requires you to look up half the words before you can figure out what gives. Kris is a Boot Ensign; I spent the first 5 minutes of the book looking that up on Wikipedia. There's such a thing as too much authenticity.

  • Deana
    2019-04-13 19:22

    A very disappointing book. It tried to be like the David Webber Honor Harrington series, but is suffers from poor writing, unnecessary, awkward stage business to move characters from point A to point B 95% of the time. There is not enough sci-fi detail to explain Longknife's universe, the technology that supports it nor the social climate that 'seems' to play a part in driving activity. Here and there, during battle scenes, Shepherd gets it right, but that is not often. Instead, Longknife, a cartoon of a better Honor Harrington stumbles through terrible novel planning and execution. Save your money.

  • Ms. Nikki
    2019-03-31 22:25

    Kris Longknife is a character to root for. Along for the ride are a team of secondary players that have been set up to grow along with Kris.Kris's family has their own issues and now that she has a place at the adult table I can't wait to see what she gets up to.An adventurous read that had an narrator that was easy to listen to.On to the next.

  • Lis Carey
    2019-04-14 23:33

    Kris Longknife is the daughter of a distinguished political family. Her father is the prime minister of the planet Wardhaven, a member of the Society of Humanity, a union of nearly six hundred worlds. She's joined the navy rather than pursuing either a political or a social career because she wants to do something useful.She's smart and capable and sincere, and she has no idea what she's in for.Her first assignment as an ensign is rescuing a kidnapped six-year-old girl, the daughter of another prominent political family on another planet. And Kris is nearly killed by a shuttle malfunction that only affects Kris's shuttle.Her next is a relief mission on a planet that is suffering the climate disaster following a major volcanic eruption. Relief supplies that include modifiable boats and bridges also malfunction even though no similar equipment from those companies have ever malfunctioned. These crises aren't a coincidence. Competing political forces are stoking a crisis that will produce a war.The plot is solid and keeps moving. I like the characters.But Kris Longknife is improbably capable. She keeps being the best at pretty much everything, right through at least three quarters of the way through the book. Around that point, she starts to have experiences in which she really learns things, including that being smart doesn't always mean being right.All in all, it's fun and enjoyable, but it has some over the top passages that flirt with being really annoying.Still, it is enjoyable, and a worthwhile light read or listen.I bought this audiobook.

  • Dee
    2019-04-12 02:30

    This was a reread - I'm doing the entire series as I stalled at around book 4/5 previously (can't even remember which or why!). This is standard military style space opera - young protagonist overcoming mighty odds and showing superior mettle/honour/cunning/skills etc. I love it, I love it all, mwah-ha-ha! No seriously, it's sort of a slighltly lighter, brisker paced, Honor Harrington-esque saga, and is basically fantastically aligned with my space-operatic tastes. If this is your thing you'll love it like me - but don't expect hard-core science and the philosophy/morality is minimal (not preaching or delving into societal quandaries in other words - which I also like but it's nice to just go with the action sometimes).

  • Xan
    2019-03-21 20:16

    Entretenido pero sin sorpresas.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-03-25 02:32

    I changed the rating on this a couple of times. I almost went two stars but in the end the book was a disappointment. (I didn't even force my way through the final few paragraphs.) Some of you will disagree with me on this and not all of you for the same reasons. This could have been a very good book. I started it with high hopes. I liked the opening sequence (view spoiler)[ the rescue of the little girl (hide spoiler)]. But over all the book was slow and annoying though with periods of interest.Now one thing I'll mention that WOULD NOT have been a deal breaker is that I have seen this character so often before. Off the top of my head I can think of 3 science fiction series with "this character". She's the rich daughter of a powerful family who has decided she needs to do something "good" and "meaningful". She has to put up with officers and/or superiors who resent her and give her a hard time. She then performs brilliantly to the surprise of all...the dismay of many and so on.Now...let me give you the part that will please some and displease others.I read in the review of another "military science fiction read" by another reviewer that "said" military science fiction is often told from a politically conservative point of view. Well good news for all of you who don't like conservatives. this book is firmly in the "large government" corner. We get left wing slogans and even sarcastic shots at a famous Thomas Jefferson quote. So you've got your left wing military science fiction read, enjoy.I tried to like the book. the problem was that as the book went forward it got more and more involved in it's political points and less involved with it's story. We had of course early on the "obligatory" trip home on leave where "the military daughter" wanders around the home planet, puts her nose in political problems...and goes sailing (don't ask me they always have to go sailing, or swimming, or horse back riding, or something to show their "wealthy background no matter what the writer's political stance).When we got to the final big climax and the "villain" was such a caricature that he reminded me of Stephen Colbert's character it finished me.(view spoiler)[ The crazy war hawk colonel jams all communication about a peace treaty and tries to drag the entire human population of the galaxy into a war with each other. This takes place after Kris has been on a planet where government was so small that it couldn't handle a planetary disaster. See climate change destroyed the planetary economy and was starving everyone. The big problem was of course not only that the government wasn't big enough to handle things....BUT THAT EVERYONE ON THE PLANET OWNED GUNS!!!!!!! We are treated to scenes of Kris joyously smashing guns against trees after taking them from the bandits.... You progressive left wingers will love it. (hide spoiler)]No, could have been a great read. That said i assume the writer accomplished what he was going for and his target audience will be happy. So if that's you enjoy. As for me, not much actual military science fiction here, too bad.

  • Brownbetty
    2019-03-20 19:30

    Comes under "if this is the sort of thing you like, then this is the sort of thing you'll like." I would call it "Patrick O'Brian in space," but not having read any Patrick O'Brian, I might get myself in trouble that way. From this, however, you can probably gather it's not quite the sort of thing I like. (My rating may be a bit low for that reason.) I picked it up though, because it had a female protagonist and I remembered hearing the name somewhere.Kris Longknife is likable enough, although a bit bland; she's certainly no Miles Vorkosigan, but she's clever enough, and has a bit too much initiative for an Ensign, which is where this book starts. In fact, she rather invites comparison to Miles in more than one respect: she's the daughter of her planet's oldest political family, and her family has been deeply wounded by politics. But while this book's title informs you she will mutiny, she takes longer to get around to it than Miles would have, and does it with much more procedure: this is a navy story, not a space opera.As female characters go, Kris doesn't do anything that a male character in her place couldn't or wouldn't have, which is fair enough: some women are like that. I guess I've just been spoiled by Bujold's exploration of gender politics. There are several places where I would have appreciated slightly more gender analysis. For example, it's remarked that women are a minority in the navy, but neither the reasons nor the implications of this are looked at. Kris' mother performs femininity like a refugee from Confederate Atlanta, and while characters remark on this, it's never explored or challengedWorth the read, probably not worth paying cover price for.

  • Katrin von Martin
    2019-04-08 19:36

    I'm very fond of space opera; Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series and Weber's early Honor Harrington books are among my favourite sci-fi reads. "Mutineer" kept showing up on my "recommended for you" list, so I decided to give it a try. While not the best space opera I've read, it was a very enjoyable read. Spoilers follow. The story opens in the middle of a dangerous mission; Kris and her team have been sent to retrieve the young daughter of an important official from a group of kidnappers. Spurred by memories of her own little brother's death in a botched hostage situation, Kris leads her fellow soldiers through a minefield and combat, eventually rescuing the terrified child. Following the retrieval, Kris is sent home on leave with her best friend Tommy in tow. Once home, she is faced with the typical family drama that has become the norm since her brother's death. Her parents are distant and her relatives seem to hate one another for various reasons. We also get a bit of Kris's background, as well as a look into how her new fame as the rescuer of the little girl affects her. It is also here that we meet the Longknife family's rivals: the Peterwalds. Her leave is cut short, though, and she is called back to duty. Kris's next deployment is to Olympia, a planet suffering from climate changes as the result of a gigantic volcano eruption; its people are starving, the crime rate is high, and the navy seems to be doing little to keep things under control. Within weeks of arriving, Kris manages to get the naval base in top shape and sets up local food kitchens and militia to feed those in the towns. Later, she finds the root of the problems of crime in the rural areas and begins eliminating it, goes on a date of sorts, and rescues a farm-full of people from a raging river. Her time on Olympia ends and she is sent back to New Haven to be with her family once again. While there, she solves a mystery related to the rescue of the little girl and events on Olympia. She also learns that the alliance holding the human-inhabited planets is crumbling with a high likelihood of Earth and New Haven becoming enemies. Kris is soon called back to service to take part in a fleet moving to attack and Earth fleet. Realizing something is wrong, Kris takes control of the ship (through a mutiny) and turns on the other ships in the fleet, hoping to stop them before they encounter Earth ships. She succeeds and is sent back to New Haven for a trial. She is found to not be guilty; she also finds herself in a higher social position when one of her grandfathers is given a prominent government position. Clearly there's a lot going on in this novel. Despite the amount of events, it's still a pretty fast read. For the most part, everything is pretty straightforward and easy to understand, yet there's enough going on in the background (the mystery of who is trying to kill Kris, for example) to keep it from getting boring. It may not be the most original plot, but I personally enjoyed the amount of relevant, exciting events that took place. Ultimately, it didn't feel like the story was trying to be more than it was; it was supposed to tell an intriguing story about young woman in the navy, and it succeeded. It's hardly the deepest, most thoughtful piece of literature out there, but it's a fun read.Sheperd's writing style is clear and simple, which works really well for this type of story. The plot isn't bogged down with unnecessary descriptions or too much prose. However, on the other hand, it does sometimes seems perhaps a little too simplistic. I found it to be hit or miss depending on the situation. For example, action scenes are pretty well written in terms of pace and describing what's happening; though scenes that are describing political or family happenings are sometimes hard to follow due to how little information is given. It can also be a little difficult to figure out how some things work (for example the aging or who is related to whom) within the story's world. So the writing overall is pretty mixed; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.Moving on to characters, the titular protagonist, Kris Longknife is, in a sense, typical of heroines in this genre. She's moderately young, somewhat unsure of herself, very competent in what she does, and lacks in confidence regarding her looks. However, despite the seeming cliché for the genre, she's actually very enjoyable to read. Kris takes a lot of risks in her career, and she isn't always completely right; it's refreshing to read about a character that gets in over her head and sometimes has to muddle through it only to find that what she thought was certain isn't and that there are consequences for her actions. Of course, in a perhaps predictable turn, she is forgiven for her mutiny, but at least she takes risks. It's also nice to see a character get into the action on the ground in the gritty-ness of a gunfight rather than simply command from a ship.Another thing that works well for Kris is her character development. Initially, I wasn't sure what I would think of the whole Eddy situation and how much she was fixated on it; as the story progressed, though, I found that I enjoyed watching her struggle through her guilt and feelings over her brother's death and move beyond it. She also grew as a person and member of the Navy; she grew in confidence and even went on a date (which I had not been expecting to see). Overall, Kris is a pretty relatable character for her growth while still coming off as an average person.There are some negatives to the character, though. The biggest problem I had with her was that I didn't feel like I quite knew who she was exactly by the end of the novel. Sometimes she's joking with friends, but then in the next instant she's a strict commander who's barking out orders. She has the perfect manner for speaking with children, friends, superiors, and inferiors. To an extent, I expected this and found it believable, yet it also kept me from completely knowing the character. Perhaps she is better fleshed out in later books. The next biggest character is probably Tom, Kris's best friend. Tom is also a very enjoyable character, but he's pretty much what you'd expect from a best friend. He does serve to make Kris realize that her decisions affect others, and in that way aids the main character in her growth. He has his own talents and personality, making him a pleasure to read.The other minor characters are pretty hit and miss. Some (like Aunt Tru or the Peterwald heir) are enjoyable and unexpected. Others (like Kris's grandfathers or her superiors) are about what you'd expect from characters in their positions. Yet others (like Kris's parents) are somewhat unexpected, but aren't quite believable in their actions.On a random note, the cultural stereotypes became a little tiresome. For example, Tommy is from a group of people descended from the Irish and Chinese; so he constantly talks about the ancestors and the wee folk. Or, to cite another instance, the Highlanders wear kilts, play bagpipes, speak with a brogue, and sword dance. I might have enjoyed this if a reason for the cliches was explained, but as it was, it became annoying and eye-roll inducing.Overall, "Mutineer" is hardly the best space opera out there; it's predictable, doesn't have the most original plot, and some of the characters are lacking. However, the main character is a genuine joy to read and the book as a whole is entertaining and fun, which is primarily why I read. Three and a half stars, rounded up to four because of how much I enjoyed reading this book. This review is also posted on Amazon.com.

  • Moira
    2019-03-21 01:30

    30.12.2017 - 4,5*Prvně jsem se bála, aby Kris Longknife nebyla příliš podobna Honor Harrington. Podívejte se na anotace a pochopíte proč. Ale damn, ty dvě by nemohly být rozdílnější, a zároveň více podobné. Autoři vzali armádu a cestu těch dvou každý trochu jinak, dost, abych je dokázala jasně odlišit, a zároveň jsou v tom nejlepším oba příběhy skvěle vykreslené.Příběh má své zajímavé prvky, složitou politickou situaci. Kris se narodila do vlivné rodiny a jde to znát. A armáda zcela jistě nedostává dostatečnou finanční podporu.Kris je zosobněná katastrofa. Má to v genech, rys charakteristický pro celou její rodinu. Příběh tak získal něco z toho odstínu a je to šílená jízda - kterou jsem si užila. Kniha mě chytla a nepustila až do konce. ^^

  • Vanessa
    2019-03-23 02:21

    Solid 3.75 - 1/2 star off for dragging the end a bit, even if it ended well.Great Space Opera!The protagonist is a young woman named Kris Longknife, the child of political parents and military grandparents. She decides to take the military route to the chagrin of her parents.The story moves along at a perfect pace and her natural talent is displayed as well as her not quite best decisions. We follow her on missions and her less than perfect relationships. I love her development as well as all the characters introduced.The writing is easy and flows well and it's just a fun and enjoyable book.

  • Kathy
    2019-04-15 22:31

    Fabulous New SF Series!Since all the Scifi TV shows, except for Doctor Who, I have watched up until May 2011 have been cancelled (my beloved Stargate Universe, SG-1, SGA, The Event, Outcasts, Caprica, Farscape, BSG, etc.) I have been cruising around, looking for a good SF book. This new series [well new to me] totally satisfied my huge SF appetite.This book had all the essential features that makes a great SF series. The story begins with Kris in the middle of a dangerous rescue scene and the action is pretty much consistent from there. The author grabbed my attention right from the beginning. This high adventure series is now right up there with my all-time favorite SF series, Galaxy Unknown by Thomas DePrima.I highly recommend this book to fellow SF fans. To those fellow dark urban fantasy readers, looking for a good SF but don't want to end up with space romance; I highly recommend this book to you, as the style of writing is similar to an urban fantasy read. I also look forward to the next book in the series Deserter.I also recommend:Against All Odds (A Galaxy Unknown, Book 7)Peacekeeper: A Major Ariane Kedros NovelChildren of Scarabaeus (Scarabaeus, Book 2)Space Trippers Book 1: Trippin'The Darkest Edge of Dawn (Charlie Madigan, Book 2)

  • Coyora Dokusho
    2019-04-09 20:15

    Read at least (2) times...Some time I have to go back and read all the prequels by Mike Moscoe... but ugh... prequels >.< so meh.I really like Kris, but I'm living in my head a bunch of books ahead, I think it's going to do me a lot of good reading all the books again but they're really dense and convoluted - not a bad thing at all but they take up a lot of energy and concentration to read. However! I gotta because I forgot stuff that happened from the beginning (dense and convoluted, remember?) so, might as well enjoy the ride? (and take it easy! 'cuz they're not going anywhere)

  • Steven
    2019-04-07 22:31

    Young woman from rich and powerful family makes her way in the Navy, discovers secession plot. I liked the fact she wasn't perfect, wasn't immediately tossed into bed with either possible romantic lead and that everything wasn't neatly wrapped up. It's also nice to see an SF tech novel where tech screws up or can't be used, and the avoidance of a cliched character in Hancock was welcome.I'm less thrilled with her supercomputer or her l33t hacker Aunt, but overall enjoyable.

  • Kati
    2019-04-12 19:34

    What an excellent book! Exactly what I was looking for in a sci-fi story: the perfect mix of space exploration, military action and political intrigue. Amazing characters and perfectly written women. Yes, Kris' wealth sometimes worked as a sort of "deus ex machina" way out but that's the only gripe I have. Everything else was top notch good! Can't wait to read the next book in the series. If you like Jack Campbell's "The Lost Fleet", you will like this one too.

  • Francine
    2019-03-30 23:31

    A science fiction fun quick read with engaging characters, humor, a little bit of politics and a lot of suspension of disbelief. There's a lot of books in this series, all available as e-books at my library. I'll be reading them for a while in between other books.

  • Bob
    2019-03-20 19:36

    Popcorn! Nutritionally worthless, mostly air, ... but irresistibly tasty! Every time I finish a "Longknife", I swear I won't waste my time on another. I say the same thing after every bag of popcorn.

  • Rowan G.
    2019-03-30 22:39

    I actually liked this book, even though I thought I wouldn't initially. Good action and a mostly likeable cast of primary characters.

  • Debrac2014
    2019-03-28 23:37

    I had to finish the book! Boy, does Longknife have an interesting life! Good read!

  • Tara Murasaki
    2019-04-12 22:32

    This book was incredibly frustrating. I picked it up expecting a mutiny. It took over 350 pages to get to that mutiny, and it only lasted about 15 pages. The whole novel was build up, and let me tell you, I was ready to throw it across the room if it didn't delivery the mutiny soon. In addition, there is one point in the novel that clearly shows a failure of research. The character of Tommy Lien has a name that is very Chinese; however, at one point, he refers to family kami - kami is a Japanese concept. So unless this character is mixed both Asian and mixed Asian and European, the author is mixing cultures half haphazardly. That being said, the book itself was enjoyable (beside the continued and growing frustrating at the clear lack of a mutiny). The main character is likeable enough, and I imagine she will grow on me as she grows up and develops as a character. The story was interesting, if a bit slow from time to time, in that half of the book was spent wallowing in a rainy mudhole, occasionally shooting at people and sailing up dangerous rivers in the near dark. Still, a good enough book that I am going to read the second one. I just hope the action promised in the book synopsis actually happens in the fist 90% of the book this time, and isn't held off for the last 50 or so pages.

  • Lushr
    2019-04-14 21:27

    This is the first of currently 14 Kris Longknife novels, and if they're all as well written as this one I'm a very happy girl.Realistic heroine from rich but interesting background, does not have sex with anyone, but really develops into someone you genuinely want to say is heroic. It's sci fi, it has mystery, lots of action. And no awkward"ugh we knew that would happen" pot issues.There's politics, intrigue and lots of military stuff. But there's also a lot of character, enough to keep me rolling through this book at a pretty fast pace, thought I was surprised how long it was, far more than just one little adventure here, in fact about three of them! It still didn't take me long to rip through.

  • Tremont G
    2019-04-12 20:26

    Kris is an idiot! Why does she think she is "paranoid" when people REALLY ARE trying to kill her! It's obviously the Peterwald/Greenfeld people behind everything and she NEVER follows up or tries to figure it out. The book ends with huge holes in the story with regard to Olympia as well. Nothing is resolved with the implications to the Peterwald throwing an asteroid into the Damon volcano. WTF! AND, by the hell would Kris not demand immediately why the stupid boats and bridges the Peterwald the 13th dropped off completely failed, and why, after they checked, there were more expired vaccines. Kris is a damn doormat. She sucks.

  • Craig Jones
    2019-04-10 02:41

    I can see why this book was popular enough to encourage a long series, but I personally won't be continuing on. When compared to the Vor series (L. M. Bujold) or Vatta's War (Elizabeth Moon), this one just felt like more of the same, but not quite as pithy, and never jaw-dropping. The main character, Kris Longknife, is likable and strong, but everyone else is flat and the world-building was lackluster (too familiar to current everyday life, perhaps?). In any event, I wasn't left with any compelling reasons to pick up the next book and keep reading. I don't care what happens next. Kinda a shame, really.