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Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review
There were parts of the first book, Mutineer, that I thought could have been improved and Deserter addresses everything I found lacking. Nelly, Kris’s personal pet computer, was not fantastic enough (probably a bit less powerful than the newest Android). In Deserter, Nelly gets a major upgrade. Nelly now docks into Kris’s head and talks with Kris mentally. Nelly also starts developing a personality, one of a spoiled Justin Bieber fan. In Mutineer, Kris seemed more a soldier than a 22-year-old chick. In Deserter, with no military-appointed mission to follow, our heroine gets a lot more fem. Thanks to Kris’s new governess, we have some serious wardrobe changes, clothes descriptions, and other womanly upgrades.
Unlike in Mutineer, there's cohesion with Deserter. The subplots tie to together smoothly, and dip back to Mutineer, making the story flow easily from Kris arriving like a princess on Turantic via a Titanic-like luxury cruise ship to her going incognito as a limping Arabic boy. She seamlessly goes from a whore, to a maid, to a pregnant girl in a burqa. I also felt that Mutineer lacked the politicking I expected from a prime minister’s daughter. There’s so much of it in Deserter: the royal “we,” the dressing up, the appearances. Oh, and finally, things get sexier as well as more sophisticated. There’s tension, there’s flirting – no sex, but it’s not really needed. Also, I love the more-developed supporting character, like Abigail, the Q to Kris’s Bond. Hence the booby traps – actual falsies that turn into bombs!
I’ve previously mentioned how much I liked Dina Pearlman’s reading of the Mutineer, where she did a great job with internal dialogue versus external dialogue. This becomes more important in Deserter since Nelly and Kris now talk both externally and in Kris’s mind. On a textbook, that’s easy to figure out. In an audiobook, it’s all Dina Pearlman’s skill.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
This is a very well written series. It reminds me a bit of David Weber's Honor Harrington series in scope, but it has a life and flavor all its own. I have listened to the first three books and each one is an exciting stand alone thriller with twists and turns that you will not see coming. But, each one is also a smoothly crafted extension of the whole. I enjoyed them all. Kris Longknife will leave you wanting more...
I wasn't sure that Dina Pearlman had the voice range to carry this series, but she has proven to be up to the task. Her only problem is her phrasing. She refuses to follow the written punctuation and adds pauses where none are called for. This bad habit destroys the flow and continuity of action in many, many cases. Other than that, which can be lived with if you grit your teeth, she does very well.
I give the series 4 stars and Pearlman 3 stars. It's a good combination and a fine listen.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
Kris didn't want to be the Debutante her mother wanted or her Prime Minister father's campaign manager, so she joined the Navy. But now her Great Grandfather (possibly in retaliation) has made her a Princess. So she gets Abby. Nelly gets an upgrade and an alien chip to play with; and the attitude of an 8 year old. Tom gets kidnapped and the love of his life. Jack gets to see more of Kris than he expected and to keep Kris alive. If he can.
Same problem with the narrator: lines get read in the wrong accent for the character etc. I still liked it, have listened more than once and went on to get more.