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A review of kristine smiths book code of conduct

I'm so glad Sherwood Smith reviewed it so favorably.

There was so much unexpected delight in the story. It's an odd sci fi story, but I found it completely engaging with an awesome main character, fantastic setting, and a well-paced plot.

I really appreciated some of the originality shown here.

The galaxy consists, so far, of a single alien race in addition to humanity, of course and a lot of the story revolves around the interactions between the races. Interes This was just a whole lot of fun. Interestingly, there isn't a lot of conflict between them.

Code of Conduct

I get the impression that competition for resources isn't that pronounced with plenty of settlement area open to both, even though they share compatible environmental niches. So the conflict between them is mostly cultural with a side of scientific competition. The aliens are better at biological manipulation, for example, which is central to the story. Since our main character is a graduate of their top training, this aspect penetrates the story in dramatic and revealing ways that I found utterly fascinating.

My main draw, though, was Killian herself. I have a soft-spot for the realistically hyper-competent and she's one of those with a believable and consistent mixture of coping with weaknesses and maximizing strengths.

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She has some serious drawbacks she is managing due to an injury acquired during the incident that drove her into hiding, but she also does a great job maximizing opportunities that come her way with a mixture of sense, observation, and confidence.

The supporting cast was fun, as well, with a great mixture of characters with their own motivations and relationships that felt organic and, well, right.

  1. There was so much unexpected delight in the story.
  2. The aliens are better at biological manipulation, for example, which is central to the story.
  3. I'll definitely be looking for the next in the series and hope it continues as great as this start.
  4. That ending is what bumped this from a solid four edging up to the solid five stars I ended with.
  5. It was a disturbingly close call and only preparation for some important business meetings gave me the willpower to put it down in the middle.

The story is an investigation into events in the past and Smith does a great job keeping the pace going even through the research and information gathering phases. It helps, of course, that the stakes are life and death both literal and political so people are at their most extreme and therefore interesting.

But it also helps having Killian as the ultimate disruptive outsider catalyzing events, sometimes deliberately, sometimes opportunistically, but always serving as a spur to action. Thus you have cover-ups and murders and feints and threats and all that fun stuff for Killian to bounce off of.

And I can't say how much I appreciated the ending.

Kristine Smith

There's a solid conclusion to the story that drove the plot, with all the relevant threads wrapped tightly, but Smith also managed a new status quo for Killian that makes me excited to see what comes next, as well.

That ending is what bumped this from a solid four edging up to the solid five stars I ended with. So yeah, I was completely engrossed and only supreme self-control kept this to two late nights as opposed to a single devastating all-nighter.

  • Now, without giving away her own identity, Jani must take on a dangerous task of finding the answers to questions someone wants to keep secret;
  • Smith balances a taut mystery with vivid characters and a complex, ever-evolving plot--a feat more experienced authors don't always achieve.

It was a disturbingly close call and only preparation for some important business meetings gave me the willpower to put it down in the middle. I'll definitely be looking for the next in the series and hope it continues as great as this start.