I think Van Tudor is quickly getting the hang of being a Peacemaker. He’s assembled a rather strange, but very effective team who are now heavily involved in solving another criminal mystery. It was good to see Van team up with Torina, although why she would want to tag along with a Peacemaker is hard to believe considering how wealth she must be, but she’s doing the job and Van has rightly designated her his Second. I can’t for sure determine if Van and Torina have a romantic relationship or not, but it doesn’t really matter and is not necessarily germane to the story. So, with Perry, the bird construct AI, and the highly intelligent ship AI, Netty, this Peacemaker team is making a mark on their part of the universe.
Right now they are searching for people or entities that have been stolen/kidnapped and transformed into computer chips. That’s right, this future has the ability to download whatever is considered a conscious mind into a computer chip which is programmed to do whatever the user wants it to do. I guess it’s like having a highly intelligent AI doing all the work for you, but sometimes these former people are aware that they are no longer in their bodies and realize they are now prisoners of whomever kidnapped them. Van and his associates want to track down who is running this dastardly business and end them, violently if possible! They are picking up leads as they go and are being helped by a senior Peacemaker name Lunzy.
We get to see a little more into the previous life of Torina in this book. She takes Van back to her homeworld that has been restored to its former peaceful conditions. He meets Cataric Innsu, a Master in the Art of Innsu or hand-to-hand combat and begins learning some valuable skills that he’ll definitely need if he’s to continue his Peacemaker profession. It’s kind of ironic that he’s learning a hand-to-hand combat technique when some of the bad guys he’ll meet don’t even have hands, just tentacles and such! Still, he needs to at least try to become as proficient as Torina so he can protect himself. Being a Peacemaker is dangerous business as Van Tudor is quickly finding out.
So, in this book we get insight into who is leading despicable operation of turning sentient beings into computer chips. It turns out that she is the mother of a new character we’ll meet who goes by the name of Icky. You’ll have to read about this encounter, but I think it’s going to be one that pays dividends to Van and Torina in the long run. While everything seems to be going well in their investigation, Van has been informed that he has a cousin that has just joined the Peacemakers. How that happened, Van has no idea, considering that a few months ago he had no idea that the galaxy beyond Earth even existed, it’s not surprising. Still, of all his cousins, which he doesn’t have many, why did Carter Yost have to show up? He is a spoiled brat of a person, self-centered, egotistical narcissist and down-right terrible person, but now he’s a Peacemaker Initiate just like Van. Who in the heck would sponsor a guy like this and more importantly, why? Van doesn’t believe it’s going to turn out very well with his cousin around because his cousin is also the very, very jealous type. He doesn’t like sharing the spotlight with anybody and especially not with Van Tudor. So how much of a problem is he going to be. Read the story!
I like how this story is written. It’s interesting but more like a detective book than a military science fiction book. Still, they do get into some fighting taking down the bad guys so there’s that. It seems though that so far Van and Torina have not been really challenged all that much. With Perry and Natty backing them up, they seem to be able to apprehend whomever they are going after without a lot of problems. Even when they decide they need more help, it always seems to be available. So far, neither Van nor Torina have been seriously shot in any of their fights although they do wear armor and are occasionally outgunned. I guess things just seem too perfect to the point of them solving their mission and then what?
Don’t know how this series will continue, but it certainly does. In fact, there are six books in this series already available via Amazon with a seventh book coming in May, 2022. I think I’m going to continue reading this series by starting bok 3, “Anvil Dark”, right now!