Publisher: Roc, 2008
Genre: Science fiction
Read the full (spoiler-free) review here.
Peacekeeper came out just a few weeks ago as Reeve's debut novel. Sci-fi with a female protagonist written by a new female author? Any of the above would catch my attention, so when I saw the combination, it was an instant grab for me.
Reeve has lots of fun with her characterization. The book is full of strong characters who have interesting weaknesses. Ariane is smart, tough, and understands (and even abides by) her limitations; she's also a functioning alcoholic haunted by her past. Matt is loyal, passionate, and fiercely intelligent; he's also agrophobic and has serious trust issues. Even the secondary characters are more complex than they seem at first sight.
The attention to detail with the inner workings of the Autonomist military, their dealings with outsiders (both civilians and aliens), and the relationships between crew members made Peacekeeper stand out from some of the other military sf offerings out there. This isn't just an excuse to shoot aliens on a distant planet, it's a complex system of routines, rules, and friendships forged under life and death circumstances.
Peacekeeper has an intricately layered plot, which at first was a little difficult to get into, but once I got a handle on how some of the different backstories fit in together, it went by pretty quickly. Lots of action, lots of intrigue, just a hint of potential romance, and a nifty plot twist near the end of the book all adds up a very satisfying read.