A Peace Divided (Peacekeeper, #2)

By Tanya Huff

Rating: 3 stars

Having given up freelancing and become Wardens of the Confederation (the space police, basically), Torin and her team are sent to a planet where a group of archaeologists are being held hostage by a group of extremists looking for an ancient weapon that they could use against the sentient plastic that started and maintained the war between the Confederation and the Primacy for centuries. And since the kidnappers are composed of both Confederation and Primacy species, Torin has to take a group of Primacy in her team as well.

I found this book quite annoying. The main plot driver just didn’t make sense to me – you find some plastic in a latrine of a pre-industrial civilisation and my first thought is not that they obviously found a weapon to use against the sentient plastic. This is a galaxy with many, many spacefaring civilisations, some of them very old indeed. How do you know one of them didn’t just stop off for a picnic or something? And then you’ve got Torin’s huge leap of logic right at the end of the book about what happened to the dead race under investigation. And the annoying thing is that I bet she’s right, but only because she’s being a spokesperson for the author, not because it makes any sense at all.

The usual supporting cast are all present and correct, but the new Primacy group added to the team don’t really get a lot of characterisation and I struggled to remember who each of them were and what their important relationships were, and also what they looked like a lot of the time (although this last point is true of the main cast too).

In this one, the human extremist group Humans First (they’ve dropped the apostrophe by now) are still driving events, which is wearying, but the point bears repeating – concepts of “us” and “them” are entirely malleable and prone to changing. In a post-Trump, post-Brexit world, this shouldn’t need reinforcing, but it constantly does.

So not the best of the series, but I’ve already got the next, and last, book lined up. The cover illustration of my edition better not be a spoiler…

Book details

ISBN: 9781785656675
Publisher: Titan Books
Year of publication: 2019

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