Confluence (Linesman, #3)

By S.K. Dunstall

Rating: 5 stars

After a comparative slow down in the previous book, I’m pleased to see that the Dunstalls are cooking with gas again (or should that be, have a strong line ten?). This book sees main series protagonist Ean Lambert have to deal with increasingly impatient ships who want crews, his bodyguard Radko being sent off on a special mission, and intrigue from his own side.

The Linesman books have always had secondary PoV characters, and I was pleased to see that in this one it’s Radko, who’s been a constant presence in the previous books. She starts off with family problems and to get her away from those, her commanding officer puts her in charge of a team and sends her off on a covert mission. She’s as competent in the field as she’s been by Ean’s side and it’s a pleasure to spend some time in her head (as often worrying about the kind of trouble Ean will get into without her as the matter in hand).

There’s a lot of politics again here, but I felt more on top of it than in Alliance, although I’m not sure why. The machinations of the Emperor Yu against what is nominally his own side should have been headache-inducing, but I felt that it was very readable. Various plot strands that have been building for several books now come together here as well. Oh, and although the previous books have been pleasingly romance-free, that streak gets broken here. It’s not unexpected, but it did feel a bit predictable

(Ean/Radko, I mean; Michelle/Abram felt inevitable and has interesting consequences).

There’s several plot threads still available for future books to weave, but this felt like a satisfying conclusion to a trilogy. I’m happy with where it ended up, but will happily buy and read more books in the series, if they get written (*cough*aliens*cough*).

Edit September 2020: upgrading from 4-stars to 5 this time round, to reflect how much darn fun I had reading it, despite the comments above (which still stand).

Book details

ISBN: 9780425279540
Publisher: Ace Books
Year of publication: 2016

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