Peacekeeper is the first of the Major Ariane Kedros books, written by Laura E. Reeve. I am phrasing it that way, instead of calling it the first book in a trilogy, because all of the Major Ariane Kedros books do a very good job at having a plot that is structured and paced for a single book, rather than having three separate books that each contain a third of the total story and structure. There are no stupid cliffhangers at the end, although the story does continue through each of the books. The novels also feel very well balanced, with great characterization, a twisty plot, pacing, a mix of subtle and forward world-building that establishes a plausible, believable universe, and a good quality of writing.
The universe is also surprising and creative, dominated as it is by Greek culture. It seemed like there is an alternate history event in 2061, although a later book mentioned Minoan first contact occurring in 1960, and then looking at the author’s website, it seems like the entire alternate universe bit stretches back to Alexander the Great. But the important part is that Reeve never sits you down and explains everything about the back story, but instead weaves it into the narrative in places where it makes sense, and conveys almost as much through people’s reactions, behavior, and viewpoints as she does through direct description.
The mystery is great, and in a structure I rather like, doesn’t end at the end of the book, but slightly sooner, leaving a good amount of time for further shit to go down. Which it does, taking a very dark turn with some very unpleasant scenes that are nonetheless totally in character for the universe we have seen throughout the book.
One aspect of the characterization that really shone was the how well the multiple viewpoints were done. Each character is distinctive in what they think about AND how they think about it, as well as what parts of the environment they notice and what thoughts and behaviors that triggers. This further reveals details about their culture and the three main cultures of the universe, which are well fleshed out. Especially the Minoans, whom we don’t learn an awful lot about, but are super interesting and twice as eerie. I was pumped up to learn more about those enigmatic aliens in the next two books. (“SPOILERS”: you learn more about the Minoans in the next two books.)
Cover Art Review: I thought at some point it said she had brown hair, and I am not sure when she wielded that rifle, but I will pass on that and focus on the great composition. I also really adore the color of the sky, the silhouetted buildings, and the ridiculous background moons.