This is the third of the three Major Ariane Kedros books. It relies on the events and characters of the previous books more than the second book relied upon the first, but in doing so picks up a lot of interesting loose ends and further develops them.
Pathfinder felt less grim than either of the two books: while Peacekeeper and Vigilante descended into periods that were grim for the entire duration, here it occurs occasionally and for far less page time. I personally enjoyed that difference.
I also really enjoyed the Minoans’ part in this novel: I definitely had my jaw literally drop during a few scenes.
One focal points of the novel is the Interstellar Criminal Tribunal. There’s some sort of political maneuvering occurring around it, the Terran representatives’ behavior is suspicious, and there is a wave of sabotage across the system targeting key witnesses for the tribunal. This plot arc is gripping and kept me guessing what exactly is going on right up until the shit hits the fan and the climax strikes. I definitely had no idea what was coming with the “old enemy” hidden within the exploration team, but once it happened, it made a lot of sense.
I am definitely sad there are not more novel-length books set in this universe, although Reeve does have plans for a set of “prequel interlocking stories of past missions that Kedros, Edones, and Joyce did for the Directorate of Intelligence” titled Minoan Space: Major Ariane Kedros Missions. Unfortunately, there is no timeline regarding those.
Pathfinder were published in 2010 by ROC, an imprint of the New American Library, which is a division of the Penguin Group.
COVER ART REVIEW: The composition is striking, if less interesting than the previous two books, but the color balance, as before, is very compelling.