Law of Survival, by Kristine Smith

law-of-survival-by-kristine-smith coverGenre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Morrow William and Co
Published: 2001
Reviewer Rating: three stars
Book Review by Aaron M. Renn

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I enjoyed Smith’s first two books quite a bit. This one, the third in the continuing adventures of Jani Kilian, was satisfying as well, but pretty much falls into the “more of the same” category. If you read this before the first two volumes, it is likely to make little sense. This is not the type of story to jump into mid-stream.

Jani is now out of the service. You’ll be happy to know that in the future not only is the “revolving door” of government still operational, even lower level types like Jani are able to cash in. She’s living and working in a posh Gold Coast apartment as–what else?–a consultant on matters relating to the Idomi, whose ambassador she has a particularly close relationship with. Paying for access is still alive and well in the future.

But all is not perfect. Rather than setting up $100,000/night stays in the Lincoln Bedroom and attending black tie social events, Jani spends most of the book trying to dodge assassination and unravel a conspiracy aimed both at her and the Idomi ambassador.

Again, the hardboiled detective story motif predominates. Layer upon layer of conspiracies, secrets, and paranoia combine with equal parts physical action and extra-terrestrial politics to keep the reader interested. The writing is solid, the characters interesting, and the aliens and society both have enough unique features to engage you. Still, if I were Smith, I’d make this the last in the series and move on to something fresh.

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