Rules of Conflict, by Kristine Smith

rules-of-conflict-by-kristine-smith coverGenre: Science Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow & Co
Published: 2000
Reviewer Rating: fourstars
Book Review by Aaron M. Renn

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I liked Kristine Smith’s Code of Conduct a lot and apparently so did a lot of other people, because Smith was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award. With that success under her belt, perhaps it was inevitable that we would get a sequel.

Luckily, Rules of Conflict does not disappoint. All of the things I liked about the first book are still there in the second: tough characters, a good mystery, interesting aliens, and some action scenes to keep things interesting. The writing style is similar, which is good, though I did notice a few clunky phrases. This book appears to have tightened up some of the storytelling to eliminate the plot holes I noticed in its predecessor. Again, no sequel is required, though the door is certainly left open for one. I fully expect this to become at least a trilogy.

Rules of Conflict picks up where Code of Conduct left off. Evan van Reuter and Jani have both been arrested for their role in events back at Rauta Sheraa. Both suspect that there’s a lot more going on than their own private pasts catching up with them. And they’re both right.

Overall, another strong outing for Smith, who has a very promising writing career ahead of her.

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