A marked improvement over Mutineer, Deserter has Kris Longknife run to the rescue of her best friend Tom. The story is a bit hazy, with an “evil dude” trying to kill Kris. Mayhem ensues. As a little side note, the title is only vaguely descriptive. I guess they had to come up with something in one word.
The story flows more smoothly in this second installment. There is a lot (and I do mean a LOT) or banter between the main characters. Many other books would have sagged under the weight of all that conversation, but Shepherd is skilled at conversations between intelligent, witty people. Real people probably don’t talk that way, but strangely that doesn’t detract from the fun.
Some aspects of Mutineer still hold true. This is very much space opera and all about the characters. Mostly fun action with engaging characters who have real flaws.
Note: Shepherd has previously written about our heroine’s great-grandfather Raymond under his real name, Mike Moscoe.