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    Review of WITH THE LIGHTNINGS by David Drake


    Baen, July 1999

    Lt. Leary of the Republic of Cinnabar space navy dreams of commanding a ship-some day. Considering he's attached to a diplomatic corps and doesn't even have a ship assignment, this seems unlikely. In fact, the only way he'd gain a command would be if he were the only RCN officer left uncaptured with an alliance takeover.

    Librarian Adele Mundy may love Cinnabar, her native land, but she has no use for a Leary. The Leary family was responsible for the elimination of her own family. Still, there's something essentially likable about young Lieutenant Leary. Despite the antagonism she shows him, he rounds up crewmen to help out in the library she's responsible for creating but not given any resources to deal with. And when the Alliance arranges a coup against the Cinnabar-friendly government, Adele and Leary, together with a small group of ratings, have got to find a way to bring the planet back into the fold. It doesn't hurt that Adele is a genius with computers-and a deadly shot with the dueling pistol.

    In the launch novel in the Lieutenant Leary series, author David Drake (see more reviews of novels by Drake) introduces a pair of intriguing characters-united by their love for their nation but bitterly divided in their backgrounds and in their personalities. Adele might be a bit too good to be true, but she and Leary make perfect foils for one another.

    I managed to read the first three novels in this series in completely the wrong order and I'm tempted to go back and read them over. Still, each stands alone, with WITH THE LIGHTNINGS perhaps the strongest of the three.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 1/02/08

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