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    Review of WHAT DISTANT DEEPS by David Drake


    Baen, September 2010

    Peace has broken out between Cinnabar and The Alliance. Good news for most, but trouble for beached naval officers trying to get by on half pay. Still, the war has nearly destroyed Cinnabar's economy--and it looks as if this peace, unlike past truces, may actually survive.

    Daniel Leary doesn't have to worry about half pay. One of the navy's most successful young officers, he's flush with prize money. Still, a charter to take an envoy to a distant planet is an attractive offer, especially as Leary's communications officer (who's also a spy with Cinnabar intelligence) has work there as well. What Leary finds, however, is that a Cinnabar ally has ambitions in the area that just may break the peace and launch Cinnabar and the Alliance into a new war that neither of them wants. Even allying with the local Alliance navy, however, doesn't give Leary nearly the naval might needed to confront the ambitious Palmyrens.

    Author David Drake (see more reviews of science fiction/fantasy by Drake) continues his Daniel Leary series with another enjoyable story. The relationship between Leary and his comm officer, Adele Mundy, continues to develop, but with neither admitting that anything close to sexual attraction exists. Drake does an excellent job both with political intrigue and with intense naval battles.

    Maybe it's just me, but I found I was hit over the head with Adele's otherness. We know she's a bit of a sociopath, but I'd like to see this expressed in different ways, not by her repeatedly wondering whether her 'contentedness' equates ot other people's 'happiness.' And spare me another of Adele's smiles. This seems to be the only expression she has... I was particularly amused by a mention that she rarely smiled. Uh, read over the text, Drake. I also expected Drake to do more with the alien dragon race found on the planet Zenobia. Shouldn't evidence of other races traveling between stars have been a huge deal? Instead, it was mentioned, then forgotten.

    Overall, WHAT DISTANT DEEPS is an enjoyable read. Fans of this series will certainly want to add it to their reading list.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 10/17/10

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