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    Review of THE ROAD OF DANGER by David Drake

    RCN Series

    Baen, April 2012

    With the Republic of Cinnabar and the Alliance both nearly destroyed by war, peace has at last broken out... putting plenty of soldiers and sailors on half-pay. The truce is fragile, however, and Captain Daniel Leary is given an undesirable assignment--he is to track down and neutralize the possibly mythical Cinnabar citizen who is behind the revolt on a minor Alliance planet. It doesn't seem like the kind of job a naval (space navy) military officer would be well-equipped to handle, but Leary has a secret weapon. His signals officer, Adele Mundy, is a former librarian and now one of Cinnabar's top spies. There isn't a computer network she can't hack, making her a perfect aide in finding the facts behind rumor.

    Leary abandons his much-loved ship, Princess Cecile to play the part of an unemployed officer while Adele pretends to be owner of Cecile and a frivolous ex-planetary ruler. They soon learn that there is more going on than a supposed minor revolt. Someone, whether from Cinnabar or the Alliance, is putting major resources into the revolt... and just might be trying to prime the outbreak of a new war.

    Author David Drake (see more reviews of SF/Fantasy by Drake)continues his enjoyable RCN series with the ninth installation. Leary and Mundy are fun because they're so different... Leary is a man of action while Mundy is a woman of thought. Leary has revolted against his family while Mundy mourns the family Leary's father destroyed (while recognizing their failures). The series has been called "Master and Commander in Space" and certainly Leary and Mundy will remind the reader of Aubry and Maturin.

    I love Drake's sense of space opera, the play between Leary and Mundy (with just a hint of sexual tension which neither is prepared to see), and the loyal crew of the Cecile. I had a bit of a hard time tracking the story on this one... I didn't feel like I'd been given enough clues to guess the final outcome. Also, I think Drake has a habit of over-explaining Mundy. We get that she has problems connecting to her emotions and that her smiles aren't very large (and that her aide, Tovera, is something of a psychopath)... but Drake has a tendency to give it to us again and again. Overall, THE ROAD TO DANGER is an enjoyable story.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 3/19/12

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