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Mutineer (Kris Longknife) Mass Market Paperback – January 27, 2004

92 customer reviews
Book 1 of 13 in the Kris Longknife Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Kris Longknife joined the navy to escape the shadow of her politically powerful family. Her first mission is rescuing a kidnapped child. Her second takes her to a planet decimated by a volcanic eruption. Despite everything she does to be a good ensign, two things stop her: numerous attempts on her life and a habit of forging ahead and getting things done, regardless how dangerously. Finally, she has to lead a mutiny. The politicians in her family are trying to prevent war. She agrees with them but insists on remaining in the navy. The ship she is on is part of a conspiracy to instigate war by attacking an Earth fleet during peace negotiations, but thanks to her superior information sources, she discovers this. The marines and other space sailors follow her because she is a born leader. This is a fast-paced adventure in which the heroine does a lot of maturing and eventually understands her family and how much she is a part of it. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

"Mike Shepherd" is a pseudonym for Mike Moscoe. Moscoe, a former civil servant, lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife Ellen and now writes full-time. As Mike Shepherd, he has written the five very popular Kris Longknife military science fiction adventures, with more to come!

Product Details

  • Series: Kris Longknife (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; No Edition Stated edition (January 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044101142X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441011421
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Shepherd grew up Navy. It taught him early about change and the chain of command. He's worked as a bartender and cabdriver, personnel adviser and labor negotiator. Now retired from building databases about the endangered critters of the Northwest, he's looking forward to some fun reading and writing.

Mike lives in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife. He enjoys reading, writing, dreaming, watching grandchildren for story ideas, and upgrading his computer--all are never-ending pursuits.

He's hard at work on Kris's next story.

You can learn more about Mike and all his books at his website or e-mail him at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Marcy L. Thompson VINE VOICE on June 7, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Other reviews have pointed out some of the sloppiness in the editing and the writing and even occasionally the plotting, which are my reasons for dinging this book a star. Space opera is often driven by a single character, and this particular character is fascinating.

So first, let me lay out my biases. I am a big fan of the early Honor Harrigton books, less so of the later ones (although I read them religiously anyway), and I also like Weber's Shadow of Saganami series, where he follows people who haven't risen to the astronomical heights attained by Honor (and thus are free actually to head out into space and shoot things up). What I loved about the early Honor books is that the twisty plots and the character mesh so nicely. I also love the Liaden books, and consider them to be better written than the Weber books. Lately, I've been enjoying the Alex Benedict books and the USS Merimack books. What these books all have in common is interesting characters who are tossed into situations that call up the best and the worst they have to offer.

This is also the strength of this book. Kris Longknife is a vividly drawn young woman, and unlike many heroes of such novels, she is a realistically young 22-year-old. At the start of the book, she doesn't have a good answer for "Why did you join the Navy?" or more specifically, "Why will you stay in the Navy?" In the course of the book, she finds better answers. She has innate leadership skills, but she hasn't grasped the responsibility of command as deeply as she thinks she has, and the sequences where this is pointed out to her (first rather brutally and later very movingly) are well-designed. What's more, she learns from them, and the Kris who walks out of the book at the end is not the same one who walked in on the first page.
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60 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Dan Bloch on February 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I kept saying to myself, 'this is really bad,' every page or so, but I finished the book anyway, so it does have something to recommend it.
Good points:
- Good characters, well portrayed.
- Good action scenes.
- A neat technology, 'smart metal,' which lets ships change shape depending on what you need them for. Though we never really see how it happens--we just see before and after.
- The protagonist was probably an alcoholic as a child, something I've never seen done in literature before, but again the camera blinks and we later hear that 'maybe it was just the pills her mother made her take,' and she occasionally has a drink, and except for some angst it doesn't affect her.
- The Palm Pilot equivalents of the future with personalities. It's been done before, but it's handled nicely here.
Bad points:
- The title is poor, since Kris is only a mutineer for a few pages, about 350 page into the book.
- The name Longknife is implausible enough, but a kris _is_ a long knife. That's just over the top...
- Enemies are sometimes straw figures. After an initially convincing setup they often roll over and play dead as needed. Allies too--why wouldn't her father, the Prime Minister of her planet, investigate attempts on her life?
- Technology often appears just to do some job, isn't explained, and then goes away.
- In a similar vein, her great-grandfathers are over a hundred and still active, but the longevity situation is never mentioned and there are no other old characters.
- Somewhat muddled politics, only explained gradually over the course of the book.
- The family relationships are also only explained hundreds of pages into the book.
- Both of Kris's paternal grandfathers are named Longknife.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Campos on September 1, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
The story is interesting, and the world in which the story is told is interesting. I even thought that the politics that drove the world were well crafted.

The characters are pretty decent as well. I'm not going to call Kris Longknife another Honor Harrington by a long shot, but there are moments where she is very likable.

But the writing.... my god, the descriptive writing is weak and awkward. And the dialogue was equally awkward until I started imagining everyone talking with stiff upper crust British accents. Even then, there are a few conversations in the book (especially when the Highlanders show up) which I just could not stand to read for more than 2 minutes at a time because they were so cheesy.

I might give the second book a chance to see if the writer improves any and find out where the over-all story goes... but my advice for anyone considering this book is to wait until you don't have anything better to read, and then give it a chance if you're desperate.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Button on July 29, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Not to be too repetitive but Kris is a better Honor Harrington. I can't help but wonder what I would think of the book without the Honor Harrington series to compare it to. This was more fun and gosh darn it, what's wrong with a main character that's a bit more likable...

Oddly enough, while I enjoyed most of the Honor series, most other military sci-fi leaves me yawning, including other David Weber books. But somehow, the snappy writing and enjoyable characters, boneheads included, make for a book with very few places where you can set it down long enough to grab a cookie.

The Laiden novels probably do a better job at character, of the people and the culture, and might edge this novel down to 4 3/4 stars in comparison, but there are darn few 5 stars on my list to quibble over a tiny margin.
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