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Endgame (Jani Kilian series) Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2007
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“things come together nicely in the end, for a satisfying conclusion.” (Locus)
From the Author
Endgame is the fifth and final book (so far) in the Jani Kilian Chronicles. The chronological order of the series is:
- Code of Conduct
- Rules of Conflict
- Law of Survival
- Contact Imminent
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This time out, Jani--half human, half alien Idomeni--is confronted with the usual cast of characters that fans in the series know well (and maybe you'll wish a character list had been supplied), who attempt to manipulate her (usually without success). There has been an assassination on the hybrid enclave, Thalassa, which leaves her in charge. She tries to hunt down the assassin (whose point of view alternates throughout the book with Jani's), while the Earth government's various civil and military figures meddle, and the tale becomes one of chase, revenge, and politics.
Jani, faced with the conflicting motivations of the others, tries to make things up as she goes along. Usually her plans succeed only partially, if at all. And that's one of the many things that make this novel so interesting--Jani makes mistakes. She's no superhero, and she can be very nasty and impulsive.
As usual with Ms. Smith, there's great character development and flowing prose. The author's great with small details--when people stop for meals she tells you what they ate and drank without making her readers snarl "get on with it!" And she notices what people do with their hands when they talk.
But (and this is where the author has shown the greatest improvement from book to book), over time she's cut down on the flashbacks and the plot intricacies. This book's clarity itself.
A minor complaint: the novel for all intents and purposes concludes on page 369 when Col. Niall Pierce, the Shakespeare-quoting security chief, tips his hat to Jani. However, in a long, almost Victorian-style coda, the book continues on until page 404. A simple five- or maybe 10-page epilogue would have done the job. But on the whole, this is a fabulous book. It will be interesting to see if Ms. Smith will go on to something else, or start a new series involving Jani. Either way, I'll be waiting anxiously.
I -do- hope that Kristine Smith does not stop with this series, but continues to create more worlds that we could visit.