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Peacemaker: Peacemaker #1 Mass Market Paperback – April 29, 2014
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“If you like your thrillers a little on the strange and dystopian side or your dystopias a little on the mythological and crime-solving side, Peacemaker could be the start of a series you're looking for.”
- NY Journal of Books
Praise for de Pierres:
"An exciting, adrenalin-pumping read."
-The Sydney Morning Herald
"I can only hope Marianne de Pierres won't keep me waiting too long for the next volume."
"[de Pierres] has a knack for spinning her tales at breakneck speed."
- Vector Magazine (British Science Fiction Association)
About the Author
Marianne De Pierres is the author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis and award-winning Sentients of Orion science fiction series. The Parrish Plessis series has been translated into eight languages and adapted into a roleplaying game. She's also the author of a teen dark fantasy series. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, three sons and three galahs. Marianne also writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt.
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Peacemaker walks a strange line between futuristic police procedural and old-fashioned Western, mixing in a supernatural conspiracy to boot. With such a bizarre melange of elements, not to mention two lead characters with borderline-ridiculously iconic names, there's no way this book should work. And yet it does, carried along by strong character work and a solid investigative core. Virgin is a tough loner with a tragic past who's buried herself in her work - of course - and Sixkiller is a strong, laconic lawman who knows more about what's going on that he's letting on - of course - but their strained partnership dodges around cliches of sexual tension and professional jealousy and works all the more strongly for it. The supporting cast is very strong, including Virgin's stripper boyfriend, her investigative journalist best friend and an introverted tech support guy with privacy boundary issues.
The action moves fairly quickly, and Virgin in particular comes off the worse for wear in virtually every confrontation, but it all remains remarkably grounded and focused. De Pierres sneaks some fascinating world-building in at the edges, shoring up the implausible setting elements with some real thought and care. This is a fascinating setting, and I'm keen to see more. If I have a complaint about the book, it's that it leaves an awful lot open for the sequel (or sequels, I'm not sure). The resolution of the central murder mystery become almost incidental as the scope of the plot expands outwards. I'm also looking forward to seeing whether the author will successfully pay off what seems like a contrived final-chapter revelation. That said, Peacemaker is a solid, fun and confident-enough book that I'm definitely on board for the next instalment.
Ranger Virgin Jackson loves her job working out on the vast plains of Birrimun Park where she gets to escape the city, ride her horse and spend time in the great outdoors. She's fiercely independent, so is not too happy when her boss forces her to work with a ranger imported from the US, Nate Sixkiller, especially when he seems to attract trouble wherever he goes. But Nate and Virgin have something in common: they both have a "disincarnate", an animal that appears whenever they are in danger.
The disincarnates represent the supernatural element of Peacemaker, and its an element that fits in seamlessly in this story of underworld crime, murder and general mayhem. de Pierres covers a lot of ground in this quite short novel, touching on elements of urban decay and chaos, environmental disaster, chronic surveillance, crooked cops and even a little political intrigue. The action moves quickly, with Ranger Jackson lurching from one dangerous near miss to the next, and there are chases and narrow escapes aplenty.
Ranger Virgin Jackson is the sort of strong woman I like to read about. She's physically and emotionally tough, intuitive, street smart and just a little bit gawky. There is a little romance in the storyline, but not too much, and its definitely not the focus.
If you like fast-paced action with strong characters, intrigue and thrills, then you'll enjoy Peacemaker. Highly recommended.
That's the good stuff. The bad, is that it felt like there was never really any true enemy. None of the bad guys have a name, and nobody shows up as a villain to hate. When the climax comes, Virgin is dealing with a bunch of faceless mooks. There's no investment in her beating them, because they're so unimportant, they might as well just be called Thug 1, 2, and however many there are.
This book was obviously written to be the launching point for a series, and that's cool, but you gotta make sure that the book stands on its own. As it is, the twists of the ending are all to make you want to read the next book. And I do, I really do... But this book doesn't stand on its own. The story is not selfcontained, and nothing is really resolved at the end of the book. That's why this can't get five stars. The quality of the writing alone got it four, however.
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In PEACEMAKER Marianne de Pierres has combined a futuristic world with a western feel.Read more