But now on to the nitty, gritty details of the first book of the series.
First thing's first... Jani is a brash, call them as she sees it, kind of person... which is what gets her in trouble more often than not. Even when she's in trouble, she still causes a boatload of more trouble if the timing is right.. or not right, depending on the situation. But she never holds back.
Eighteen years ago, Captain Jani Kilian was part of a Commonwealth diplomatic corps on a mission to establish peaceful relations with the alien race called the Idomeni, when her ship was sabotaged and blown up. Jani was presumed dead but she survived. But her survival took a turn when the doctors who tried to save her life took some liberties with their efforts and gave her a new face and patched her broken body together with illegally obtained Idomeni genetic materials and some mechanics. They healed her body but she still had the memories of the desperate actions she had taken to survive up to and after the sabotage attempt on her ship and shipmates.
Plus, what the doctors did for her, left her some interesting intermittent disabilities.
But throughout the book series we see that Jani at first in the series, she's on the run, hiding in plain site. But a friend asks her to look into something for him, and her actions during her daring investigation brings more attention to her than she would like. She was a wanted criminal before her ship exploded and even though her survival was covered up, she had enemies that would not give up looking for her, because, literally, no body was found.
But her investigations did get her in trouble but Jani also has friends in high places, who always manages to keep her just enough out of trouble to escape the law.
The first two books are like this, where she dances the dance dodging the law, but things change big in the third book and huge changes come to her life afterwards in subsequent books.
First, if you're an action-oriented reader, this is a *very* slow paced book. All the shooting, and running around and people getting confronted and dealt with happens toward the very end. But the read was fascinating enough to keep me going. Events kept happening that made me want to see how they panned out later.
Smith addresses various facets of her story in a matter of fact fashion. She may say Jani has a kind of device on her, with nary an explanation. But she does show us how Jani would use the device and we come to learn about it via it's actual use, not with her holding our hands and babysitting the reader through a description. It's more of a 'keep up boys, if you want to follow along!' kind of writing style.
But this style was also used in the aliens in the book series... that had me a bit disgruntled but again, I kept reading along and learning tidbits here and there about the aliens, our combined worlds and everything else about the tale.
The story lent to a what could have been a complicated background but Smith delivers things as we go, and does not disappoint in delivering information when it's needed and not a moment sooner.
Smith manages to not only hold my attention, but in so doing, makes what could have been a mundane job that Jani does, a 'document examiner,' and uses this to lend details and suspense to the story.
To be honest, these books were dangerously close to keeping me up all night on multiple occasions, so beware.
First Book, Code of Conduct, on Amazon...
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