Book Review: A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff

Posted July 28, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Book Review: A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff
Series: ,
Genres: Military Science Fiction
Published by DAW Books on June 6, 2017
Pages: 374
Format: Hardcover

Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: An Ancient Peace, The Privilege of Peace

Second in the follow-on series, Peacekeeper (seventh overall in Confederation) and revolving around Marine ex-Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr.

My Take

This is not my favorite in the series, as Huff was so incredibly confusing on so many pages. That and the whole hostage thing was stupid. Okay, not taking the hostages, but their reason for doing it. They were so incredibly clueless and didn’t care that their intelligence was faulty. They want it, therefore it will exist.

The third-person subjective point-of-view did humanize it. And I loved the detail Huff put into the various species, although it was difficult to keep track of who/what they all looked like. I keep thinking back to that bar scene in Star Wars with its hive of villainy, etc. The different cultures, style of speech, and appearances were amazing, and yet they were all so Human. No, no, I’m not being patronizing or trying to lump them all into one category. But their thoughts and feelings, ambitions, hopes, and fears are just like ours. Just reinforces that we’re all the same with the same feelings, hopes, and dreams as any other person.

The theme is hate, for a group of Humans are feeling left out, hating that they have to share with so many other species. Sub-themes revolve around weapons and war, and it’s interesting that for as warlike as Torin is, she also hates that tiny gun that can be hidden on one’s person. She’d rather be up in your face. For hate is also subverting the law as small guns that can be concealed on the body are beginning to appear.

I did sympathize with Marteau’s annoyance with the Elder Races not trusting in personal responsibility. We do have that problem here. If only we weren’t so sue-happy…

The first seventy-odd pages sets us up for the real story: the hostage-taking on Threxie where Huff will rev up your anger and then drown you in compassion. Part of that empathy shows through in the side theme between Arniz and Trembley of the importance of life. He’s so young and so full of righteousness, parroting what he’s been told, and yet he finds it difficult to face what his crew are doing to the scientists. With the questions and truths Arniz poses to him.

Arniz is an amazing woman. Strong. Protective. Real. Don’t worry though, you’ll get plenty of action. Arniz’s warm fuzzies are simply part of the build-up.

Get these names sorted out in your head, if only so you know who to cheer on and who to jeer at in the final fight scene.

The Story

Plastic is history in the Confederation and so is war between Confederation and Primacy. As is too common in peacetime, there are many who drift with no purpose and others who take up a new cause. One that is intended to restore Humans to the premier position in this universe.

One step toward that is to find a weapon that will destroy the plastic aliens, and this mercenary group will stop at nothing to find it. Whether it exists or not. And they’ll take a team of scientists hostage to uncover it on the deadly planet of Threxie.

A dangerous world of jungles with hidden pits and threats that endanger all three groups.

The Characters

Torin “Gunny” Kerr, the face of peace in the Confederation, may have retired from the military, but now she heads up Strike Team Alpha, a unit of Peacekeepers for the Confederation. A salvage operator, Craig Ryder, is the pilot of his own ship, Promise, and he’s her lover (The Better Part of Valor, 2). The rest of her team includes Werst and Ressk who is his mate (both are Krai and great scouts), Binti Mashona who is their Human sniper, and Alamber di’Crikeys who is a di’Taykan genius with tech.

For this mission, Primacy warriors will join the Alpha team: Firiv’vrak and Keeleeki’ka (she was chosen, as her people, the Sekric’teen, maintain the historical records for all their people) are Artek; ex-Durlin Vertic whom Torin greatly respects and Bertecnic are Polint; and, ex-Durlave Kan Freenim and ex-Santav Merinim are Druin and have joined (as a couple). Santav Teffer Dutavar is a “volunteer”.

Presit a Tur durValintrisy is a very smart reporter with Sector General News and is a MAJOR PAIN in the tush. Her cameraman is Dalan a Tar canSalvais; both are Katrien. Representative Haminem is a Primacy politician, a Druin, who came along for the ride to Berbar.

Berbar in MidSector Seven is…

…where the Wardens/Peacekeepers are based. The Justice Department is in overall charge of the Wardens and prefers that damage to property be kept to a minimum. As for the paperwork if one of the bad guys is killed, well, you don’t wanna know. Commander Lanh Ng, a former lawyer, is the first Human Warden and is in command of the six Strike Teams.

Other Strike Teams include…
Doug Collins is the Human pilot on Strike Team T’Jaam. Delta is another strike team. Captain Ranjit “Cap” Kaur (Human) is in command of Strike Team Ch’ore; Sirin di’Hajak is her di’Taykan pilot. Porrtir, a Krai, is the Beta Team pilot. Wardens Vesernitic and Nubaneras (both Niln) are investigating weapons thefts.

Dornagin Wardens are in charge of all the paperwork as they just adore paperwork. If they don’t like you, they’ll double, triple, quadruple the number of forms you have to fill out. They also have the most complicated names!!! At first, I thought they were committees or departments or something. They also have a hang-up about saying a person’s FULL title and name every time they speak of or address them. Finds Truth Through Inquiry has long red-gold fur. Analyzes Minutiae To Discover Truth is quite human in his compassion for the scientists. Vimtan Is In The Details is the latest discussion leader; betting is good that, with his sense of humor, he might last past two discussions. Many Pieces Makes a Whole is the Evidence Lockup Administrator. Approves of Redemption is an intake officer.

Dr. Dyell is a Ravka in R&D. Feerar is the station’s chief agricultural scientist. Ex-Petty Officer Gamar di’Tagawa is a mean drunk who wants Alamber. Colonel Hurr is with Intelligence. A C&C is a Clean-Up Crew who show up when the shooting is done. Dr. Erica Allan is the Marine psychologist court-appointed to “help” Torin deal with the aftermath of the violence. Torin is really not impressed, including the fact that Allan never served. Torin figures she’ll switch to Dr. Errir, a Krai therapist, if she has to continue. At least he fought. Saark is a Krai legal aide and part of Ressk’s extended jernine.

Musselman’s is the Strike Teams’ favorite bar, and it’s owned by Paul Musselman. Luiza is a small child fascinated by Polints.

The archeological dig is on Threxie,

…a Class 2 Designate, 33X73, where the scientists (most of them from Alcanton University) intend to map the plateau and do preliminary studies. Harveer Arniz is an older Niln scientist who studies soil. Dzar is her Niln assistant. Dr. Harris Ganes is a Human ex-Navy engineer who keeps everything running, including communications and medical. Harveer Salitwisi is the most irritating archeologist (Niln); his ancillaries (assistants) include Hyrinzatil (one of the two Niln) and a Katrien. Dr. Tyven a Tur durGanthan and Dr. Lows a Tar canHythin are the Katrien geophysicists. Nerpenialzic, a.k.a., Nerpen, and Magyr are Tyven’s ancillaries. Harveer Tilzonicazic, a.k.a., Tilzon, is a xenobotanist with two ancillaries.

Marteau Industries produces…
…weapons. Per Anthony Justin Marteau is in charge. I think Joseph Dion and Major Sujuno di’Kail are some of his (An Ancient Peace, 1 (6)). Orina Yukari is one of his personal assistants.

Three Points is…
…where their mission opens. The enemy includes Ferin and Shiraz who are Krai, ex-corporal Mthunz “Mack” Mackenzie, Harr who takes over when the chief falls, and Yizaun who is di’Taykan. They were supposed to trade with the Berin gang.

Humans First is…
…a hate group with Richard Varga, their former leader, in prison.

The Mercenaries
Commander Yurrisk, a Krai, was once the helmsman on the Paylent until the ship was destroyed. It was said that he is why they made it out. He and Petty Officer Sareer (Krai), Lieutenant Beyvek (Krai), Lieutenant Gayun di’Dizon (di’Taykan), and Seaman Pyrus di’Himur (di’Taykan) were among the fifteen survivors out of a crew of 330. Now they struggle to keep the DeCaal flying.

Ex-Marine sergeant Robert Martin is a bully who can’t keep a job. Ex-private Emile Trembley (he’s quite the gung-ho boy) and Brenda Zhang are also ex-Marines. Jana Malinowski is an ex-Navy gunner who can’t stop fighting. Mirish di’Yaunah (Gayun’s thytrin), and Gayun de’Dyon are di’Taykan. Camaderiz is black and knows how to fight; Netrovooens is a bay and Tehaven is variegated but these last two haven’t been trained to fight. By the military. Qurn is another of Yurris’ people.

The Confederation is…

…primarily ruled by the Elder Races, and they don’t approve of the violent tendencies of the Younger Races, although they are willing to use that violence. I think the H’san are the oldest of the Eldest. Minister Weta’na. Per Honisch is an administrator. After the conclusion of their war with the Primacy in Confederation, the Elder Races promised the Younger Races support as they moved out into space.

Unofficially, the Mid Races are…
…not among the original members of the Confederation. Ravka are feathered beings with beaks and a stilted way of speaking — not because of the beaks, mind you. The Niln look like lizards and then the Katrien who make me think of beavers. Harveer means doctor.

The Younger Races include…
Humans and the Primacy. Di’Taykan are “the most sexually indiscriminating species in the Confederation”; they must wear maskers as the pheromones they exude affect anyone with whom they come in contact. Krai can eat absolutely anything. The Silsviss are warlike giant lizards with whom Torin came to an understanding in Valor’s Choice, 1. Ciptrans look like giant praying mantises. Mictoks are giant, sentient spiders who exude a webbing that is a semi-solid mass that can absorb impact…like ammo, etc.

The Primacy is/was…

…the enemy. The group of species the Confederation has been battling for decades and include the Druin and Polint military species.

Past History

The plastic aliens had thrown two galactic civilizations into war as a social experiment. Big Bill had been a pirate. Staff Sergeant Harnett had enslaved Marines (Valor’s Trial, 4).

Sh’quo Company is…
…Torin’s old unit — Binti and Torin are two of the three who barely survived the Silsviss (Valor’s Choice).

The Cover and Title

The cover is a range of greens from pale yellow-green in the light to the khaki green Torin Kerr is wearing in her fatigues, toting one BIG gun, and a, ahem, smaller one on her thigh. It’s a collage of events in the story, for even as Torin carefully listens, laser fire surrounds her, bugs are flitting around, and an ancient city towers in the jungle background.

The title is the state of their universe, A Peace Divided, as different factions plot different goals.

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