Monday, January 16, 2017

Stoke the Flames Higher by Peter Grant

I've been waiting for the fifth book in the Maxwell saga for quite a while now. Peter Grant had some health issues for a while that slowed its publication down, and then when I finally got it for my Kindle, I had a rather large TBR pile, but I finally got around to it the other day, and was very pleased with the story. Grant continues to refine his craft and delivers a very tight, gripping novel.

There's a very good scene that begins the book which sets up (or reminds us, anyway, if we've been away from the series too long) Steve's martial arts skills - he receives his fifth dan belt in Karate. So, we don't find it improbably later on in the story that he is able to overpower and disarm professional thugs. Steve's band of covert operatives get a new assignment ferrying a diplomatic party to a planet where a fanatical religious sect is fomenting a revolution, and is also exporting their brand of guerilla warfare to a neighboring planet, where one of Steve's best friends is posted with his space Marines, so Steve is hoping to be able to mix a bit of personal pleasure with business this trip.

Things turn out to be closer to catastrophe than anyone thought, and when things hit the fan, Steve has to rescue his diplomats from the rebels in the middle of a coup attempt, get off planet, and warn his friend about a devastating surprise attach which is on its way.

Still lots of upside to go in this series, though Grant has begun branching out into other genres, including Westerns, and has a couple of Fantasy proposals on the table for this year. I read a couple of rough draft excerpts - I think they're gonna be fun, too.

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