89 points, 4 ½ stars!
Midway Star System successfully became an independent system, free of Syndicate forces. However, that doesn’t make them safe. The Enigma fleet has shown up, and they are more than Midway can handle on their own. When Syndicate forces come to try and retake the system, an impossible situation becomes hopeless. They have an ace in Black Jack, who comes through just like they hoped he would. But General Artur Drakon and President Gwen Iceni both agree: they can’t always rely on Black Jack. They have to become strong enough to protect themselves.
Well, I just had an absolute blast reading Perilous Shield. It can be categorised as “pure fun”. I got to see the Alliance/Black Jack from the other side of things. But mostly all of my problems with The Lost Fleet are just gone. The characters are amazing, the dialogue feels natural. The people are just people. There are even more people to care about than just two. Praise the living stars, this was just fun.
The beginning of Perilous Shield opens up with the Syndicate and the Enigma in the system. The Enigma are just waiting around – for what, Midway doesn’t know but they have some thoughts. The Syndicate are there to try and regain control of the system – and Drakon and Iceni aren’t going to let them. If you have already read Beyond the Fleet, you know how this is going to go, if not it isn’t really much of a surprise.
I loved seeing Geary from the other side. I love it even more this time around, even, because it was just plain more entertaining this time around. I never realised how annoying Geary must be to others not on his ship, when they aren’t in on all the information he is. I just loved this peek into things.
Geary also transferred Captain Honore Bradamont to Midway in an ambassadorial role to help them. I love this because I get to see Bradamont and Drakon’s Rogero reconnect as a couple. Alliance and Syndicate Romeo and Juliet. Awww. I love it. It was adorable! (Seriously. The best romance I’ve read from Jack Campbell so far. I’m in love.)
Bradamont’s transfer isn’t just to help Midway. It is to train them. Bradamont has a wide range of things she is able to do under her orders. Which leads to her leading a party by Midway Star Systems to Varandal System in Alliance space to collect some prisoners of war. A party that includes Rogero. Honestly, this is just so much better than anything that happened in Beyond the Frontier. That was all war. This is the humanitarian side, and I love it.
The ending, though? So dumb. I love it. And I’ve been waiting for it. The King Arthur story commences! This brings me more joy than I should have. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series. I need to see more romance. I’m not ashamed to admit that.