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Agent of Change by Sharon Lee
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    A Matter of Oaths by Helen S. Wright (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Fun, character-driven space opera.

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Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller is the first Liaden Universe book that I have read. I can assure you now that it won’t be the last. This is a science fiction story that is very easy to comprehend and enjoy. I immediately felt a connection with the two main characters, Val Con and Miri, and enjoyed the time spent in each of their heads. This is a very fast moving, action adventure story, and as we get to know these characters, they are getting to know each other so it comes as no surprise to any of us that while fighting off Juntavas mobsters, Yxtrang pirates and other general forces, that they fall in love.

As well as delivering some excellent characters to root for, the authors also supplied a tightly woven plot that managed to offer tantalizing glimpses of this universe and the many varied settings that may be used in the future. There are a few observations of the complicated social system that Liandens adhere to that I hope is further developed in future books. Of course, no review would be complete without a nod of delight in the direction of the benevolent turtles whose very presence escalated this book a notch.

As these books were written back in the 1980’s, one of the fun things is how the technology of the future was envisioned and the result was at times almost humorous, an example of this is the fact that characters were still wearing framed eyeglasses and reading still entailed opening an actual book. I found Agent of Change highly readable, almost addictive and I look forward to my next venture into the Liaden Universe. ( )
2 vote DeltaQueen50 | Aug 8, 2015 |
Agent of Change, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, initially published in 1988, is the first book featuring the Liaden Universe. There are currently sixteen novels and numerous short stories set in this universe, with several later novels and stories set chronologically before the events in Agent of Change.

Val Con yos’Phelium, future head of Clan Korval, the most powerful of Liaden Clans has been brainwashed by the Department of the Interior, a clandestine organization intent on establishing Liaden supremacy. As the plot unfolds, he saves the life of Miri Robertson. They become involved in each other’s problems and struggle through this book and its sequels to find solutions.

This is a terrific book. It is a very fine space opera; moreover, it is a space romance. The writing is deft, the characters are well defined and complex, and the dialog is clever and witty. The only real issues are that the science part of the science fiction is sketchy and the military action seems amateurish. The writing is done well enough, and the plotting is quick enough, that these are really not noticeable. The key to good sci-fi is to enable the reader to easily suspend disbelief; Lee and Miller do this well. ( )
  TStarnes | Oct 2, 2013 |
(e-book, Baen free library)

Having successfully completed a spy mission for his Liaden bosses, Val Con is about to make his escape off-planet when he runs across a lady in need of help. Not a damsel in distress, and actually, she ain't no lady; Miri Robertson is a retired merc who worked as a bodyguard for an ex-Juntavas man. Unfortunately, his retirement hadn't been ... sanctioned by the Juntavas, who decided to collect, and Miri was caught in the cross-fire, outnumbered five to one.

So now, both of them need to get off-planet, he with the police after him, and she with the Juntavas (a galaxies-wide mob operation) after her. Fortunately, they run into the 'turtles' - a race of centuries-long lived aliens. This particular clan had adopted Val Con as their brother, and they are more than happy to embrace Miri, as his friend, and help their brethren in any way they can. However hasty they feel that humans and Liaden are.

I enjoyed this first Liaden book, with Val Con and Miri leading their pursuers a merry dance over the planet of Lufkit and across space as we meet the various races in this universe - including Yxtrang space pirates.

Three and a half stars

( )
  humouress | Jul 1, 2013 |
Val Con yos’Phelium has just completed his latest covert mission when he runs into a young woman being attacked by five or six mercenaries. Against his better judgment, he enters the fray and helps her to fend off her attackers. As a result, he learns that Miri Robertson is a mercenary and ex-bodyguard who has run afoul of the Juntavas, a kind of interplanetary mafia. Both on the run, Val Con and Miri decide to team up: together they will acquire adequate money and transportation to make good their escape. Of course, their plan is complicated by several more attacks from both the Juntavas and the local police. As they fight their way to freedom and encounter various friends and foes, Val Con and Miri also begin to develop feelings for each other beyond simple partnership.

You know that saying about judging a book by its cover? Well, this is one situation where you can absolutely do it. This book is a fairly conventional (to the best of my knowledge — I haven’t read that much sci fi) space opera with a hint of romance. And yes, there are giant turtles! I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but afterward I started noticing a lot of unanswered questions. For example, we know that Val Con is a spy and that his handlers have somehow rewired his brain; he’s able to make precise calculations about his chances of survival over a given period of time. But we don’t really know anything about his employers or the nature of his work as a spy. There are several other novels in this series, and I’m guessing this is not the first one, although it’s proven hard for me to verify the order of the books. So maybe that’s why I found the story a bit confusing. I’m not curious enough to track down the rest of the books, so I suppose I’ll just have to live with those loose ends. Still, this novel is a fun read for what it is.
  christina_reads | Aug 20, 2012 |
A tale of daring-do, or how the world underestimates the determination and pure stubbornness of the small. A bodyguard who unfortunately lets her boss get killed, finds herself without funds, and pretty much without hope. She's in a firefight with little hope of escape. Along comes a trained 'spy' who is running from his own pursuers. Why not team up for a bit?

Well drawn characters in a wild and crazy romp through a future world that includes sentient turtles. What more can you ask for for a light and quick read? I'll definitely be diving further into the Liaden Univerise. ( )
1 vote majkia | Jul 26, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lee, SharonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, SteveAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Caploe, AndyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herring, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hickman,StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441009913, Mass Market Paperback)

Fleeing the scene of his latest mission, Val Con yos'Phelium finds himself saving the life of ex-mercenary Miri Robertson, a young Tarren on the run from interplanetary assassins. Thrown together by circumstances, Val Con and Miri struggle to elude their enemies and stay alive without slaying each other-or surrendering to the unexpected passion that flares between them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:44 -0400)

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