Book review: Vicky Peterwald – Target by Mike Shepherd

"Vicky Peterwald - Target" by Mike Shepherd.
“Vicky Peterwald – Target” by Mike Shepherd.
When I heard Mike Shepherd was doing a series about one of my favorite minor characters in the Kris Longknife books, I was excited. Vicky Peterwald – Target by Mike Shepherd is the result of that effort, and Shepherd is already working on the sequel.

Vicky Peterwald is the spoiled and demanding daughter of the Emperor of Greenfeld. After she attempted to kill Kris Longknife in Audacious as revenge for Kris apparently causing the death of her brother, Vicky spent several months with Kris aboard her ship and gained a new respect for her. She even matured a little.

In Target, Vicky is trying to avoid all the assassins sent after her by her stepmother, the Empress of Greenfeld. Vicky doesn’t know if her father knows anything about these attempts on her life, but he doesn’t seem to be doing anything to stop them. Meanwhile, the Empress is consolidating power and building an army in a secret bid to take over the empire.

I really enjoyed the story as it unfolded in Vicky Peterwald – Target. Shepherd does a great job creating interesting and believable characters and placing them in difficult situations just to see how they will handle them. I have enjoyed the Kris Longknife series for a few years now, and I had high hopes for Target.

Outside of the plot and story progression, however, I was disappointed. Shepherd chose to make this book into a trashy romance novel with military science fiction trappings. I really enjoyed the trappings, but the rest came as a bit of a shock after an almost complete lack of the same in the Kris Longknife books.

The target audience is obviously the same, but the graphic descriptions of adult situations and sexual escapades, along with the frequent and unnecessary innuendo, made me think I was back in high school. Seriously, who turns every conversation into a sexual reference? I know Shepherd knows how to write very interesting stories without all this unneeded and uncalled-for baggage. Vicky may have been raised to use sex as a tool, but there is no need to turn a good story into a trashy one just to beat the reader over the head with it.

I don’t recommend Vicky Peterwald – Target, even though I would have liked to. I do strongly recommend the Kris Longknife books, however, so go pick up one of those instead of this one. I will not be reading the rest of this series.

Release Date: June 24, 2014 (USA)
ISBNs: 0425266575 (9780425266571)

Publisher: Ace Books
Language: English

MySF Rating: Two point five stars
Family Friendliness: 40%


Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (social drinking, sleeper drugs)
Language: 2 (a wide range of them, somewhat frequent usage)
Sexuality: 4 (graphic descriptions of sex, frequent strong innuendo)
Violence: 3 (attempted rape, infrequent graphic and brutal violence, death)

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