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    Review of CALLY'S WAR by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane

    Baen, October 2004

    The Posleen invaders have been driven back, but Earth has not recovered--and humanities enemies continue to seek ways to undermine the one carnivorous species which has joined the anti-Posleen alliance. The Bane Sidhe exists to battle against humanity's enemies, but also against the Darhel--one of the races of the Galactic Confederation who have achieved a near-monopoly on power in the anti-Posleen alliance. Although the Posleen remain as constant threats, other threats must also be fought--and the most dangerous enemies are sometimes our closest friends.

    Cally O'Neal is the top assassin in the Bane Sidhe organization. When the Bane Sidhe learns of a potential leak, Cally is sent to Saturn's moon, Titan, in the guise of a Fleet Captain (an especially curvatious Fleet Captain as the book's cover attests). But Bane Sidhe intelligence is more deeply damaged than anyone had realized and Cally's team becomes endangered.

    Authors John Ringo (see more reviews of novels by Ringo) and Julie Cochrane take a break from Ringo's usual militaristic stuff to delve into the undercover war. With alien medical technology, physically surviving decades of assassination and spy-craft is possible, but emotional survival is more challenging--and it's interesting to see Ringo and Cochrane deal with these more subtle issues.

    From time to time, the story got confusing--the whole purpose of the Titan investigation was never clearly explained, nor were the structures of the Fleet/Fleet Strike and the Galactic Confederation laid out in as much detail as I would have wanted to make this story stand alone. Still, the story delivers non-stop action, enough sexual titilation to appeal to readers who might be captured by the graphic cover, and also highlights the ever-present danger that mobilizing to defeat an external enemy may just result in a loss of liberties and of all the reasons the battle was initially joined.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 12/14/04

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