Laura E. Reeve
Roc, Oct 2009, $7.99
Everyone who knows of Armed Forces Consortium of Autonomous Worlds (AFCAW) Reserve Major N-pilot Ariane Kedros besides her partner Matthew Journey sees her differently. The Terran Exploration League (TEL) believes the Aether Exploration pilot is a war criminal who needs execution for the murder of billions in one of their solar systems (see PEACEKEEPER); her side the Autominists believes her to be a war hero. Although she did her duty she agrees with the Terrans that she deserves to die, but refuses to surrender to them.
Someone with obvious insider help, strong connections and capital steals a temporal distortion bomb at the same time that tension mounts between the Autominists and the Terrans. The AFCAW directs Kedros and Journey to fly Master Sergeant Joyce to G-145, an enigmatic orb that seems in the middle of nowhere yet has drawn strong attention from both sides of the hostile Cold War and the unknown alien Minoans. As Kedros arrives with her human CAW cargo, the terrorists who stole the bomb also have come to this remote planet with plans to ignite it on G-145 as their leader has vengeance and justice in mind for past crimes.
This exciting military science fiction thriller obviously stars Kedros who is overloaded with guilt because she knows she can never make right what she did though her side of the hostilities appreciates her following orders; an interesting ethical dilemma that remains valid in real life. However, although Kedros is the attraction, the fast-paced story line works because of the multiple differing viewpoints re right and wrong between species and within a species. VIGILANTE is a strong action-packed sequel to the exciting PEACEKEEPER; driven to hyperspeed by a deep characterization who make the Reeve universe feel genuine.