"Sharp military action in space, when a royal heiress takes up arms against an Empress"
Reviewed by Auriette Lindsey
Posted August 6, 2016
Science Fiction | Science Fiction Space Opera
If you like military science fiction with detailed
ship-to-ship battles, Mike Shepherd has written the book for
you. VICKY PETERWALD: REBEL is filled with strategy and
Vicky is Lieutenant Commander Grand Duchess Victoria,
daughter of the emperor, and a seasoned naval officer.
She's a reluctant rebel, but her pregnant stepmother's
attempts to kill her, force her hand. She rallies supporters
and builds a fleet, one or two ships at a time, to challenge
the empress's power. Vicky is also, it seems to me, a very
21st century woman. She's part of a dysfunctional family,
she's sexually active with both genders (though the action
is "off screen" as it were), and the guy she really wants is
too busy organizing ground support for her rebellion to
spend enough time with her.
I really liked the dynamics between Vicky, her would-be
boyfriend Mannie, and the various naval officers who support
her campaign. If you're looking for a lot of girl power,
though -- be aware -- Vicky, her two assassin-bodyguards, and
the empress are really the only major female characters.
Most of the other navy types and planetary leaders are in
the old boys' club.
Shepherd breaks up the space battles with a realistic series
of meetings. It takes planning, organization, and civilian
support to run a rebellion. I found some of the ideas and
arguments raised in these scenes very thought-provoking.
The characters use a lot of references and old sayings that
I'm very familiar with, but I wonder how younger readers
will interpret them. I also found it hard to follow some of
the action in the battle scenes because they're as intricate
and chaotic as the real thing probably would be. I think a
more military-minded person might have an easier time
getting through those parts.
VICKY PETERWALD: REBEL is the third in a series about Vicky,
and they seem to be somewhat of a sequel to another Shepherd
series about a character called Kris Longknife. I've never
read any of them. This book includes quite a lot of
references to past events, and while it's not necessary to
have read the other books to enjoy this one, I think it
might make it that much more enjoyable to start at the
I recommend this book for fans of military science fiction,
and I think readers of space fantasy will find a lot to like
From the New York Times bestselling author of the
Kris Longknife series comes a military science fiction
adventure featuring Vicky Peterwald...
is no longer just the heir apparent to an imperial dynasty.
She survived naval training and proved her mettle in combat
to help the starving people of the ravaged world of St.
Petersburg. Now, she is truly a Grand Duchess, leading a
growing battle fleet in a rebellion against the tyranny of
her stepmother, the Empress.
Determined to stop her
spoiled stepdaughter’s betrayal from upsetting the balance
of power within the Peterwald Empire, the Empress is leading
her own armada to St. Petersburg, intent on killing Vicky
and every soul on the planet that gave her
But Vicky is her father’s daughter, and
it would be a grave mistake to underestimate her...
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