Small Press Review: The Peyti Crisis by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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    The-Peyti-Crisis-ebook-cover-webThe Peyti Crisis
    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    WMG Publishing
    trade paper, 337 p., $18.99
    ebook $5.99
    audio $24.95

    The Peyti Crisis is the fifth book in the Anniversary Day Saga. The three previous books had focused primarily on some new characters with roles to play in the story or expanded the parts of the storyline that featured what until now had been minor characters. Now Rusch begins to tie many of these threads together.

    Because this is the fifth book of a single story published in multiple volumes, I’ve reached the point where I will have to include spoilers in order to discuss what happens in this particular book. I’ve marked the beginning and end of the spoilers with all caps.  You have been warned.

    BEGIN SPOILERS:

    At the end of Blowback (review here), Miles Flint and Bartholomew Nyquist and their associates had uncovered a new plot to blow up the domes on the Moon. They mostly succeeded in foiling that plot, with only a few facilities outside the domes being destroyed. But the cost was high.

    This particular plot involved clones of one of the few mass murderers in Peyti history. Unlike the clones in the first attack, these clones had been operating on the Moon as lawyers for years. They had recently begun wearing a new type of breath mask. Peyti can survive in a human compatible environment if they hear a mask, otherwise the atmosphere is toxic. Likewise for humans.

    The bombs in the Peyti masks won’t function in a Peyti atmosphere. Miles, Nyquist, and a hastily assembled team locate the clones and flood the rooms where the Peyti are with a Peyti atmosphere. Unfortunately to save millions, they have to kill a few hundred. One of the people killed is a boy who attends school with Miles’ daughter Talia, a boy for whom she may be developing feelings. He dies on the other side of a transparent barrier before her eyes.

    In A Murder of Clones (review here), Rusch introduced the law firm of Schnable, Shishani, and Salehi, and particularly the attorneys Rafael Salehi and Torkild Zhu. Salehi wants to totally rewrite clone law while Zhu wants to make a name for himself. They’re about to get their wishes. The Peyti government has hired the firm to represent them in the aftermath of the failed bombing. The lawyers’ first move is to get injunctions preventing the clones from being interrogated.

    END SPOILERS

    The tension begins to ratchet up again as the investigation takes up where it left off at the end of Blowback. Meanwhile crime lord Luc Deshin is running his own investigation using contacts and methods that law enforcement can’t. After introducing new characters and getting them set up for what is too come, I found the return to the investigation to be refreshing. I’ve enjoyed all the previous books in this series, but it was nice to return to the central characters.

    The characters and their relationships continue to evolve and grow. Rusch deftly manages to handle a large cast of characters without missing a beat. From Miles’ concern over Talia’s mental and emotional state to Deshin’s fear for his family’s safety to the toll the situation takes on Chief of Security Noelle DeRicci, we see people who bend under the strain but don’t break.

    There was more intrigue and less action in this book and some of the previous ones, but don’t think that means things are slow. They aren’t. But instead of fists and guns, the battles are now fought in courtrooms. Rusch is showing that she’s adept at legal thrillers as well as science fiction and mystery.

    The Anniversary Day Saga is great fun. It’s one of those series that will linger in your mind days after you’ve turned the last page and closed the book. Check it out.

    I would like to thank WMG Publishing for the review copy of The Peyti Crisis.

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