Her Brother's Keeper
by Mike Kupari
Cover Artist: Alan Pollack
Review by Mel Jacob
Baen Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781476782010
Date: 29 November 2016 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Mike Kupari in his first solo novel, Her Brother's Keeper, provides the reader with an old-fashioned Space Opera complete with a strong-willed privateer captain, a small band of mercenaries, and an almost impossible task. He offers plenty of military action, high-body counts, suitable villains, details on operating a space ship, and a means to travel through Transit Points to reach far flung systems. Light on character development, multiple viewpoints and constant shifts make it hard to identify with one character.
For teens, there is a young girl who is drafted to serve aboard the spaceship to avoid juvenile detention. She's always wanted to be a spacer and her dad heads the mercenary team. However, she remains periphery to the main story which is the dangerous voyage and the rescue of a hostage from the hands of a local strong man on a distant planet. Tossed in for good measure is the search for long lost artifacts of a vanished species on a barren planet.
The spaceship captain is the daughter of a wealthy clan from a world resembling Old Scotland. Her brother is the captive being held for ransom along with two xenoarcheologists. Unknown by the captain, the brother had undertaken a search for the rumored alien artifacts as a means to rebuild the family fortune.
The mercenary crew is small, but experienced and includes two demolition experts, a sniper, and four other hardened fighters. Before leaving on the voyage they train as a team and suitable weapons and hardware are acquired. During the voyage, they have to escape from ship patrols in an unfriendly area of space.
An exciting battle at the climax demands sacrifice. The question is who will survive and who will die.
Previously, Kupari collaborated with Larry Correia on Dead Six. Kupariís military service shows in the battle scenes and the camaraderie among the mercenaries. The ending sets up a possible sequel.