Laura E. Reeve
cover-this cover, compared to the other two, was a little tame, but there is something kind of cool about this hallway. However, the way a certain building and hallway was described in the novel, I would have liked to see something a bit more colorful and fantastical, something that really would have made a first time observer gasp, as in the book. Also -FINALLY, Ariane's hair looks more dark than blonde. Every book describes Ari's dark curls and she keeps showing up as a blonde on the covers. I know this is nothing compared to the whitewashing that goes on in many other novels...but just another example of covers not really matching books. Now I also admit that I'm not an artist - but I AM a part of a huge family with a large percentage of artistic types, and I can't help wondering what one of them would have come up with....This isn't meant to disparage the artist's work here - it's good for what it is, but it's a little plain, when this final novel had more wondrous things to convery - an eggshaped habitat for one! Take a look at the book trailer from youtube
Pathfinder was the final novel of the Ariane Kedros trilogy. It was kind of bittersweet reading it, since I'd enjoyed the novels so much - yet halfway through Pathfinder, I had actually looked on the Laura E. Reeve's website and learned that there was to be NO MORE Ariane books - becauase Tor/Nal hadn't renewed their option or asked for more, or in their dis-wisdom decided they didn't need to publish anymore. I strongly disagree with their decision. I so want to read more about all the characters in these novels - Hell, Ariane was just starting to think about doing something about her drinking....
Well, I'll stop soapboxing, and on with my review...
I loved this last novel. Ariane and her friends and frenemies went through very much in the last novel - being under the thumb of isolationist extremist, torture, fighting etc. In Pathfinder, a tribunal court has been appointed, the witness and defendants are all ready to testify. The press is at the generational ship - preparing for the trial of the century. At the same time, the Minoans are still there with their warship, and there is a guardian constantly following Ariane around wherever she goes in public places. Even senators and other rulers have appeared for the trial - and of course the lawyers are doing their job, misdirecting things, changing the focus, making the victims look guilty and the accused seem persecuted.
While all this is going on, the Minoans have approached Ari with a contract. They want her boss's ship, with her in particular to pilot so they can put her on a special mission. But this mission is more than first appears. Seems Ari needs to have a special implant....one she cannot ever get rid of.
While her friends have reservations, Ari is game for this. Ari also finds out, is the only one to be told about the real reason the Minoans are sending her on this mission...
I found this plot to be very complex, and all the previous layers of intrigue continue with twists and turns. Past enemies turn into uneasy frenemies, to guarded respect and allies. Civil war is looming between some of the rulers and more is at stake than ever.
Isolationist plots continue, putting more people into danger and Ari is at the center of everything.
This had an amazing beginning, middle and end and I was glad to get to the final page, and at the same time kind of sad that the read was over. I think Reeve is an amazing writer with a very interesting imagination. She came up with not just one, but two alien civilazations, history and on top of that, the whole series is based on an alternate history of Earth - one that's been interacting with the Minoan aliens for centuries. The Minoans are a very interesting alien race, also. Their starship was pretty cool - mostly described in book two (Vigilante) I would love to read more about them and all the other characters.
If you are at all into SciFi and/or military SciFi you should definitely give this a try. There is just the barest hint of romance, lots of intrigue and suspense and some humorous sections also. All the interplay between characters was great. Great dialog, also - never stilted or lame, or forced. Definetely a name I'm going to keep my eye open for - as far as any other books are concerned. Ironically, I almost didn't even read this series, because I had bought the last book months before - tried to start reading it but felt like I was really missing something. I came across the first book just a short while ago, bought it, finally cracked it open and then found the second and Loved It All. So glad I read them.