4.5 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

When she was first built, Trouble Dog was a Carnivore class warship. Armed to the teeth, these were built for maximum destruction and mayhem and could reduce a planet to a smouldering rock. After one particularly brutal war, she begins to question the reasons behind what she had committed and why she was doing it. Unable to face the moral dilemma behind it she decides to take action to atone for the possible war crimes and joins the House of Reclamation, an organisation dedicated to rescuing ships in distress.

Being a super intelligent machine with human DNA embedded deep in her core, she finds her new role is very restricted and struggles daily with what her new purpose is especially as she has had most of her serious weaponry removed. But before she has time to dwell too much on it, they are the closest ship to another in distress. The captain, Sal Konstanz, takes the call and starts to calculate the fastest transit time there, but first, she needs to resolve a couple of issues…

There are others who are interested in the ship that has just gone missing though. The intelligence officer Ashton Childe is urgently seeking a poet called Ona Sudak. As they arrive in the system they realise that they or in the middle of a situation that is threatening to spiral out of control into a full-blown war. Faced with two of her sister ships, Fenrir and Adalwolf, that are fully armed and not really looking for a diplomatic solution, a virtually defenceless Trouble Dog is going to all of her guile to come out on top.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, there are some original themes and a well thought out plot. The pacing is good and it all feels reassuring plausible. The characterisation is really good too, in particular, the ship, Trouble Dog, though it did take a while to get used to which character was which. Already have the second in the series lined up to read at some point.

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