Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Liaden native Val Con yos’Phelium was a First-In Scout when he was turned into an Agent of Change, a merciless operative who is a trained political assassin. After completing his latest mission, he melts into the crowds on the space station to prevent being caught. While in retreat, he meets ex-mercenary turned body guard Miri Robertson. Miri is a Terran who is trying to hide out from a group of criminal assassins who killed her last boss. It seems he lied to her and was a crime lord so she is now also a target of the Juntavas.
As long as they are on the station, both Miri and Val Con are targets. The governmental representatives of the men Val Con killed knows he can change his looks so are interrogating everyone on the station. Miri’s companionship helps as a cover for his alibi as he tries to escape from the station. When the station police start canvassing every guest room on the ship, Val Con contrives an emergency to help them skip out without being noticed.
On the way out they run into Val Con’s honorary brother, Edger, a long-lived Clutch Turtle, and his marketing research team. Soon Val Can and Miri are staying with the Clutch Turtles. As the group parties and travels around the station, the police are trying to determine if those humanoids with the turtles are the people they’re trying to catch. While the couple is eluding the police, Edger mentions to Miri that according to Turtle tradition, she and Val Con have completed the Clutch Turtle wedding ceremony. They’re married? Miri isn’t ready to believe that.
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller created a background befitting light, enjoyable space opera. Agent of Change is the first novel they wrote in the Liaden Universe. Miri and Val Con are engaging characters that are appealing despite their occupations. Lee and Miller’s novel is quick paced. It’s an easy read that pulls the reader in to an exciting world. It’s thrilling space opera combined with a bit of suspense combined with a lot humor combined with a bit of romance.
Published in the late 1980’s, Agent of Change stands up to the test of time. Although there was a large publishing time break, new books in the Liaden Universe are still being published. This series has a devoted group of followers with more information available at Clan Korval’s Home on the Web. If you like Lois McMaster Bujold‘s Vorkosigan series, or S.L. Viehl‘s series, check out this series.
Agent of Change is entertaining space opera that keeps the reader pulled in, wanting more.