Review: Skirmishes, Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Rating: 4 out of 5

I would have liked this more if it hadn’t been for the faux skirmishes in the Boneyard. I was much more intrigued by the action involving Coop and the potential fleet battle (as well as its historic play throughs) rather than the metaphorical skirmishes fought by Boss in the Boneyard. That said, I understand the title and the parallelism, so I can only applaud Ms Rusch’s style for making it all so palatable.

Not fully knowing the Fleet’s rules of engagement, it could seem that the actions taken by Coop were of an unjustified order. Or, at least, I feel that the author could have expanded on the captain’s thinking as to why some actions were necessary. Right now, some of the manoeuvres—even as exacted in self defense—feel like they could have been carried out with less fatalities.

Perhaps the fact that the basis of the weaponry isn’t properly explained adds to this, as it wasn’t even clear what the weapons were that the Fleet used in this case. Was it the minimum, maximum, or something in between?

None of these items were enough to make me dislike the book. These are more akin to small gripes that don’t really affect the whole, but which could lead to plot holes if information provided in the future contradicts what was done here. But that doesn’t mean I could plan for every eventuality if I tried to create an universe like Ms Rusch, so I can only applaud the very good in this—and there is a lot of that!

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