S. Andrew Swann
Profiteer (1995)
Hostile Takeover #1
Reviewed: 1995-08-01

This book is a hard-hitting, fast-paced, action-packed adventure. 90% adrenalin, pure space opera. There is everything the genre calls for: FTL travel which spawned an interstellar empire, here called the Confederacy, sinister politicking, good and evil running in the same family, the inscrutable old man in the background, dark pasts and new identities, loyalty and treason, cyborgs, genengineered people, the occasional alien and illegal A.I., lasers and other fancy guns, defense fields and advanced body armor.

The action is set on the non-Confederacy world of Bakunin, where there is neither government nor law, but rather communes and corporations in a cut-throat ultra-libertarian anarchy. If there is no place for you in the Confederacy, you go to Bakunin. What we get to see of a local city looks a lot like Gibson's Sprawl. Now it seems the Confederacy is going to take some unexpected interest in Bakunin...

I won't go into details of the plot here. Suffice to say that political and personal intrigue are well connected and there is enough to keep up the action. If you like this kind of SF, you will like this book. There is nothing new here, but the story is well written, with a cynical undertone, and keeps the suspense. A space opera of the 1990s.

Profiteer is volume one of the Hostile Takeover trilogy. The sequels are Partisan and Revolutionary.

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