Where Peace Is Lost – Book Review

Where Peace Is Lost by Valerie Valdes

Five years ago, Kelana Gardavros lost everything in the war against the Pale empire. Now Kel Garda is just another refugee living on the edge of an isolated star system. No one knows she was once a member of an Order whose military arm was disbanded and scattered across the galaxy. And no one knows that if her enemies found her, they might destroy the entire world to get rid of her.

Kel’s past intrudes in the form of a long-dormant Pale war machine, suddenly reactivated. If the massive automaton isn’t stopped, at best it will carve a swath of devastation that displaces thousands of people. At worst, it will kill every sentient creature on the planet.

When two strangers offer to deactivate the machine for a price, Kel and a young friend agree to serve as their guides. The journey through swamps infested with predators and bandits is bad enough, but can they survive more nefarious dangers along the way? And will Kel’s fear of revealing her secrets doom the very people she’s trying to protect?

Where Peace Is Lost is a science fiction, standalone novel with engaging characters. It’s an exciting, well-paced adventure. Kel is a fascinating character, hiding out on a remote planet with a bounty on her head. And the strangers who offer to save her town are even more mysterious. There are some fun surprises along the way that build to a satisfying, climactic finale. Full of mystery, suspense, and gradual worldbuilding (not an overwhelming info dump) – this was a very entertaining read.