cover image The Bayern Agenda: The Galactic Cold War, Book 1

The Bayern Agenda: The Galactic Cold War, Book 1

Dan Moren. Angry Robot, $12.99 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-85766-819-6

Moren revisits the world and key characters from The Caledonian Gambit in the bombastic Galactic Cold War series launch, telling a frenzied story full of bold spycraft and exciting ground and air chases. Rumors are swirling that the planet-sized Bayern Corporation, usually known for strict political neutrality, is discussing a financial arrangement with the Illyrican Empire, a rival of the Commonwealth of Independent Systems. Though Commonwealth agent Simon Kovalic should lead his special projects team undercover to investigate, an injury leaves him home while his ex-wife, Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Taylor—whom the author unfortunately relegates to a femme fatale plot role—takes the team to Bayern. New team member Elijah Brody, a pilot and Illyrican defector, makes a clumsy first foray into covert operations, and soon Kovalic is needed on the ground after all, to resolve the chaos. In interspersed chapters, Kovalic privately reminisces about his early career. By the end, Moren solidifies the cooperative, interdependent social dynamics of Kovalic, Brody, and their team in a way that leaves readers ready to root for them, setting up for future adventures. Fans of suspenseful space opera will look eagerly for the next book. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary. (Mar.)