I've been a fan of Glynn Stewart's work for some time now, so I jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of this book. Just from the description, I thought this would be a book I would enjoy, and within a couple of chapters that was readily confirmed. To get it out of the way, the short version of this review is simple – buy this book. You'll enjoy it, I guarantee.
As usual, I won't give any spoilers, but I will say that this book is both engaging and gripping, and that I read it in a single sitting over the course of an evening. Creating a new universe, and making the reader care about the characters can often be a challenge, but not here; I was rooting for the heroes from the start of the book – though the enemies are nuanced sufficiently that you are interested by their story as well, that there is obviously more going on than initially meets the eye.
There's an old saying. Everyone is the hero of his own story. One of the bugbears of adventure fiction – and I've seen this often in military science-fiction, I admit – is that it is too tempting just to make the bad guys, well, bad, without any nuance, any explanation. It's rare enough that you find a single person who simply wishes to be 'evil', with no redeeming features at all. Impossible to think of a society, a culture, a civilization along those lines. Terran Privateer, just as with the Avalon series, discusses the motivations of the villains with every bit as much interest as the heroes. It isn't enough to simply have a fight – you have to understand why people fight. Whether they have a sociological imperative to conquest, or whether there is something deeper going on.
To get back to the point; the action is as fast-paced as ever, the characters deep and intricate, and this is very definitely more than your run-of-the-mill military science-fiction novel. There is definitely room for sequels set in this universe, and I'd certainly read them with relish, though the book is entirely self-contained in terms of plot. As I said at the beginning of this post – buy it.