Peace Force, by Simon Haynes
Harriet Walsh was destined to serve on the Peace Force. She’s been receiving invitations to join up since she was only 15 years old… she just doesn’t know it—mostly because they’ve been printed on the backs of takeout menus and advertising pamphlets by an obsolete robot. When her beloved aunt passes away, leaving behind a broken heart and a pile of debt, Harriet finally gets her mail. Serving on the Peace Force isn’t exactly her passion, but jobs are scarce and she needs the cash. Besides, Dismolle is a retirement planet. How bad could it be?
Well, she’s about to find out. Training isn’t easy when nobody outranks the antique-bucket-of-bolts robot that was left running the show, especially when it has to recharge more often than a five-year-old iPhone. Add a training weapon she’s not allowed to train with, a police budget funded by a lottery scam, and an AI cop car that likes long walks on the beach, and Harriet is in for one miserable Peace Force experience.
In other words, classic Simon Haynes.
We had a lot of fun with this one, including plenty of snort-laugh moments, and the plot had more depth than some of the author’s other titles, making it something of a cross between a comedy and an action adventure. The cop car made for great comic relief (we’re hoping to see more of that guy in the future), and the robot sidekick/antagonist was delightfully infuriating. It did feel as though the main character was sometimes too quick to process the more emotional events of the novel, but the focus is intended to be on the comedy, and Simon Haynes does comedy in spades.
Overall, it’s a fun setup that delivers on the promise of a good laugh, without ever tripping into sentimentality—the perfect light caper to cleanse the palate between those weekly episodes of Riverdale or This Is Us.
Nobody pays us to recommend anything. We just find stuff we like.