Kris Longknife

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Jack: "I see they didn't hang you."
Kris: "Nope, they missed their chance. The Navy still has a Longknife."
Jack: "Why do I feel like saying 'God help us all'?"

Kris: "'Cause it just may be true."
Mutineer, by Mike Shepherd

A Military Science Fiction series about the titular Kris Longknife, a rich young naval officer who struggles to deal with the expectation and reputations (both good and bad) of a famous family of military leaders, politicians, and billionaires, written by Mike Shepherd (also known as Mike Moscoe).

There are currently eight books within the series:

  • Mutineer (2004)
  • Deserter (2004)
  • Defiant (2005)
  • Resolute (2006)
  • Audacious (2007)
  • Intrepid (2008)
  • Undaunted (2009)
  • Redoubtable (2010)

Also, set in the same universe, Mike Moscoe earlier wrote a trilogy of books under his own name:

  • "The First Casualty (1999)"
  • "The Price of Peace (2000)"
  • "They Also Serve (2001)"

These books are currently out of print, though there are attempts to get them republished.

Tropes used in Kris Longknife include:

  • Action Girl: Kris, obviously.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Nelly, Kris' personal computer.
  • Badass Family: Those Longknifes.
  • Badass Princess: Kris.
  • Battle Couple: Tom and Penny, who are both Navy officers and lovers.
  • Berserk Button: Kris really hates kidnappers, especially those that kidnap children. This is an understandable byproduct of her little brother getting kidnapped and murdered when she was 10.
  • Bodyguard Crush: There are some very strong hints that Jack is in love with Kris.
  • Celibate Hero: It looks like everybody in the series is getting some romance except for poor Kris.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Author Mike Shepherd mentioned that while most marines had to be trained out of notions of fighting fair, Kris took to dirty fighting like a duck to water.
  • Going Cold Turkey: Kris honestly believed she was a drug addict for years as a result of spending most of the two years following her brother's death either stoned (From medication provided by her mother), drunk (from various items stolen from the family liquor cabinet) or both. Her great-grandfather Trouble managed to get her the help she needed to stop, and she didn't touch drugs or alcohol of any kind for years afterwords for fear of restarting a potential addiction. Later evidence showed that she had yet to reach that stage.
  • Heel Face Turn: Hank's sister at least somewhat. Her improvement comes after she's assigned to a military ship as a very junior officer to discipline her following her actions in a previous book. After doing so, she learns not only to take pride in actually being good at something, but that she's learning how to be a proper officer, something that Hank lacked and actually caused his death.
  • Known Only By Their Nickname: General Terrance "Trouble" Torden.
  • Memetic Badass: The Longknife family are an in-universe example - at least, the ones that are considered "one of those Longknifes" - not totally a good thing, as many people would prefer to avoid associating with them.
  • More Popular Spinoff: This is sort of intentional; Mike Moscoe's first series of time travel books alas did not sell well. Thus he went into Military science fiction. His Society of Humanity Series sold about 10k per book. In order to sell more books, he had to write books under his mothers maiden name.
  • Ninja Maid: Abby, Kris's body servant, knows how to dress that body in ball gowns as well as protect it with guns and bombs.
  • Rebellious Princess: Kris becomes a princess at the end of the first novel and hates it.
  • Romeo and Juliet: Hank, the son of a rival family, says that he and Kris might be like this in the second novel. Kris denies this, since she has no intention of dieing. Also, the next time they meet his categoric refusal to consider the possibility that anyone on his side might be in the wrong turns them into enemies. Then he dies.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Most Longknife family members, from King Ray to Princess Kristine.
  • Space Fighter: Sort of. Though they have a crew of at least 5, the fast patrol boats Kris pilots in Defiant fill the same role.
  • Space Marine: A company eventually come under Kris's command.
  • Space Navy: What Kris joins, much to the dismay of her parents.
  • Space Opera: While the series is marketed as Military Science Fiction, there are so many sprawling civilizations and empires, political conflicts and intrigues with a good dose of romantic tension, that the series would be better descriped as new Space Opera that combine fast-paced adventure plots with some degree of hard SF rigor.
  • Spoiled Brat: Hank's sister, with shadings of Rich Bitch.
  • Survivor Guilt: Kris has this big time and knows it. The only reason she wasn't snagged by the same kidnappers that killed her brother Eddy was that she had stepped out for five minutes to buy ice cream. It took a considerable amount of therapy before she could admit to herself that even if she had been there, there was nothing a ten year old girl could have done that would have made any difference.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Kris dresses as a man on several occasions in the second novel, when she has to do some undercover work.
  • Precursors: The Three. The ancient race which might have built the faster than light transportation network. Or might not have and it is all natural. Oh, and they left behind a bunch of planets they used to live on, at least 3 have been discovered and visited in the novels set in the universe.
  • Undercover As Lovers: Not quite lovers. In order to free Tom, who is being held captive in a motel, Kris and Jack pose as a prostitute and her client to get into the place.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Kris and Jack.