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Agent of Change (Liaden Universe #9)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  2,388 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Two tough-but-tender characters with a bright future--if they live that long.

Terran Miri Robertson was a mercenary, but she retired to a cushy job as a private bodyguard. What she didn't know what that her client had powerful enemies. Now he's dead, and they're after her.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 29th 2002 by Ace (first published 1988)
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Old Man's War by John ScalziStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinPandora's Star by Peter F. HamiltonRevelation Space by Alastair ReynoldsOn Basilisk Station by David Weber
Excellent Space Opera
29th out of 300 books — 1,784 voters
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Best Sci-Fi/Futuristic Romance
64th out of 989 books — 1,126 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Warm, satisfying, couples-friendly science fiction with the right and proper mixture of derring-do (i.e., fancy action), romance and humor. And soaring high above everything else in this tale are the characters...Awwww, the characters...these people will endear themselves to you so completely that you’ll return to visit them time and again like a stalking voyeur ignoring a retraining order. For cozy, comforting, romantical, happylicious SF, this is about as good as it gets.

Reading this book jus
Lois Bujold
Jun 07, 2013 Lois Bujold rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: space opera fans
NB: When you have written a long, thoughtful review on Goodreads, and then discover you want to change the edition, save or copy the review first. Also, pillage before you burn.

Though I own a paper copy that had languished in my TBR pile for ages, I picked this up during its free promotional day for my new Kindle, and happily tested out the Kindle's read-in-daylight properties on my back deck this afternoon. Excellent! I shall have more photons this summer.

Action-adventure to the point of inter
An old-school, slightly cheesy science fiction romance. He’s a super spy, she’s a feisty mercenary. His superpower is calculating survival odds; hers is... bad grammar, I suppose. They fall in love while fleeing from people who want to kill them for vaguely explained reasons.

There are several shoot-outs, during which they take turns rescuing each other. There’s a trip on a psychedelic spaceship owned by big turtle aliens. I rather liked the turtles, and I wish my edition had this cover, which pe
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4.5/5; 5 stars; A

After recently re-reading this book I nudged the rating up from 4 stars to 5 stars. I am really enjoying reading this series over again in sequence, and one after another. There are so many nuances that become clear that I missed the first time. Part of the clarity comes from having read the series once. Things that I didn't realize were important; hints and 'seeds' now become clear. I am in awe of this writing duo and their ability to develop a complex universe full of personal
"Agent of Change" is FREE on Amazon, and at Baen! Sadly, I had already bought the e-collection, The Agent Gambit, featuring Agent of Change and Carpe Diem.

Adventurous, romantic fantasy-science fiction-space opera, where Val Con and Miri meet for the first time, and subsequently pair up against the Juntavas (galactic mobsters, similar to the mafia), Yxtrang warriors, and brainwashed agents of the Dept of the Interior.

Falling in love along the way.

Who is watching their backs? Just some ancien
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4/5; 4 stars; A-

This is a review of the audiobook.

It has been a few years since I read this book so I really enjoyed revisiting the story. I found the narrator, Andy Caploe, a very solid choice for this story because the range of voices, from mobsters to aliens, was huge. It took me a while to get used to his interpretation of the characters but that is typical when one is not that familiar with a narrator. I recall the same thing happening when I listened to I Dare last year.

I love the Clutch
There was so much I didn't remember about this one, that it was almost like reading a new book (which is never a bad thing). I must have only read this once and that right back when I started the series, which was after it first began, but still a long time ago.

I do love Val Con and Miri and that's what I was expecting when I opened the pages, lots of Val Con and Miri, so I was almost surprised to rediscover that at the beginning of the book, really Val Con isn't the Val Con we've come to know i
This is a very fine sci-fi story. It is written well and keeps the reader turning those pages! I just didn't connect to the characters as I should. Miri, especially. I never could really see enough of a soft side underneath her rough and crude exterior to really believe she had any feelings at all for ValCon. I did really like his character, though, which made it all the harder when he treated her with such kindness and respect.. LOVED the turtles, though!!
An extremely quick and pleasant read, polished off in a day.

This is space opera without melodrama, sf light on science (no more than a handful of science-babble words tossed around, actually), and a lighthearted romance between two intelligent people in a future world that is very careful to present gender equality. Faster-than-light space travel occurs with the equivalent of Hey Presto! and some fancy-sounding labels. The assassin assassinated, yet we are given no information on why he did what
Jun 21, 2013 apple rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to apple by: Estara
Shelves: romance, sci-fi
It’s a story as old as time but this time the damsel saves the knight and they’re both in big time distress. Meet Miri and Val Con; She’s a tough-talking ex-mercenary and he’s a trigger-happy mentat spy. They first meet each other in a bubbly pink haze of gunfight, burn down a building while flirting and gradually fall in love, leaving trail of discarded body parts along the way. They’re so cute together and their banter totally kills me!

Okay, enough about the main characters. This book is actua
This was not a book for me. The premise was interesting and I quite liked what I learned of the universe and characters, but I just didn't gel with the writing and found everything came across as rather dragging because of that. For me this was weird to read because it seems to be written as a romance, light on describing anything but character interactions, yet the content of the book is more action than anything else and basically boils down to a spy and an ex-mercenary trying to stay one step ...more
Start to my all-time favorite Space Opera Series. The dialogue and cadence are straight out of a historical regency fiction, and only add to the atmosphere. Give it a chance, the series gets progressively better, hitting its high point in Korval's Game, by then you will be surprisingly and irrevocably hooked.
One of the very best. Very good sci fi of the space opera/adventure type with a very good romance. I want to belong to Clan Korval.
Lis Carey
I'll start by saying that the Liaden Universe is large, with internal subseries, and can be read in several different orders. By internal chronology, Agent of Change is #9, not #1. I'm a believer in publication order, though. Discover the universe in the order the writers invented it. On that basis, Agent of Change is #1.

Miri Robertson is an ex-mercenary, ex-private bodyguard, whose last employer set her and the rest of his household up as a bloody sacrifice to cover his escape. His former emplo
Although I recommend reading Conflict of Honors first, this is the true beginning of the Liaden Universe. The characters of Miri Robertson and Val Com Yos'Phelium form the center, and heart, of the series.
Miri, a tiny but accomplished mercenary soldier, retired, bodyguard, retired, ("have gun, will travel") finds herself in a life-threatening pickle when fate intervenes and brings Val Con to her aid. Against his better judgement, because of a hunch, he saves her life twice and helps her escape h
Erica Anderson
I have mixed feelings about this book, which is the second Liaden novel that I've read. I liked the interaction between the H/H and I adored the description and dialogue of the Clutch, a turtle-like alien race. But I got to the end of the novel and felt like I must have missed something--like why the heroine is being pursued by bad guys. The hero first encounters her in a shoot-out and saves her life. They spend the rest of the story evading bad guys, who want to kill both of them.

* * Semi-Spoi
Travis Starnes
Agent of Change, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, initially published in 1988, is the first book featuring the Liaden Universe. There are currently sixteen novels and numerous short stories set in this universe, with several later novels and stories set chronologically before the events in Agent of Change.

Val Con yos’Phelium, future head of Clan Korval, the most powerful of Liaden Clans has been brainwashed by the Department of the Interior, a clandestine organization intent on establishing Liade
I re-read this (along with the others in the series) over the past couple weeks. I liked them a lot the first time, and had the same up-past-bedtime experience again this time.

A few notes from the second reading:

1. Lee and Miller clearly love developing their protagonists. The antagonists, on the other hand, tend to be a bit flatter. But the antagonists also play a somewhat more minor role than one would suspect, since the main characters are forever tangling themselves up in misunderstandings,
Oct 03, 2010 JoyfulK rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Liaden fans
Lee & Miller's characters, as always, are riveting. Val Con and Miri, and their friends the "turtles" are well fleshed-out. I particularly enjoyed the way the clearly delineated alien culture contrasted with the planetary culture of this book.

Sadly, this book has two big flaws in the plot department. First, I found it hard to believe the plot in context of the Liaden culture as set up in the other books in the series. It's not consistent with the universe created that anyone on Liad would d
This is the best book I've ever read, and my go-to book if life is getting me down.

Lee and Miller have amazing storytelling skills, and the Liaden Universe is wonderfully detailed. Not only does the plot have depth, but the characters and settings do, too. I literally could not put this book down the first time I read it, and I've read it so many times I had to get an electronic version: my book is falling apart!

It's easy to get so involved with the characters that one is eager to follow them fr
The "start" of one of my favorite series.

I really enjoy the authors' use of language. They manage to convey the sense that the words you are reading (especially during character conversations) have been translated from another language and may only dimly reflect the true intended meaning of the speaker. I feel this is true in conversation even among two speakers of the same native language and appreciate the depth it adds to the story.

The stories are very enjoyable on a surface level and I wou
Carolyn F.
Miri is on the run from the mob and Val Con just happens to walk by when she's being attacked again. He helps her but gets bonked on the head and Miri feels obligated to help him since he helped her. Thus begins the most convoluted romance I have read. Is he crazy or not? Miri thinks he's pretty (her words) but then wants to stay away from the craziness. And then a Clutch of turtle-type aliens are thrown in who seem simple but are deadly. This book had my head spinning!
A fun romp through space with strange cultures, spies, chases, and romance. I'll read more of these.

Upgrade to 4 stars after reread 4/26/13 in light of all the diverse background now read.
Shane Groff
Read it for the turtles
This review was originally posted on

Agent of Change is the first book in the Liaden Universe series-- and the authors' first novel as well.

Agent of Change is an exciting story with characters I fell in love with, and it takes place in a well-crafted, complex world. If you’re in the mood to oversimplify, you could say that Agent of Change is rather like James Bond, The Bourne Identity, and a classic space opera all rolled into one, with a thread of romance woven in for
Mar 22, 2010 Missy~ rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sci-fi romance fans
It took me a while to get into this book, the prose is more sci-fi(ish) than I am normally used to. But once I got into the rhythm of the story, it flowed very smoothly. I enjoy interstellar/space fiction more than fantasy, so this was very much a genre that I enjoy, but have a difficult time finding new authors. Glad I discovered these authors. I will certainly be reading the more about the "Liaden Universe".
I liked the basic story. A spy who has enhanced/ brain alteration making him a valuable
William Bentrim
Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Val Con, a Liaden spy and Miri, a retired Terran mercenary find themselves thrust together by separate enemies. The enemies may be separate but they fate they plan for the reluctant partners is the same: DEATH.

I enjoyed this, my first of the Liaden Universe series. It has lots of action and the characters are complex and myriad. I found myself enjoying such diversities and Edger and the implacable Yxtrang. The story is colorful and the plot is intri
val can be whoever he needs to be. he has been re-programmed by the liadens to be a super spy. he also has an implanted device that allows him to calculate the odds of survival in any situation. after he successfully ends his mission with the death of a target, he ends up in the middle of an attack on miri. miri is an ex-mercenary who took a job as a bodyguard, not knowing that her boss was in the middle of a mob war, and now the mob is after her. val and miri work together to escape th
An interesting story set in an interesting universe. Though light on the "science" part of scifi, the characters are solid, the aliens believable, and the plotting is thorough. At points the story reads as light romance, though there's little physical aspect to it, but it shouldn't turn away readers looking for adventure, espionage, fighting, and gun play, of which there is plenty.
-La Space Opera de toda la vida con muchos toques de thriller de acción.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Val Con es un agente especial encubierto entrenado por el Departamento de Interior Liaden. Tras una misión, y de forma totalmente fortuita, interviene en una situación callejera potencialmente letal para salvar a Miri Robertson, una antigua mercenaria con asuntos pendientes con el crimen organizado de los Juntavas. Varias situaciones les llevan a trabajar juntos para enfrentar a l
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Sharon Lee has been married to her first husband for more than half her lifetime; she is a friend to cats, a member of the National Carousel Association, and oversees the dubious investment schemes of an improbable number of stuffed animals.

Despite having been born in a year of the dragon, Sharon is an introvert. She lives in Maine because she likes it there. In fact, she likes it so much that she
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Other Books in the Series

Liaden Universe (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Crystal Soldier (The Great Migration Duology, #1) (Liaden Universe, #1)
  • Crystal Dragon (The Great Migration Duology, #2) (Liaden Universe, #2)
  • Balance of Trade (Liaden Universe, #3)
  • Trade Secret (Liaden Universe, #4)
  • Local Custom (Liaden Universe, #5)
  • Scout's Progress (Liaden Universe, #6)
  • Mouse and Dragon (Liaden Universe, #7)
  • Conflict of Honors (Liaden Universe, #8)
  • Carpe Diem (Liaden Universe, #10)
  • Plan B (Liaden Universe, #11)
Fledgling (Theo Waitley, #1; Liaden Universe, #12) Conflict of Honors (Liaden Universe, #8) Local Custom (Liaden Universe, #5) I Dare (Liaden Universe, #13) Scout's Progress (Liaden Universe, #6)

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“Every time you get the world by the tail, she thought, you gotta remember there's teeth on the other end.” 10 likes
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