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Agent of Change (Liaden Universe #9)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  2,865 Ratings  ·  165 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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Gus Yes. It works well as a stand along story. It was the first book written in the Liaden Universe and starts one of the main story arcs, so pay no…moreYes. It works well as a stand along story. It was the first book written in the Liaden Universe and starts one of the main story arcs, so pay no attention to it being labeled #9, the others are sort of prequels.(less)
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Excellent Space Opera
30th out of 402 books — 2,120 voters
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Best Sci-Fi/Futuristic Romance
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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 really liked it  ·  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
Jamie Collins
Sep 30, 2012 Jamie Collins rated it it was ok
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
Apr 22, 2016 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: space-opera, liaden
"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 engineered warriors, and brainwashed agents of the fascist Dept of the Interior.

Falling in love along the way.

Who is watching their back
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
Jul 18, 2016 Mara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An adrenaline packed, never ending race in space, Agent of Change leaves you in need of a relaxant, whatever type you can find won't probably be enough anyway...

I stumbled a bit around the 80% mark when the very quick change of Povs, plus the Clutch drive ;), left me dizzy. I had to stop for a day.

Sep 09, 2012 Kerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, 9, sf, reread, 2012
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
J L's Bibliomania
Jul 04, 2016 J L's Bibliomania rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, sf, 2016-reads
Depending on how you count, Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller is either Book 1 or Book 9 of the sprawling Liaden Universe (now up to 18 books + multiple short stories). I default to reading extended series in the order that they were published so that my reading experience evolves in parallel with the writer gaining experience. So I picked up Agent of Change, which is available as a free ebook from a number of sources.

Several true statements:

I enjoyed Agent of Change
It's been a whi
A very good read, one in one of the best series ever. 4/22/16 re-read: This is, perhaps, my least favorite of the series, but it is still 5 stars.
Aug 13, 2015 TJ rated it liked it
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!!
Feb 24, 2012 Princessjay rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
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 really liked it
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
Mar 08, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, romance, action
The best part about this book is definitely the turtles.

This wasn't bad, but I wouldn't recommend it, unless you're hankering, like I was, for something reminiscent of entertaining-but-somewhat-campy late 80s and early 90s sci-fi TV. I could just imagine the fashion of that time while reading this book. I could see myself falling in love with this universe and reading the bunches of books that exist in its universe when I was younger, though.

The main characters are thrown together after fleeing
Jan 09, 2015 Wyrdness rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-romance
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.
Shane Groff
Jan 16, 2013 Shane Groff rated it liked it
Read it for the turtles
Lis Carey
Mar 02, 2014 Lis Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf, fiction, audiobooks
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
Sep 04, 2012 Kandi rated it really liked it
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
Oct 17, 2013 Travis Starnes rated it really liked it
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
Oct 19, 2010 David rated it really liked it
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,
Dichotomy Girl
I suspect that this is one of those books that is going to start out at 3 stars, and slowly evolve higher and higher and higher with each reread.

The strength in this book is the characters. And as is the case in many character driven series, I need time for the characters to grow on me before I can absolutely love the book.

I absolutely loved Edger (though I unfortunately get a mental picture of teenage mutant ninja turtles anytime the Clutch are mentioned). He's absolutely poetic and I totally w
Oct 03, 2010 JoyfulK rated it liked it
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
Dec 05, 2010 Shannah rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 15, 2014 M rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-re-read
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.
May 16, 2012 Carolyn F. rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book, sci-fi
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!
David Tate
Jan 23, 2016 David Tate rated it really liked it
Most people consider this to be the first book in the main sequence of Liaden Universe (tm) novels. Personally, I recommend that people start with Conflict of Honors, which gives a more balanced background to understand the unusual events of Agent of Change.

Val Con, our Hero, isn't quite himself these days. Miri, our Heroine, is having a Bad Day. What else, but that they should hook up (tentatively, with reservations) and become Hell On Wheels?

I believe this was the first of the books to be writ
Apr 26, 2013 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
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.
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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 23 books)
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  • Crystal Dragon (The Great Migration Duology, #2; Liaden Universe, #2)
  • Balance of Trade (Liaden Universe, #3)
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  • Local Custom (Liaden Universe, #5)
  • Scout's Progress (Liaden Universe, #6)
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  • Conflict of Honors (Liaden Universe, #8)
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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.” 12 likes
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