The Bayern Agenda is an expertly written combination of science fiction and espionage thriller, filled with well-drawn characters and a story you won’t be able to stop reading. You’ll find all of the intrigue of a cold war spy novel, set amidst a galaxy on the brink of another massive war. Moren deserves high praise for mastering two complex genres simultaneously.
The premise of the novel is pretty straightforward. We follow a group of soldiers-turned-spies into potentially hostile territories to gain intel on an impending deal with galactic implications. It’s a brilliant mix of science fiction and spy fiction, pairing the wonders of foreign worlds and space travel with the intrigue and danger of covert operations. This is a highly skilled crew paired with a newbie. We see the story from multiple points of view which makes for a layered story. The progression is subtle, with tension building slowly as the primary mission is underway. Everything eventually falls apart, as expected from a great spy novel, and we get to follow along one nail-biting page at a time.
The world building is spot-on, giving us a version of the universe populated by two massive governments who are in a constant state of war. We get the violent history of the current societal structures from the perspective of the veteran commander’s early days in the armed forces. It’s a very interesting story when pieced together with the current events. The concept of Bayern itself is both intriguing and unsettling. This is a corporation whose headquarters is an entire planet, employing millions of people to manage trillions of dollars of business. It’s a beautiful planet, to be sure, but with the stakes so high, there’s some definite shade going on. Everything just seems a little off from the start, and it keeps you in a constant state of looking over your shoulder, wondering when the sky will come falling down.
Overall, I loved The Bayern Agenda for its mix of genres and its crew of compelling characters. Coupled with an interesting galactic history and a bevy of well-done settings, Moren has created a thrilling reading experience.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
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