'A startlingly original creation ... one of the most thought-provoking novels of the year.'—SciFi Weekly (on Genetopia)
(Most recent edition: October 2002; Cosmos. Hardback, Victor Gollancz, 1990; paperback, Corgi, 1991; first US edition October 2002 from the Wildside Press imprint, Cosmos.)
Jed Brindle is an alien. At least, that's what they call him on Earth. He's really a colony-bred soldier - augmented with cyborg implants - with the Extraterran Peacekeeping Force, fighting for control of what used to be the United States.
When he and his squad are sent behind enemy lines on a kidnap operation, it isn't long before things start to go wrong. Marooned in the desert with two wounded comrades and his quarry, Jed's mission becomes not just a struggle for survival but also a journey to rediscover the quiet, reliable farm boy he was before he became a machine for killing.
"...should be required reading for anyone who still subscribes to the popular, dangerous fantasy of the nobility of war."
(Lisa Tuttle, Time Out)
"It has been several years since a first novel has grabbed me the way Keith Brooke's Keepers of the Peace did. It's a well-crafted, very personal look at the way war changes (and doesn't change) a kid from the sticks ... It is smooth, clean and elegant; a very straightforward book whose writing recalls the 1950s Heinlein, telling the tale without getting in the way."
(Tom Whitmore, Locus)
"This is a very fine debut novel ... Recommended both for the vision of the future and the excellent characterisation."
(Paul Brazier, Nexus)
"Brooke balances action with introspection, the lyrical with a gritty documentary 'realism' in stark contrast to the usual shoot-'em-up adventure. Anyone who has thrilled to the exploits of lunar rebels or others among sf's doughty warriors should read Keepers of the Peace - as an antidote. It's a gripping story of challenge and skin-of-the-teeth survival, but it's also much more: an anti-war testament with a direct power that requires no preaching."
(Faren Miller, Locus)
"...this absorbing book could hardly have been reissued at a more appropriate time ... Those who seek the measured provocation of thought when considering our military future -- and indeed our military present -- can be heartily recommended to read Keepers of the Peace. Those who seek out militaristic sf for the thrills, the gore, the glory and the melodrama should be prescribed this novel as a cure."
(John Grant, infinity plus)
"...a cyber-anti-war story. Or anti-cyber-war. Cyber-dove? Whatever. Lucius Shepard and Joe Haldeman bounced off Heinlein and Gibson."
(Russell Letson, Locus)
"One thinks of Haldeman and Heinlein's takes on mil-SF respectively, of gung-ho approaches and Vietnam comparisons. This book is something else again ... the simple powerful tale of one man in the army ... a startling book about the de-humanising effect of military life, no matter how cool the gadgets get. Recommended."