"Lieutenant" is the third in a series of near future SciFi/Thrillers whose young heroine Ell Donsaii we learned in "Quicker" has a nerve mutation that makes her an athletic phenomenon, so fast that no one can keep up with her. In "Smarter" we learned how these fast nerve processes have made her a genius. She's both shy and concerned about her social skills, yet loved by those around her. Like Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), while trying to drift off to sleep, instead of counting sheep Ell develops a new theory of quantum mechanics. She has now dropped out of grad school after using her quantum theories to invent a means for enormously improving communications using entangled molecules. Back in the military to complete her commitment, she continues her physics research in her spare time. She also has to fend off more attempts to kidnap her by groups wanting access to her skills. As in the past, those who attack her don't consider that the very skills they envy and desire make her hard to subdue.
Then the People's Republic of China shoots down the US satellites over Asia in preparation for an invasion of Taiwan. Ell's quantum entangled communication chips can substitute for lost satellite communications and observation if she can just convince the brass to use them.