I wanted very much for this to be better than it was. But while it was not bad, neither was it particularly good. It's a Big Mac of a space opera, a perfectly average, standard, processed serving delivering a pleasant if unexceptional taste but no nutritional value. Mike Shepherd seems to be trying to imitate David Weber or Lois McMaster Bujold, and since I am not particularly a fan of either of them (I know, sacrilege), this story did little for me. It was entertaining enough for the time I spent listening to it, but I don't really care about Kris Longknife and her future military career and whatever political shenanigans will continue through the next few books, nor was I even lured by the promise of the aliens repeatedly mentioned in this book but never seen.
Kris Longknife is a daughter of privilege in this far future where Earth is a corrupt, decadent old world at the center of a union spanning hundreds of colony worlds. Her father is the Prime Minister of Wardhaven, and he's been a cold, political creature since Kris's little brother was killed following a botched kidnapping when she was ten. Kris, following years of guilt and a bit of teenage alcoholism, was inspired by her war-hero grandfather to join the Navy, much to her parents' horror.
In the first part of the book, we are introduced to Kris as a boot Ensign in charge of a bunch of space marines who are on a rescue mission to save a little girl who's been kidnapped by terrorists. Of course this dredges up all of Kris's issues, and already she was trying me, because the whole time it was "OH, the angst! I'm coming, Tommy! I won't let this little girl die like you did! Oh, how can I focus on the job when I keep remembering my dead little brother angst!angst!angst!"
I'm sure something like that will haunt you for your entire life, but it happened when she was a kid, and now she's an adult and a naval officer. One would think she'd have developed some coping skills by now. But saving the little girl was clearly meant to be the point where she finally is able to put her brother to rest.
Then we get more family background, Kris takes a lot of flak from fellow officers because of course she's one of "those Longknives" and everyone knows she's a rich girl who decided to join the military for whatever reason. She is assigned to a humanitarian mission on a nearly-abandoned colony world where people are starving and facing floods and plagues, and since she's so exceptional, she manages to whip the green, bottom-of-the-barrel unit she's assigned to into kick-ass troops who beat off bandits and save the starving farmers, etc.
In the meantime, there's some kind of plot where political enemies of her family are trying to set her up to be killed, which introduces the main bad guys and a dubious romantic interest for future books.
The "mutiny" of the book's title does not take place until nearly the end of the book, and like all the things Kris does, it's an act that requires a certain amount of bravery and competence, but no hard moral choices — throughout the book, the reader is never left in doubt that Kris is absolutely doing the right thing and anyone who opposes her is wrong.
If you really like military SF and female protagonists, this may be worth checking out, but I'm unlikely to pick up the rest of the series unless I'm starved for something better.
I also cannot recommned this narrator: Dina Pearlman put far too much "sneer" into the sneers; whenever a character spoke with sarcasm, or worse, an accent (there is a Scottish Highlander regiment in the book), it became a bit painful to listen to her, and honestly, I have listened to many audiobooks and found men can do women's voices well and women can do men's voices well, but in Pearlman's case, I could never forget that it was a woman trying to voice a man's lines, and it kept throwing me out of the story.
This was disappointing: full of clichés and the whole scenario felt more like the early 21st century with space travel... the world of the main character missed a really sci-fi evolution to where we are now.
I listened to the Audible version and found the narrator not to be a good fit for this book either.
I have something like 216 books in my library at this time, I always mean to be more active but I go nowhere without a book in my earphones
I am always willing to try again maybe a book written a few years down the line when he has had time to get his style nailed down as for the narrator she did not do to badly with what she had to work with.
it lacked substance. I see most people bash the military discipline (it WAS bad) but I can forgive almost any deviation from realism as long as the book is well written, this one was not. granted I did just finish listening to skin game from Jim Butcher and narrated by James Marsters and few can hold a candle to that duo but I had intended to just clear the palate with a short book before going onto another 20-30 hour book...I couldn't even finish it. the concept of her being put in charge of a backwater that she had to whip into shape reminded me of a poorly written attempt to copy on basilisk station by David weber. maybe if I had read this one first I would have enjoyed it more.
child's book narrator. I cant really say anything bad about her voice but the inflection and tone she uses just sounds well suited to children's books to me.
it wasn't really any one scene that ruined it for me, it was his writing style and ideas on how his military works. the views of the characters and reasons they do what they do just did not seem real to me.
I don't want to sound like an armchair expert by critiquing someone's work who is a far better writer then I will ever be, but I did not enjoy the book. I think it better suited to a younger crowd who wants excitement without any realism.
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I suppose I got what I deserved buying this title based on two customer reviews, but those reviews couldn't be more wrong - perhaps they are plants.
The story was weak, preachy and un-inventive. The idioms used were straight from today - hardly sci-fi. The descriptions haphazardly complete in thought and imagery; in some cases excruciatingly detailed, in many others almost blank, in all cases dull.
The narrator is squeaky and she gives a Southern twang to even the Irish and Scottish characters. Ultimately this audio book feels like it was written and narrated by two women (yes Mike Shepard is a guy's name) who have never left the suburban Maryland neighborhoods in which they were born and raised (and never watched a sci-fi movie, let alone read a novel in their lives).
In retrospect this was a good lesson for me. Six books by Mike Shepherd all narrated by Dina Pearlman - neither have any other presence on Audible; that's should have been a warning sign...
I was hoping for a strong story line, intelligent characters and a rich narrative - especially a strong female character as was written in the review - but was bitterly disappointed.
A good book to listen to in a comfortable chair by the fireside with a bottle of your favorite beverage ready at hand. Kris Longknife turns out to be an interesting protagonist and the book has some of the characteristics of the old Doc Smith space operas. I've ordered the second book in the series and looking forward to another pleasant evening of the Longknife saga.
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
This book left an odd taste in the mouth and it is a shame because I thought the universe Mike Shepherd created had great potential. We have a futuristic society where humans have expanded across the galaxy. There is mention of another alien race and a conflict between Earth and the Rim worlds. Also there is a heroine who is coming into her own person wanting to detach herself from the reputation of her family and showing her true mettle. She is brave and there is opportunity for her to be a leader. However, the execution of this book was off and this one fell short of my expectations. The main character doesn't have quite the mature commanding presence and tactical genius of a Honor Harrington. The story doesn't have the cohesion and intrigue of a Miles Vorkosigan novel. And the battles lack the suspense and excitement of a Prince Rogers or Black Jack Geary book. In short, I thought the characters and stories fall a little flat compared to these other greats.
The title "Mutineer" seems like an after thought. Most of this story is about Kris Longknife's career in the military. The story starts off with a rescue mission. Next, she is transported to an alien world. As the lowest ranking marine officer, Kris finds herself in a position where the military is doing everything wrong and this situation forces her to take charge, fix things, and show her leadership skills. In the very end of this book Longknife finally escapes her planet side marine life and enters the bridge of a spaceship in a possible entanglement with an enemy fleet. During these adventures she is also facing outside threats against her life by a mystery group or person.
It seemed like many of the pieces were there but a massive editing job was needed. The characters all gave Kris Longknife a hard time because she comes from a privilege background, so in this respect the book is similar to Lois McMasters Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series. However, Kris is very distant with her family and her choice to join the military was not a popular one. The story didn't really elicit any emotional responses, such a sympathy, for the main character for me. Parts of this book seemed off and at times un-fullfilling. And there were moments I tuned out for a little bit. Also, I thought the ending was anticlimactic and poorly done because it felt fake a bit forced. In the end Kris seems to be more lucky than smart. I have no motivation to download the next book, but I am up to giving Shepard a second chance if a sale comes along.
A good narrator can help make a mediocre book great. This narration might have hindered the listen. The different accents were not particularly enjoyable to listen through.
The story line, in my opinion, doesn't fit the title. The event in the story that the title comes from doesn't happen until the very end. I was so disappointed that it was more a story about a rich brat in the military than an actual story about a mutineer on a spaceship. Also the audiobook performance by Dina Pearlman, was very bad. Many of the characters are male, so why not have a guy do the performance? Instead, you end up with many of the male characters with the same voice. Maybe I'll try the normal book version of the next book in a few years.
So far I am in the middle of the book and I almost feel like a little kid that someone is reading me the book. The narrator sounds like she is reading to children. I am having a hard time listening to the book.
I do service work and do a LOT of driving. I enjoyed the first two of these audiobooks so much that I wound up listening to the whole series!
Light and fun, yet with some suspense. Author Shepherd manages to find situations different enough to keep the action interesting throughout the whole series.