This story unfolds, folds back, circles, returns, and surprises. At times, it seems to drag as the protagonist suffers interminably in so many different ways. However, as we learn who he is and what he has done, we appreciate the weaving. The reading is good, but not great. The story bogs down here and there, but is still very engaging and entertaining.
From the very first Star Force story, I thought B.V. Larson was great. Each book is a bit formulaic, but his creative ideas twist and turn in unanticipated ways. And, his major characters demonstrate the foibles, genius, and angst of the human experience in very trying circumstances. He carries this forward into the next generation of Star Force. Cody Riggs, who we learn is Kyle Riggs' son, is forced by circumstances to take command of the Valiant. The problem is, Cody is an ensign in the Star Force Space Navy and just recently graduated from the academy. All he has is book learning, his inherited genes from his dad, a gift for tactics and a burning desire to succeed. Like his dad, he has girl problems. And, like his dad, he worries about his own decisions and capacities. However, he grows into the role of ship captain in a star system 500 light years from earth with a new unknown ring to pass through. Boyett does his usual excellent job of narration.Bring on the next installment.
This one is very good. Great characterizations and an interesting plot. It is told from the first person, but Lee does a good job changing time perspectives to make it interesting. As a lawyer, I was offended that the military lawyer in the inquiry was grossly unethical in his behaviors. Unfortunately, that happens too frequently in real life as well. Lee did a good job showing how power is corrupting. Other than that, this is a great listen. I recommend it with 5 stars across the board. More Vince Lombard stories to come, I hope.
I usually don't write reviews of books I don't like. Call this a lukewarm, mediocre review. First, the good: The premise is engaging and is set forth in the prologue. Earth is destroyed by aliens and a small ship of survivors makes its way a 1000 light years away to start over. The story opens 2000 years later. Obviously, the plot line will be the aliens re-discovering the hated humans (who assassinated the Emperor's son) and utterly destroying them. The archetype myth becomes David (the human empire) v. Goliath (the alien empire). Except the humans have advanced to within 20 years of technological parity with the aliens. Almost a fair fight. Pretty interesting idea.
The bad: The narration is just awful. Mr. Sterling has narrated some gay romance stories (at least that's what they look like to me on Audible) so I am surprised at how poor this narration was. His accents are terrible. His inflections are all wrong. Just bad reading. No excuses for this. If he had a director, the director was asleep. If no director, he needed one. I will say that he improved his diction and reading as the book progressed.
More bad: This is obviously going to be a serial series. However, I cannot understand why Mr. Dandridge takes the time to develop characters and then kill them off. It does not add to the plot development. In addition, the bad guys, of which there are a number, are stereotypes with no depth, motivation, or understanding. They are cliches at best. And, I have no clue how all of this will play out in the coming books. It's a cheap way to build suspense, in my opinion, and adds nothing to the overall trajectory of the plot.
Still more bad: The plot wanders all over the place with no real logic or direction. As a reader, I am trying to make sense of how all of this ties together. I can't. We move from micro-moments with characters that are likeable to grandiose movements with no connection. There are too many loose ends and dead ends.
This book could have benefited from a re-write and editing and from using a different reader. Oh well. Caveat emptor.
This is Brown's best yet. His characterizations are becoming well-developed with real emotions and real problems. Nathan Scott has matured into someone far wiser than his years, which one would expect considering his past 8 months. The plot continues to interest and occasionally surprise. Can't wait for the next installment.
I guess this book has something for everyone. If you remember the steamy romance novels on check out stands and never read one, you will get your fill here. If you like interesting and speculative science, it's here. If you like the idea of an above-genius level young woman (multiple masters degrees in multiple hard science disciplines) successfully defending her spaceship against an enemy spec op agent who is trying to kill her, this is for you. If you like the same young woman falling in love with her spec op guy, this is for you too. If you like spec op guys who can kill 4 armed guys in under 2 seconds with a knife and his hands, its here for you.The character development is generally excellent. The plot trajectory is predictable while the individual elements are interesting. I did not like the heavy-handed romantic development between Caleb and Alexis (Alex to her friends). I think Ms. Jennsen could have made a good book much better by being more nuanced. In any event, the book is worth the listen. Warning: Do not listen if you do not like being shot off of a cliff at the end. Obviously, there is more to come and all of the plot threads opened here will have to be closed eventually.
I was intrigued by the first volume of the series although I felt that it dragged in places. The second volume doesn't have that problem at. This is one of the most interesting, imaginative stories I have listened to in a long time. The plot line is pretty standard: bad-ass aliens kick human ass. Humans figure out how to dish it back. Bennett has just made the standard story so interesting. Characterizations are strong too. I really had a hard time stopping to do more constructive things in my life, like work. I strongly recommend this one and can hardly wait for the installment.
I listened to the first series and enjoyed it. This series demonstrates much more mature writing, both in characterization and plot. Geary faces many moral dilemmas. Dejani doesn't whine as much. The other starship captains are real humans, not one-dimensional. There are many unanswered questions making life challenging and difficult for the protagonists. And, the events are not predicable. Very good writing and a good listen Strongly recommend if you like this genre.
This is Horatio Hornblower on steroids. Totally light, fun, diverting story and a great narrator. Don't look for anything heavy or serious here. I loved it for what it is..classic space opera without the political gravitas of Weber.
The publisher's summary generally describes the thrust of the story. The Krall have a spiritual mission to dominate the galaxy through competitive, brutal breeding. Only their very best warriors are allowed to survive and breed in a complex social hierarchy. How do they become the best? By finding other species and battling them. Through battle test, the Krall hope for physical and spiritual perfection. And so, they discover humans. Humans are weak, pathetic prey. The story goes into great detail in many scenes, giving us a rich experience on a hostile, alien planet. The ingenuity, intelligence, leadership, and luck it takes the captured humans to survive is remarkable and realistic. The back story is just as interesting as the main plot. The morality of human gene modification is a central dilemma cast in the history of a devastating clone war in the human past. That war wiped out 98% of all human males, which led to some interesting changes in male-female relationships.
The downside of this interesting story is the narrator. He has what sounds like a slight Candadian accent. His inflections, pauses, and emphases are all wrong. You just have to get used to it and get past it. Despite that, I had a hard time putting this one down. It pretty much consumed my New Year's holiday. Sounds like there will be a sequel, and I will snap it up if it arrives.
Some stories are plot-based, others are character-based. This story is the latter, and it is the characters that make this story shine. Ms. King does an excellent job of creating a universe so alien from Earth that it is truly alien. Humans are the new species on the block, weak, and defenseless. The horrors the protagonists endure, the losses, and the transformations are all part of a compelling listen. This is different and worth listening to.
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