Waynesboro, PA | Member Since 2011
This was an amazing listen, though it was a little slow in the beginning compared to the first book. You really won't get into the story unless you've also read or listened to the previous book, but I absolutely loved it and couldn't stop listening. I was also a little disappointed that the story ended in somewhat of a cliffhanger, but that just means I'll have another amazing story to look forward to. 5 stars.
I was very unsure about this recently added series. There were few, if any, reviews, and it sounds a little adrift from the books I usually like. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the story, finding that although different, I actually liked the universe Erik Wecks created.
The story takes place in a future galactic society where two opposing societies control almost all of known space. One side (the more-or-less "good guys" in the story) is controlled by a hereditary monarchy type system, with a few families (and one in-particular) controlling their portion of space. The opposing side is corporate controlled government, with a CEO in overall control of the rest of human worlds. Neither side seems to have any real democratic aspects.
I won't lie... I did find several aspects of the Imperium to be a bit confusing, especially in the beginning. However, I picked up on most of it throughout the book, and it didn't take away from the rest of the story.
In the beginning of the book, the monarchy-controlled side (House of Athena) discovers that the corporate controlled worlds have been building up military forces and assembling weapons of mass destruction, and are likely planning to go to war and break the centuries-long uneasy peace that has existed in the Pax Imperium. The first half of the book is spent in the years leading up to the war, with the second half taking place during the years-long conflict.
The book follows a few characters, but focuses on the main character who is only a young boy when the book begins. He is the prince of the House of Athena, and the story follows him through his military training that begins once the military buildup begins.
The storyline has a good mix of politics, espionage, personal relationships, military scenes, space battles, and other action scenes. I grew to like several of the characters and almost all felt completely believable to me.
I gave 4 stars to the narrator, mostly just because of some mispronunciations. He is actually a pretty good narrator, but when narrators without a background or knowledge of some topics in a book mispronounce things, I find their small little mistakes irritating. Otherwise, he's a pretty good narrator and deserving of 4 stars.
When I finished, I found myself anxious and ready to pick up where the story left off. Hopefully, we will see the next book in this series soon. If not, I liked it enough to buy the print version.
I went into this book already loving the concept of the story. I was pleasantly surprised that even though I thought I knew where the story would go, but there were plenty of twists, turns, and surprises in store.
Summary with very, very minor spoilers (How else can I describe the storyline):
The book focuses around a female linguist with extensive experience in field and emergency situations (although she tries to suppress those life experiences). As an expert in the field of languages and communication, a former leader of a team in a first-contact situation with an isolated human tribe, and possessing a demonstrated ability to manage stress and react to emergencies, she is the first candidate chosen by NASA for a top secret mission.
As part of the story, it is revealed that the Roswell crash was actually a shuttle from a much larger ship located in the asteroid belt. The huge ship has been seemingly abandoned for decades, now floating dead in space. After recently discovering that a comet is on a direct path for the ship, NASA sends a mission to the ship before the comet can destroy it. The mission is meant to be the first of two. The first is to survey what is there and report back so that the second mission will be prepared. The main character is along to take charge in the event of a first contact situation with anyone still left on the ship.
After arrival, a single survivor makes contact with our linguist... in a rather unconventional way. We also come to find that the entire crew was killed by some kind of bio-weapon. Only the navigator, a somewhat different being than the rest of the aliens, survived alone for the past several decades.
Without giving too much of the storyline away, we also eventually learn that the aliens in question are members of a coalition of intelligent life that are united against a single threat, and had originally visited earth in search of allies.
The book did end, as I expected, with a cliffhanger... It is definitely set up for another book to follow. Although I am always irritated when there is more story to be told past the end of a book, but it will make me look forward to the next one (PLEASE let there be a next one!).
As I said, I went through the book thinking I knew what was around the next turn, only to be gladly proven wrong.
The narrator does a pretty good job as well. While isn't the best narrator ever, the narration felt believable enough for a 5-star rating, although I probably would have given a 4.5 if possible.
I think that there were a few issues in writing style and execution in a few small places, but I loved the rest of the book so much that I couldn't warrant giving anything less than 5 stars. I almost couldn't stop listening, and that's what I want in an audiobook.
If you have read the other books... This is the book you have been waiting for. Not only was it a great story in itself, but it also provides a lot of the back story about Celaena, including flashbacks from her childhood as princess and early use of magic. The book is full of Fay, Demi-Fay, monsters, LOTS of magic, battles, betrayals, and on, and on.
If you haven't already read the rest of the series, then you probably won't get nearly as much from this book as you would have if you started from the beginning. Even if you haven't though, you will certainly still appreciate it.
Celaena spends the entire book in Wendlyn, where she was sent at the end of the last book. She goes through a great deal of self discovery and understanding while learning how to use (and more importantly control) her magic under the direction of a bitter yet likeable warrior Fay. Although she fears the power she hasn't been able to access since childhood, she none-the-less rediscovers how powerful and unique her gifts are, and how valuable and necessary they will be in defeating the King.
Chaol and Dorian tell the story from back in Rifthold where both of them, despite being at odds, plot against the King in their own efforts. One of the new characters, a cousin to Celaena and general to the king, joins the two of them in an attempt to destroy the King's ability to suppress magic.
A new character also gives a perspective of the kings plans from elsewhere on the continent, in a very interesting independent story line. Even though this character is completely isolated from the others, I have a feeling she will become a major player in the next book.
Another thing I liked about the book was that is wasn't just told primarily from Celaena's point of view (as in the last two books), but all the characters get an equal share of the story. In many other book series, I find this annoying because I really only care about what is happening with the main character, but the other story lines are interesting enough that I was just as happy to hear from them.
Although this book is (unfortunately) just as much of a cliffhanger as the last was, it at least left off in a good place. I also finished feeling satisfied given all that that happened, all the new developments, and all of the new material.
With as great a story as this was, and another excellent performance by the narrator, this is without a doubt worth the credit I spent...
I debated how to rate this book, and decided just to give it three stars. It really wasn't a bad book, but I'm torn about whether my credit could have been spent better...
The storyline follows a man who is released from prison and purchases a freighter which he arms for defense against pirates. As the story progresses, he becomes feared by the pirates and well known for his accomplishments. The Emperor of his star nation asks him to lead the fight against the pirates since he has more experience with them than the military has, and they can too easily detect and avoid military ships. He is given nearly unlimited resources in which to do this. Throughout the book, he becomes one of the Empires most brilliant tactical minds, marries into the Imperial family, finds long lost knowledge, fights space battles, makes new scientific discoveries, gets kidnapped, takes over a planet, and on, and on...
First off, I'm not too sure about that narrator. Unlike a few others, I didn't think it was horrible, it just wasn't "good" compared to some of the narrators you will find. I did find him annoying at some points, which draws you out of the story and makes you want to stop listening.
As I said, it really wasn't all that bad, but the way the story was told leaves so much more to be desired... It seems almost like this book was written as a bunch of mini stories or novellas that someone combined to make one book. The whole book doesn't flow like one cohesive story. Each sub-plot or story has its own beginning, middle, and end. I actually found this flow irritating enough that I stopped listening for a few days until my frustration subsided. It would have been a much better book if it wasn't fractured into separate yet somewhat connected stories.
Overall, if it sounds like a really great book to you, then have at it. As frustrating as it was sometimes, it actually wasn't bad. BUT, as I said in the beginning, be sure that your credit isn't better spent elsewhere first. I wish I'd put this in my list of low priority wish list to eventually listen to, but not right away.
I really liked this entire story, the concept, and the interesting universe that the story takes place in. However, I did feel like the writing style of the author was a little rushed. This could have easily been two books with more back story, detail, and plot.
In the story, humanity has split into a handful different empires and minor powers. Humanity in general is plagued by a corrupt and emotionless alien race bent on galactic domination. The main character is a captain of a ship in one of the more powerful navies. When his home world falls, he an his crew find themselves refugees having to fend for themselves. Eventually, they end up gathering a group of other refugees and some ships, making a small nation of their own. Down the line, they join forces with some mercenaries to recapture the system they originally took refuge in (which had been recently captured by the same alien race that captured the main character's home world) so that they can locate and reclaim the remnants of a legendary, and very powerful, lost fleet of ships. Along the way, they catch wind of another race of aliens that may pose a much greater threat to the human race then anything they have encountered before.
Overall, I loved the whole storyline and concept of the book, but there were many places where the book seemed a bit rushed. For example:
"It was then that the other captain invited me aboard his ship. I was on the other ship when I noticed..." (I just made that up, but I think you get the point)
It seemed to jump from one situation to the next with too little back story, detail, or an appropriate lead-in to the next situation.
Having said that, I enjoyed the book very much and am looking forward to the next in the series.
Because it's the first thing everyone is jumping on, I must admit that the narration did leave something to be desired. The narrator isn't horrible, he's just very different from the narrator from the previous 3 books, and his narration of some characters was a little odd. Having said that, I don't think that the narration made the book as horrible as others claim.
The story itself was actually rather good. I still think that the first two books are the better ones in this series, but this one still had a good story.
I do need to say that this book and the one before it had story lines that start feeling a little... defeatist? By that I mean that everything that can go wrong will go wrong and then some big disaster is going to come and make things worse...
Also, the main character seems to be slightly unrealistic sometimes. A lot of the main characters in many of the Sci-Fi series seem to always have this unshakeable, and sometimes ridiculous, set of morals. For example; If someone who just murdered people was trying to murder a lot more people, and then tried to kill you so that he could murder even more people, do defend yourself with lethal force? Of course not! You do everything you can to not hurt him too badly and then risk your own life to bring him back for a fair trial (no doubt giving the bad guy a couple dozen more opportunities to attack or double-cross you again).
Having picked out all of the negatives about the book, I thought the story was definitely worth the credit. It wasn't predictable, the story flowed well, and it kept me wanting to continue listening. That is what getting the book is all about. Also, the ending wasn't bad either. Although the author left the series in a good place to end it if he wanted to, there is still more story to tell and I would look forward to another book...
I was reluctant to purchase this book for fear I really wasn't going to like this series at all. I was pleasantly surprised with it. The first book can be a little slow at times, but it was an overall good plot, and the books get increasingly better as the series progresses.
The story focuses on Kai, a young adult in her last year at her planets space academy. She has a run in with another student in the first few minutes and is forced to resign. As a member of a wealthy family that owns a vast interstellar shipping company, she is quickly given a Captains slot on a small, slow freighter. As the story unfolds, she begins a series of missions and jobs to make a much greater profit than her family expects, and to possibly save the ship from being scrapped at the end of her voyage. This includes being stuck in a system at war, and actually getting a chance to use some of her military training.
The first book, as I said, can be a little slow, but in the later books (when she starts getting weapons and faster ships) include full space battles and much more action.
Would definitely recommend this series, BUT, if you don't like the first book, listen to the second before you decide to drop the series altogether.
I really liked the whole plot line and theme of this book. I thought that it was a little hard to relate to the main character at some points, but still thought that she was believable and interesting. The narrator in this book is one of the best of all of the books I've listened to on audible, which makes it even better.
Would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction. One of my new favorites!
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