Being chosen always hurts.
Kare faces a choice - he can inherit his cruel mother's Empire or accept his father's birthright and stand against her, knowing he will incur her wrath. Once made, that choice will threaten everything he holds dear - his friends and loved ones, his family, even his sanity.
©2015 Tickety Boo Press (P)2016 Tickety Boo Press
This is an extremely well-written novel that captures your attention from the beginning and never lets go. But it's a dark tale, not a happy one.
The battle is against an evil empress who will do ANYTHING to get what she wants and who commands absolute obedience from her subjects by use of psychic mind control, torture, terrorism, and utter ruthlessness. (I don't particularly enjoy descriptions of torture and had to set the book aside at one point.) The odds against the rebels are astronomical, but if there was ever a just cause, this is it.
So, brilliantly written, with characters I came to care about and an engrossing story. Just be prepared for the darkness.
It's petty, but I knocked a point off the "performance" score because I disliked one of the female voices. When she came into the story I thought she was a child with a crush on the hero, not the military leader she truly is. My prejudices are showing, I know. There's no rational reason why a soft, high-pitched voice can't belong to a warrior.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest opinion.
I liked the story...I think. It was hard to get into because of the narration. Wasn't for me, I guess, though the female voice wasn't bad. The difference in volume of the voices was distracting. I did enjoy the development but eventually had to set it aside about halfway through. I'll likely pick it up again. I think I would be more excited to finish if more books in the series were out:)
This was a great novel, that's starts out a bit slow, but picks up speed quickly and throws you into a deep story that you hate to see end. I thought the audio actors did well, but had to listen to some parts with head phones because the female voice was so low. Great story and looking forward to the next book.
I'm a bookseller, writer and paranormal investigator from Pretoria, South Africa.
I really enjoyed this book - it proves that SF with a character focus works very well, and that there's not much, in terms of technology or future-forcasting, which is needed to give it that adventurous, exciting feeling. Jo did a wonderful job with the characters, even the Empress; every one of them have believable motivations, and I was invested in all of them. I'm also looking forward to seeing more of the worlds and systems Jo has created, as the hints were tantalising.
As to the narration, sometimes Travis fell into reading different emotions in a similar manner, but over all, his performance was good. I would, however, advise that the female narrator not use the high, almost Anime-suited voice - it was the only aspect of the narration which truly detracted from the listening experience.
All in all, a job well done - I'm looking forward to more of Travis' narration and can't wait to return to Kare and Abendau.
I'm a sci-fi and fantasy nerd, a fan of all things theology and an adjunct professor of political science.
I received a free copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review from the rights holder courtesy of audio book boom.
The story's enjoyable enough on it's own, as long as you don't think about the plot elements. Twin children of an evil tyrant separated from one another at a very young age. The main character witnesses traumatic family deaths at the hands of said tyrant. A rebel group hiding out in secret bases. Space travel combined with quasi-magical or mystical elements. I don't want to spoil too much, but the Star Wars parallelism is strong with this one. There are some substantial differences of course, and I guess there are only so many ways to tell a science fantasy space opera story, but the parallelism may unduly irritate fans of the venerable franchise. [Then again, there are also some similarities to Simon R. Green's Deathstalker series, so maybe there really are only so many ways to tell this kind of story]. If you can look past that aspect, it's a good yarn with fun characters dodging in and out of trouble very frequently.
I Enjoy Science Fiction and Fantasy.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."
I listened to this book two weeks ago and had had the hardest time articulating what this book lacks, why did listening to this book feel so arduous. Why did I listen to two other audiobooks between starting and finishing this book? My answer was that this story lacks humour. There is no dark humour, no humour period. See other books that like the First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie are depressing, they are dark, but they still have humour.
The story was interesting from a plot perspective, but the characters felt like puppets pulled on strings to get to certain goal posts that the author put up. I feel like this is an overly negative review, but the story was not engaging, and for the most part somewhat predictable.
The “Magic” system set up in this book was kind of interesting, and this explores how those with powers might exploit that for gain and power.
Despite the negative tone of this review, I still finished the book which puts it above other books, and for the most part, I think the book survives only on the plot. The characters don’t really have any humour and fall flat. So, In essence, it felt like a book that has lots of potential that’s missing some Humanity.
Empress with mind powers that rule interstellar empire has children with a seer to create more powerful offspring. Seer escapes with children to get away from the Empress “evil” clutches control. They live with some of the worst rebels I’ve ever read about, are kicked out because they are too afraid of the Empress. While running away Seer and one of the children die. The story is about one of these children grown up, moving away from the shelter.. joining with the crappy rebels again. Gaining their trust being captured by the Empresses minions, get a pretty bad deal with the torture.. This basically turns into an Escape and defeat of the Empress, with great Cost.
The publishers provided me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I have a weakness for space opera, but it rarely lives up to its promise. Abendau's Heir does; it's a tautly drawn story that balances action, politics and emotion.
There is action aplenty without interminable battle-scenes, plus political intrigue without flabby dissertation, and it's all pertinent to the plot.
I am frequently bothered by space opera in which cities or even planets are destroyed with barely a nod to the lives lost. Not so in Abendau's Heir. The strong characterisation and layered protagonist experience made me see the loss of life and feel the suffering - this is no book for the faint-hearted.
The brisk tone and clear voice of the primary narrator suited the story. I found the Empress's gentle tones disconcerting until I realised how well this matched the dichotomy between her words and actions in the story. My only criticism of the narration is that an unevenness between male and female voices frequently had me reaching for the volume control.
Probably not. The book was a little longer than it needed to be, there was a lot of things in the book that didn't need to be there and there was a lot of skimming the more important areas. That being said the storyline was still very good and I did enjoy it.
Probably a mix of Red Rising and Uncommon purpose. There were similar themes in this book.
Probably Kare's cousin. I picture his voice to be very similar to Travis's.
I do not want to spoil anything, but what happens to the main character in this book about 3/4's of the way through made me very angry.
I haven't read the print, however, I loved this.
Great depth of characters
I loved his voice. It brought the story to life.
Gripping with real and believable characters.
A reader of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and non-fiction Christian books. A reviewer for Audiobookboom.com
I hate to admit it, but this is the first science fiction book I was unable to finish for many different reasons which I hope to touch on in the following review.
I really liked the premise and was hoping that things would improve, but over halfway though I could no longer continue. The book had some redeeming qualities, however it was like a bad day of golfing where you cannot hit the ball at all and then you hit one good ball and want to keep playing this great game; golfers know what I mean. I wanted to stop listening to the book earlier, but just about the time I gave up, a nugget of storyline kept me engaged and it would carry me to the next point of stopping.
I would say the story was like mixing Star Wars, Star Trek, and Stormship Troopers along with a having psy powers. Sounds great, right? It did for me also and with narration issues and story problems it did not meet my high-level of expectations.
One of the main things that turned me off was the frequent use of modern-day vulgar/slang language for this faraway space opera. Every time a vulgar word was used, it would pull me out of the story and make me think I'm instead listening to sailors or truckers talking; no offense to sailors or truckers but most know what I mean when use this analogy. Such words cheapen the story as the author was unable to come up with any other words to express the character's strong nature or their expressiveness. Again, it seemed to just pull me out of the story and I wonder why the author resorted to these words for this type of story. I think this also limits the audience as the book is not geared towards YA audiences, if you are adverse to vulgar language, but could have easily filled this role if the language was more limited or removed; in most cases the words were not necessary to make a point.
I will say that I liked the few periods where the author surprised me with the direction the story went or shocked me with specific outcomes. There were times I felt deep emotion while listening, but other times I could not say focused as the story seemed to wander and not have any real direction. I also enjoyed that the author tied in aspects of the story in various points along the way. An object or item introduced at the beginning of the book was referenced a few other times and it brought me back to the earlier time. These were some of my favorite parts of the book.
I have not read or listened to other material by this author , but I would be interested in reviewing some of her other works unless they are like this one.
As this review is done for the audiobook version, I think narration is an important reason I was unable to finish the book. There were a few different narrators, however I thought the main narrator was often monotone and did not reflect the events of the story as he read them. The female voice was not as bad, but this voice was used infrequently in the fist half of the book. There were volume issues and also points of editing that should have been removed from the final version. In a few spots, the narrator would say something like "He cleared his throat" and then perform the action instead of doing one or the other. Just seemed strange from other audiobooks I have ever listened to. For me it seemed the narrators did not have the passion or knowledge of the book they were reading. I really wanted to at least finish the story, but was unable too.
Was the book worth listening too? I have to say both yes and no. Like I said above, there were those little story gems that made me think the story was going to improve, but these were so few and far between that I could not finish the book. If I did not have a queue of other material to listen to I may have given this book a longer chance than I did.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to the reviewer by either the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for posting a non-bias review.
"Great story, character driven and a fabulous start"
Yes enjoyed it. Will read again when book 2 comes out.
The depth to the characters and I loved the narrator and the female narrator.
Yes I would
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