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Blowback: A Retrieval Artist Novel | [Kristine Kathryn Rusch]

Blowback: A Retrieval Artist Novel

The Moon, shaken by the Anniversary Day tragedies, deals with devastation. The Earth Alliance believes another attack imminent, but no one knows where or when it will strike. Just like no one knows who ordered the attacks in the first place. The Moon’s chief security office, Noelle DeRicci, does her best to hold the United Domes government together. But Retrieval Artist Miles Flint, dissatisfied with the investigation into the Anniversary Day events, begins an investigation of his own.
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Publisher's Summary

The Moon, shaken by the Anniversary Day tragedies, deals with devastation. The Earth Alliance believes another attack imminent, but no one knows where or when it will strike. Just like no one knows who ordered the attacks in the first place.

The Moon’s chief security office, Noelle DeRicci, does her best to hold the United Domes government together. But Retrieval Artist Miles Flint, dissatisfied with the investigation into the Anniversary Day events, begins an investigation of his own. He builds a coalition of shady operatives, off-the-books detectives, and his own daughter, Talia, in a race against time. A race, he quickly learns, that implicates organizations he trusts - and people he loves.

©2012 Kristine Kathryn Rusch (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Rusch does a superb job of making the Retrieval Artist books work as fully satisfying standalone mysteries and as installments in a gripping saga full of love, loss, grief, hope, adventure, and discovery. It is also some of the best science fiction ever written.” (New York Times best-selling author, Orson Scott Card)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (209 )
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4.6 (185 )
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  •  
    John C. South Dakota 10-22-12
    John C. South Dakota 10-22-12 Member Since 2003

    Born with earbuds.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ending Missing--Call a Retrieval Artist?"
    What did you love best about Blowback?

    Blowback: Your weapon today might be their weapon tomorrow.

    I have read the previous novels in the series, and this one builds on the others and exceeds them in both plot complexity and depth of characterization. Talia, Police Detective Nyquist, and undercover Earth Alliance Agent Zagrando all get significant time as point-of-view characters in addition to Noelle DeRicci and Miles Flint. Agent Zagrando & Detective Nyquist no longer seem like new characters making their story lines more interesting. Personally, I like DeRicci's gruff character better in small doses, so her reduced roll was appreciated.

    I enjoyed that this book had the feel of a spy novel in addition to the expected police procedural style, heightening suspense and intrigue. In the best tradition of science fiction, Rusch continues to deftly explore the essence of person-hood, individualism, and discrimination using the future as her lens.

    On the downside, this book leaves too many questions unanswered and that is disappointing. When the credits rolled, it seemed like it was three chapters too soon. To be fair, a significant part of the storyline does resolve, but unfortunately, without the all-important "why's" answered. The author has admitted that the story was "too big to fit" with which I can sympathize. The cliffhanger aspect didn't feel manipulative or purposeful. Sadly, fans will have to wait longer for several of the plot threads of this book to come to fruition.

    Additionally, a couple story aspects don't quite ring true (e.g. two characters arguing essentially over nothing) other than as "because the script said so" excuses for conflict. While not too off-putting, there is no doubt in my mind that the author "rushed" this one and continuity suffered. I highly recommend the book even with it's flaws and I am very optimistic that there will be an appropriate payoff in the next novel. If you are new to the series, start with one of the first 3 books. Those who like this series should also enjoy the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold.


    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 02-20-13
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 02-20-13 Member Since 2011

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Series-Great Narration Too"

    I very much appreciate the writing Rusch has done in these first 9 novels in the series. She pens a good tight plot, the story arc runs true and the characters evolve as the series progresses.

    I do think, though, the story wouldn't have been nearly as effective without Jay Snyder as its narrator. A great voice able to bring all the different persona in these books together as well as adding excitement to the story line gives so much to these books. I'm so impressed with his work. I intend to look for other novels he's narrated because I like the sound of his voice so much.

    Blowback sets the series up for further expansion - and I'm glad. Though it did leave a few loose threads, all in all the plot is nice and tight and we understand why things are progressing the way the author has taken them.

    Character development is this authors forte. She's allowed her characters to grow in their development as the time goes. This is especially important with Talia, a young outspoken girl who deserves a spin off series one of these days!

    The civilization Rusch has penned is believable. It's very enjoyable to imagine meeting the aliens she's imagined and shes done a nice job of working around problems that would come from a meeting of different specie. It's quite believable.

    I suggest these books be read in order. I'm sure each is set up to be sort of stand alone, but starting in the middle might be confusing, though Rusch does add a brief backstory in all the novels.

    Suitable for most ages...I was listening in my car with my 8 year old grand daughter at the point where cloning was being discussed. She asked questions and I turned the book off and we had a good discussion about cloning. Now she wants to hear more of these books..it's a big jump from Mary Osborne's Magic Tree House stories she has on her iPod to Si Fi but I'm ready to encourage her to take it if she wants. I started Heinlein's Juvenile Books at 11 so why not?

    A good book with action and situations where the listener is given opportunities to think about what she would think in the same situation.

    Recommended Highly

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin F Lebanon, VA, United States 10-04-12
    Robin F Lebanon, VA, United States 10-04-12 Member Since 2007

    How did we ever get through the day without audiobooks?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More development of the main characters in this 1"

    I love The Retrieval Artist books! I have been hooked on them for years now. I was thrilled when this one was released, and I eagerly put it at the top of my list to listen to immeditately.

    Lots of story lines being drawn closer together, seems like we will get an ending to some tags that have been floating along since the 3rd book in this set!

    Fast paced, this book is continuing to develop deeper characters in Flint and our new head of Moon Security office. I keep wondering if the blowback is going to trace back to the first bombing of Armstrong, and the refusal of Earth Alliance entrance to that particular planet. But we readers and still in the dark on that one!

    Lots of new threadlines that could be good plots for future books! I'll cross my fingers in hopes this series has not even reached the 1/2 point in total books!

    Thanks, Audible Extremes for introducing the series to me in the beginning as a free read! My reading (listening) life will never be the same!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pavel Lasalle, QC, Canada 11-11-12
    Pavel Lasalle, QC, Canada 11-11-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book."
    Any additional comments?

    There is a lot of repetition from previous books to give new readers and old ones a small history of the series.

    Otherwise the story is quite different from previous ones and the characters actually change opinions and learn from past experiences, while at the same time forgetting to learn from others.

    I absolutely love the complexity of the world created in this Sci-Fi. Would absolutely recommend if you have read or heard the audiobooks of the previous installments of the series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 10-05-12
    Amazon Customer United States 10-05-12 Member Since 2005

    starts w/ 'b' ends w/'b' 0 in the middle

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    "Like th series? This wont fail u--don't start here"
    What did you like best about Blowback? What did you like least?

    [My headline is stupid because I couldn't fit it into 50 characters spelled out.]Returning characters are the best part. Although, Flint's character is rather inhibited by his concern for his daughter's safety.Still, it is a real-world constraint for his character. This particular novel fails to reach maximum entertainment because it has too many (albeit connected) story-lines in such a short space. I would have preferred the book better if it were longer and had more events / scenes / etc. like some of the earlier books.


    Would you recommend Blowback to your friends? Why or why not?

    Friends or anyone interested in tense plotting with interesting characters in a future (but not implausible) world should read / listen to this--Just not first. Read the earlier books to get hooked and drawn in.


    Have you listened to any of Jay Snyder’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Snyder reads this kind of book very well. I look forward to his earnest and intense reading.


    Did Blowback inspire you to do anything?

    I am re-reading the entire series in order again to get the feel of the epic continuity.


    Any additional comments?

    Although once the reader knows the ending, the suspense is gone, of course, nevertheless, I find that this series stands up very well to repeat listening. Nine books is a lot of credits, but if others are like me, they'll get value indeed for their credit(s) because these are books I come back to--in order or just grabbing a random episode that I want to hear again.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loy Benbrook, TX, United States 07-12-13
    Loy Benbrook, TX, United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2006

    Born to read

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great addition"

    I have all of the Retrieval Artist novels.

    this one is a good one -- very enjoyable
    looking forward to the next one

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Roberts Michigan, USA 02-16-13
    Anne Roberts Michigan, USA 02-16-13 Member Since 2010

    A 50-something who loves sci-fi, cozy mysteries, thrillers, an occasional romance, and any genre if it is a good story. And especially if it makes me laugh! No vampires or zombies though - these are NOT sci-fi!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Starts slow, but hang on!"

    Another in the retrieval artist series. This is not a stand-alone book, since there are many references to previous ones, and it would be hard to care about the characters if you don't know who they are. Several different threads are going at once, but they do come together! I found it a bit slow at first, but by the end my heart was racing! Looking forward to the next in the series!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Lebanon, NH, United States 11-29-12
    Amazon Customer Lebanon, NH, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2005

    Compulsive reader, compulsive listener.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Worthy Addition to the Series"

    I'm never disappointed by Retrieval Artist novels. I love good science fiction, and Rusch has created an incredibly compelling and delightfully-researched world.

    This novel re-introduces several characters from earlier Retrieval Artist novels and traces logical development well. Characters are wonderfully, imperfectly PEOPLE, and the plotting and pacing of this particular story are especially masterful. The story is full of politics, intrigue and plain old detective work.

    Jay Snyder still does an excellent job of narration.

    This is very much what I've come to expect of and love in the Retrieval Artist series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Arlington, TX, United States 11-19-12
    Lee Arlington, TX, United States 11-19-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not quite the whole story"
    Where does Blowback rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Love the series, but this one sees to be a tie-in.Previously it seemed that the story arch had been completed, but this one show that the doomsday explosion was just the beginning of a much larger and grander issue.
    One area that kind of bothered me was the introduction of a new character, whom I have actually started to like, does not cross paths with the other characters. I can see that he will be important in future novels but not really this one. The is also a new character that I see following in the steps of the security chief.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Kristine Kathryn Rusch? Why or why not?

    Always get her books. Do not start with this one though as you need to follow the story arch.


    Have you listened to any of Jay Snyder’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I very much enjoy Jay Snyders narration.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The deaths at Tallia's school.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin United States 11-05-12
    Robin United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Pretty good!"

    Way to leave them wanting more! I felt it ended too soon, but I hope it's because going any further requires another book, and another book.... You get the idea.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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