Athena Hera Sinistra never wanted to go to space. Never wanted see the eerie glow of the Powerpods. Never wanted to visit Circum Terra. Never had any interest in finding out the truth about the DarkShips. You always get what you don't ask for. Which must have been why she woke up in the dark of shipnight, within the greater night of space in her father's space cruiser, knowing that there was a stranger in her room. In a short time, after taking out the strangerwho turned out to be one of her father's bodyguards up to no good, she was hurtling away from the ship in a lifeboat to get help. But what she got instead would be the adventure of a lifetime - if she managed to survive.
©2010 Sarah A Hoyt (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
You have to love a heroine named Athena Hera Sinistra. By the end of the first chapter, we've learned that our 19-year-old protagonist is the terror of everyone she's ever crossed paths with, capable of beating up professional mercenaries singlehandedly, and has a rack that makes men stop to stare in the middle of a crisis. A little Mary Sue-ish? Well, some of her preternatural abilities are explained later in the book, but yes, we've got some serious Heinleinian wish fulfillment going on here.
"Heinleinian" is not necessarily a bad thing. Darkship Thieves reads a lot like an homage to Heinlein's classic space operas, with hyper-competent, rather ruthless but ultimately moral protagonists sharing pithy words of wisdom and vaguely libertarian sentiments while kicking bad guys in the crotch.
Athena Hera Sinistra is the daughter of a Patrician, one of the "Goodmen" who rule Earth as an oligarchy. Spoiled, tempestuous, brilliant, beautiful, and dangerous, and with some series Daddy Issues, she finds herself seemingly being kidnapped aboard her own father's space yacht by his mercenary goons. She escapes, doing plenty of damage in the process, and runs into the "Energy Tree" that someone centuries ago created to float beyond Earth orbit and grow "power pods" which are harvested for Earth's energy needs.
Okay, the science is a little dodgy.
Athena gets picked up by one of the legendary "Darkship Thieves," who steal power pods and flee back to their secret base in the outer solar system. Carried off by the superhuman genetically-enhanced cat-man, Athena begins what is of course an inevitable kiss-kiss-slap romance with our futuristic space highwayman. She learns about their advanced asteroid, "Eden," run along vaguely anarcho-libertarian principles, and begins to become integrated into their society. Then her boy gets captured while making another power pod run, and she has to go back to Earth for a confrontation with Daddy Dearest, in which we learn all kinds of deep dark secrets about Earth's real history and Daddy's sinister plans for his little girl, and an entire gang of space biker allies is introduced in the final act.
Darkship Thieves was a fun romp. The writing is just okay and the story was, as I said, largely rehashed Heinlein, with a stronger romantic element, but if you like classic SF, this is a fairly well-executed tribute.
I really have no clue what to think of this book. I don't rate things a 1 star unless i reeeeally didn't like it but this was borderline. Rich seemingly privileged brat who happens to have near paramilitary training stumbles into a huge conspiracy with someone very near to her at the center of it. I really didn't care about the characters. I kept picturing the male character (i forget his name to be honest) as a Khajiit which only made things weirder. From the flying broomsticks to well basically everything i didn't care about this at all and am glad the whole experience is over. To be fair though, this is not my typical read and am not the most reliable source for a scifi review.
I barely finished this book despite some nice references to Henlein's work. I guess author wanted to re-make "Friday" but that did not go all too well. Nice ambiance, first half of the book goes OK, second half is very bland. All in all, I did not think it was time well spent.
First off, the performance by Kimberly Dakin was excellent, I felt it captured the voice of Athena incredibly well.
And that voice is also my key caveat with the book. The middle section was very tough for me to get through. I was drawn into the book by the initial sections doing solid world building, the glimpses into the future history of Earth and developments within the solar systems, laying promise for the rest of the book. I also found the early Athena to be a bit of an acquired taste but after a few chapters got into it all.
And then I was dropped into a Harlequin romance! It was only my hope to get some answers about the future history and developments there that kept me going through the middle of the novel. I thought the third "act" was mostly a good return to the initial form, although possibly a bit rushed in the denouement.
Solid enough 'ending' to make this an acceptable stand-alone book but clearly also a setup for a sequel.
I absolutally loved it. Lots of excitement, action/adventure and I loved the ending - the story concluded well - though I could see where it was going ahead of time, there was still a surprise at the end that really made it moving (which I didn't see coming). I'm not going to say anymore on the end, so I don't spoil it. This book is for anyone who loves scifi's and adventure (and of course romance). It's something I would listen to again.
Move along the plot and make it seem less like a female soap opera fantasy in space.
Her voice reminds me of every arrogant, swarmy socialite elitist I've ever met. Rubbed me the wrong way.
I didn't finish it.
It was a good book, and enjoyed it. The main character had a lot of spice and was destructive in her thoughts, which I liked.
This book would make an awesome movie. Get the right director and CGI, and it would fit right into a 90-120 min slot. The shallow plot and lack of backstory/world building would be irrelevant at that point.
Not the sequel.. Probably something classical, a Heinlein that I've read but haven't listened to yet.
None whatsoever. I listened to it, I kept waiting for it to develop and get better, ended with "meh".
It killed time. I almost just gave up several times, but then it would take enough of a twist in an interesting direction that I'd keep listening instead of just turning it off and listening to Limbaugh (only a marginal improvement)
Just disappointed, this book came highly recommended. Dakin is a fine voice actor, and did such a good job narrating this that it just made me loath the main character more than I thought was possible.
"Great Audio Book"
I had not heard of this author before but as a long term Robert A Heinlein fan the comparisons to him attracted me.
Not disappointed, a great audio book I would recommend to all who enjoy Robert Heinlein or John Ringo.
Would certainly buy more from this author if they become available.
"Kept Us Awake During a 10 Hour Drive... BUT..."
Fans of tedious Mary Sue love stories that don't pick up until 6 hours into the tale. This book doesn't even seem to pass the Bechdel Test. Hours and hours of talking about the main love interest who doesn't even really seem to DO very much. The sci-fi meta story doesn't even kick in until the end.
No, I still like sci fi and fantasy, and even romance.
The 'accent' for the love interest and his compatriots was not the best. Slow, stilted, faux-sleepy-Jamaican? We couldn't place it, and it annoyed us. It wasn't a terrible narration but I did feel sorry for the poor woman having to slog through this gigantic tale.
The main character, unfortunately.
We picked this because I saw it on a Felicia Day reading list. Being a big fan of Vaginal Fantasy Book Club, I had high hopes. What can I say? It kept us awake during a long, tedious drive - but mainly because we were gobsmacked at the writing most of the time. Lots of repeated phrases and expressions - ("goons", "daddy dearest" etc...) and lots of the heroine thinking out every possible implication of absolutely everything that happens to her or is said.
I'm a big fan of cheese (I enjoy things like My Life as a White Trash Zombie and Mercedes Lackey) and my husband is a big fan of space operas - but this didn't really hit the spot for either of us. It definitely picked up in part 2 (6 hours in) when the sci fi plot kicked into gear - but the entire first half was mostly about the main character being intrigued by the love-interest guy (with 'calico hair' ...?) - and ultimately felt like quite a slog.
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