Under the supertech Coalition government, Fortune's colonists are enslaved to harvest the highly valuable brain-enhancing drug Yolk, often losing their sanity and lives in the process. The population is dying off, and the planet is becoming a police state whose only purpose is to harvest Yolk. But a revolution is in the air, fueled by an unlikely band of rebels: Anna Landborn, a brilliant, sociopathic child; her quiet, lethally gifted sister, Magali; Runaway Joel, a virtuous military pilot turned tormented smuggler; Milar Whitecliff, a tattooed, chess-playing fugitive full of hatred and heart; Doberman, a simple robot in the throes of a startling transformation; and Tatiana Eyre, a captured Coalition soldier torn between loyalty and love. As their paths and fates collide, the battle to spark a full-scale uprising is violently challenged by the Nephyrs, the government's elite army of sadistic, near-indestructible cyborgs. But the prophecies of a mad soothsayer have foretold the coming of a hero destined to turn the tide - and the fight for freedom is just beginning. Revised edition: Previously published as Outer Bounds: Fortune's Rising, this edition of Fortune's Rising includes editorial revisions.
©2014 Sara King (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
I've read a couple of Sara King's books now and what readers can expect is: a LOT of pages, violence, heavy torture, everyman characters who have heart but not brains, oppressive regimes, silly romance, and fluid storytelling. With Fortune's Rising, King takes all of those themes and tips them completely over the top; it translates into a lot of stupid people in soppy romances with egregious torture porn throughout - at a whopping 600 pages. Admittedly, by about 90% listening to the Audible version, I had had enough and felt dirty and disgusted with the whole thing. 10 showers later and I still can't wipe the filth off from this book - it managed to hit nearly every trigger. It's far more enticing to Saw/Hostel horror fans than science fiction aficionados.
Story: Fortune is a planet with a treasure: alien creatures with psychic abilities whose eggs can be harvested to create a powerful drug. But harvesting is dangerous and if the harvesters (called eggers) aren't killed in the process, they eventually go mad from proximity to the yolk. Nephyrs (cyborgs) control the eggers and reap the profits of the yolk. Among the inhabitants of Fortune: twin rebel brothers Milar (who escaped becoming a Nephyr and bears the scars from the process) and Patrick, nephyr operator Tatiana who crash lands on the planet and is found by the brothers, egger sisters Magali (who harbors a terrifying secret) and preternaturally gifted but highly sociopathic Anna, a former smuggler and now prisoner/egger Runaway Joel, and an AI robot who becomes fully sentient, Doberman. Their paths will intertwine as a prophecy comes to fruition.
Our lovable but oh-so-flawed characters will do things to each other that far outweighs anything the bad guys can do. If someone is called a sociopath in a Sara King novel, they are truly going to do very terrible things with aplomb. The twist here is that our sociopath is 9 years old. The ugliness adds up fast.
With Forging Zero, King's previous work, we had a hero that was tortured but very likeable even with his flaws. No such character exists in Fortune's Rising - everyone is really stupid (and I mean really really dumb), so they can make huge mistakes that get them tortured in some way or other (unnecessary surgeries, heavy beatings, rapes, forced to kill children, etc.). Further compromising any chance of liking them, we get a LOT of soppy romances that in effect take strong women, turn them into marshmallows, all for the love of falsely swaggering man-childs. Add in one character who could actually kick butt but refuses to throughout the book (she wants to be a mother, not a killer!) so a lot of people die horribly and continually around her - and you get a frustrating story with a lot of frustrating characters.
I have always suspected there was a mirror universe in sci fi to contrast intricate and nuanced works like CJ Cherry's Alliance-Union books or Tanya Huff's confederation worlds. Sara King found that bottom feeding area, definitely. Easy writing, chirpy if bland/dumb characters, and torture replacing space action as the theme. There's not a lot of depth to the characters or the worldbuilding even though there is an intricate plot. It's pretty much torture, flirt, torture, flirt, action, torture, flirt.
I think the big problem with Fortune's Rising is that it is just too much - too many words, too many characters, too much torture, too much stupidity, too much romance. There's a really good story in there - that interweaves and then comes together in the end. King knows how to write a good story. I only wish she had more restraint to make a tighter and more focused group of characters and plot. With Fortune's Rising, I made it to 95%, which is a lot of time invested in this large book (600 pages), and still I couldn't finish it. I hated all the characters and the relentless torture scenes of every.single.character far passed my tolerance threshold. It was just too much, to the point of being intolerable and flagrant.
I listened to the Audible version and the author did a good job of creating unique sounding characters but I found that I hated them even more as a result: Tatiana sounds like a vapid and stupid valley girl, Joel like an idiot who thinks he is God's gift to women, 9 year old Anna very childish and frivolous, and Magali even more useless than portrayed in the book.
No, I won't read another book from Sara King; Yes, I will listen to Allyson Johnson again, because she was the only good element I received from this read.
Should have fallen under horror instead of sci-fi. This book needs to depend less on the "B-book" crass sexual overtones; contain less torture scenes and psycho heroes (anti-heroes); and the scene description were non-descript. There was not one character in this book with whom I could identify and like in the least. It was painful to listen to, and I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never did. Awful!
As I said earlier, Allyson Johnson was the only bright spot in this book, and she did the best she could with a poorly written novel.
NO, I would definitely pass on seeing this movie.
Don't read it.
This is a hard one to review. It was fun, but creepy. There were a lot of fun SF concepts in here, between battle armor, and the usual trope about the mining company abusing workers. The relationships in the book strike me as the stuff of 15 or 16 year-olds more than as adults. There is a sort of constant threat from any number of directions that puts the characters in danger of sexual abuse either from their oppressors or each other, but again it's all in the sort of imaginary teenage fantasy way that ends up reflecting innocence more than deviance. I can't decide if I'd read another in series or not.
The concept is great, with a number of different arcs. The problem is that these arcs are almost identical in execution if not in story. The author goes for emotional pull at every turn, but all I feel is anoyance at having to listen to the bad logic and forced drama over and over.
A reviewer on Nocturnal Book Reviews since 2011. Love fantasy of any kind, contemporary fiction, kick butt heroines & antiheroes.
You know, peeps, that I'm a fan of Sara King. Her sci-fi and urban fantasy are craaazy good! This book is no exception, even if she just a couple of degrees gentler with the reader than R.Lee Smith.
This book is character driven more than plot driven, the characters are sooo larger than life you end up following your favorites with morbid fascination, and it's the characters you want to talk about rather than the plot itself.
I have to say Magali is my favorite. She is a natural born sharp shooter, a warrior and is famous in her hometown under the nickname Killer. And yet, despite her extraordinary abilities, Magali hates violence. She wants to do anything possible to avoid it, but the circumstances are such that she becomes the driving force for the uprising. A reluctant heroine, an idealist, she makes the reader pity her and will her to become more ruthless and practical, which she does by the end of this book
Anna is a repugnant little sh*t. She is not only a sociopath, she is a psychopath who takes pleasure in other people's suffering. Unfortunately she is Magali's little sister, a Yolk baby genius who leaves Magali in a world of trouble without a backward glance, and she keeps ruining lives of everyone she touches. I honestly wanted her dead.
Milar and Tatyana were fun, and had classic for Sara King snarky antagonism which slowly turned into attraction and love. Joel was marginally more interesting because he showed more depth and his character stayed ambiguous throughout. I'd be really curious to see how he behaves later in the series.
At last, Dobby was one of the very few absolutely positive personalities. A cyborg whose conscience was awaken, he was the only one who could keep Anna in check trying to minimize the damage she was doing. He is another character I'd enjoy reading about in the next book.
The narrator was excellent, and the book flowed really well. Overall, Fortune's Rising is a compelling story, fast-paced, dramatic and gruesome. Recommended to any fan of the genre.
* love to work (nursing informatics) * love dogs * love speed * listen to books constantly *
This is one of those books where you can hardly wait for it to be over. Wafer thin character development following a formula with a few mildly interesting sci-fi special effects thrown in.
The main characters bounce frome cowardice and stupidity to heroism so much it made me dizzy. To much angst and emotional hand wringing for my taste.
The narrator read with skill and clarity.
This book kept me right in the range of not being sure exactly what i was feeling about different people in the book, however the combo of Anna and her robot i did enjoy quite a bit.
Will not answer... SPOILERS
If you're a fan of Sci-fi and have an extra credit i would say that this is worth the listen.
Another great story of the little guy versus the oppressors. Also some surprising characters are brought to life.
Narrator does a fantastic job as well.
Can't wait for the next books in the series.
Allyson voices her characters well and I look forward to listening to the sequels. Sara's writing has a RPG flavor to it, but I'm not sure what I mean by that. something in the way the scenes are described maybe.
"So Good! Not Perfect."
Not quite as good as Forging Zero but still a fantastic listen.
A fully realized world but the story is focused on only a few locations. This leaves plenty of time for character development and there are some great characters here. With motivations that range from noble to evil and everything in-between.
The one bad point is the character Tatiana Eyre. She's quite possibly one of the most annoying characters in any book I've ever read. Reminded me of all parts of Katniss (hunger games) I disliked.
Aside from that, it's a 10 out of 10.
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