New novel in the Liaden Universe series. Over a quarter million copies sold in this series to-date! Space ships, action, adventure – all tied together with a strong dollop of romance and family saga – make this a compelling series for a wide range of readers, from romance to military SF lovers alike.
Theo Waitley is an ace starship pilot – and pure maverick. Her mom is a renowned Terran scholar and her birth father is an interstellar aristocrat in hiding. She still feels like a socially challenged misfit. But after being selected to train with the best-of-the-best at the pilot academy, she figures she can leave behind those gawky, misfit days of teenage angst that made life so complicated before! But for Theo, life is about to get even MORE complicated – and deadlier still. For even though she’s survived the Academy and become one of the best pilots in the galaxy, the past is about to blast her with gale-force winds. Theo can run, but she can’t hide. Her destiny as master pilot and leader of a powerful Liaden clan calls, and there are lots of enemies who will try to make sure she’s quite dead before she has the chance to make an answer.
©2011 Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
In this book, Theo Waitley meets and pilots Bechimo, a fabulous self-aware space ship of artificial intelligence, created centuries before by "The Builders" of mysterious origin.
Theo and Bechimo engage weapons, battling the evil Department of the Interior. The DoI wants Theo AND her amazing Ghost Ship, Bechimo. Theo and her AI ship slowly develop trust in each other, with some bumps along the road. Sometimes amusing little spats, as Bechimo is unsocialized, having been alone and in hiding for centuries.
Theo pilots her Ghost Ship to planet Surebleak. Clan Korval has arrived and Jelaza Kazone (sentient, ancient, wizardly tree) is sinking its roots in, influencing the micro-climate. Surebleak citizens welcome Boss Conrad's kin, who promise to maintain an open Port Road. Wild, lawless Surebleak is adjusting to a more benign form of leadership, and most folks welcome Boss Conrad's government style, but change is difficult, and Korval must deal with sabotage and even worse. Nelirikk gets to leap into action, along with Val Con, Theo, Daav, etc. Of course, the treacherous DoI is at work here.
On Surebleak, Bechimo meets the AI butler, Jeeves (good scene) and eventually gains a co-pilot. Now, with three on board, the interaction gets more interesting. Soon a fourth crew member boards..
A third plot thread takes place on Planet Vandar, with Val Con and Nelirikk. This section of the story is brief. There is a short story that elaborates on it, called Prodigal Son.
The POV changes too much. Sometimes before you can turn a page. It's frustrating.
The story ends on a major cliffhanger, involving Daav yos'Phelium and Uncle. This book and the next book (Dragon Ship) and the next book (Necessity's Child) collectively go almost nowhere. It's an interesting and sometimes highly entertaining journey, walking in circles, but compared to the plot of Tolkien's trilogy, these three books are meandering indeed.
Oh, and a baby is born. Sweet. Several sweet scenes with Tree, too.
Narrated by Eileen Stevens. The narrator is okay, for the most part. I have no real complaints, but several quibbles. I do want to defend Stevens, though: She does not make Miri sound like she is laughing all the time, as one reviewer states, but she does put a chuckle into her voice quite often. When the topic is serious, however, Miri does not sound merry. Personally, I liked Steven's take on Miri.
I agree with said reviewer's statement that male voices sound quieter than female voices, so one must sometimes adjust the volume. In general, male voices sound muffled, like a female trying to sound gruff.
Stevens pronounces Bechimo this way: Besh--ee--mo, emphasizing the middle syllable, ee, giving it a French sound. Personally, I would say Beck'-uh-mo, rhyming Bech with Tech, with stress on Beck. But who knows?
She mispronounced the French word "frisson" (she said something very like "freeze on").
For the word "mercenaries" shortened to "mercs", she says the short form like this: merce. I have never heard the short form pronounced merce, as in "mercy." Whenever I have heard it, it rhymes with "jerks" — people say "merks" — even though mercenary has the soft Ss sound for c. But again, who knows?
Clan Korval's relocation to Surebleak can't go without bumps, and of course there are those who think the new power on the Port Road will be as easy to take out as any street boss from the old days. Meanwhile, Theo Waitley is adjusting to finding herself a member of a large extended family, with siblings and cousins and aunts--none of whom grew up in the "safety" culture of Delgado, and whose reactions to her range from delighted to appalled.
Theo has temporarily shelved the question of what to do about Bechimo, the "old tech" sapient AI ship which Win Ton has given her the command key for. In the meantime, she's continuing to work as a courier pilot for the old and secretive person known as Uncle. But both as an employee of Uncle, and as, now, a known Clan Korval pilot, Theo has become a target for dangerous people.
And of course, the Department of the Interior continues its war against Clan Korval.
There are a lot of threads coming together here, and going off in new directions. Theo, Val Con, and their father, Daav, each in their own ways continue to grow and develop as characters. We also start to get to know Bechimo, who, well, Bechimo needs a lot of socialization!
This is a thoroughly satisfying entry in the Liaden series, continuing to build on what has gone before, and intertwining multiple ongoing threads in the larger Liaden universe. It might not be the best place for a reader coming new to the series to start, but still an excellent book.
I bought this book.
I'm a long time fan of the Liaden Universe, and this arc always seemed to hover between adult drama and young adult. I realize this is a function of the protagonist's journey to adulthood, but something always struck me as tentative, almost juvenile, as though the writing was growing up with young Theo Waitley. It is a good story, though. This does not detract from the story so much as flavor it.
My only issue of substance is that the reader made some pronunciation errors that jarred when I encountered them. While this is almost de rigueur for science fiction or fantasy, the words themselves being coined, these authors have guides for such things online. Also, some regular English words skittered by the reader rather mangled. But all in all, a good enough work.
The continuing saga has not lost its charm. The narrator, however, is not the best. Ms. Stevens mispronounces words on a regular basis, and her reading of Edger the Clutch Turtle is terrible. She makes this very large creature sound small. Andy Caploe's narration is far superior in this regard.
I love these authors and the Liaden Universe. I have read all the previous books. However, I tried reading the ebook and quit after halfway through and I tried again with the audiobook and did not enjoy it. The problem is nothing happens. By the middle of the book, some of the characters have relocated. Some people are following other people, that's it. It turned out to be chore getting through the story.
It is like a continual set-up for another book in the series. It was a chore getting through the previous two books about Theo and I see they were just a set-up for this book, however in this book there seems to be nothing but more set-up. What will the family do to survive? So many dangers are facing the family... all that causes this story to not be a story.
The narration also had a problem that when she spoke in male voices the volume was lower, so you turn up the volume and now it is too loud when the female characters speak. Also, Miri's dialog was always delivered in a laughing tone. This became really irritating and unnatural.
I wanted to like this book better than I did. The core story was interesting and I enjoyed those sections. Unfortunately, the chapters constantly skipped around to completely different characters and situations, often with no warning or explanation. This writing style is pretty common, but, in this book, I had a hard time tying everything together. The narrator was very pleasant and capable, but all her male characters tend to sound the same, which added to my almost constant state of "what's going on?"
I think I'd like this book more in the written format.
No but it certainly has turned me off to this series
The title is poetic irony. For we see relatively little of the Ghost Ship and it doesn't much impress. This would not be a good entry point to the series. The author makes little effort to explain what has already transpired. It will take a while to figure it out what is going on and why.
The book is definitely for those who are more in touch with their feminine side. Lots of time spent on relations, family ties, what to wear, dancing, etc. There is relatively little action. The reader has a pleasant voice and represents the women well. However her attempt at Father's voice is --- well??
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