High school senior Tanner Malone has bombed the Test, a high-stakes exam that establishes how much he owes for his corporate-funded education. Burdened by a crushing debt that rules out college, Tanner enlists in the navy of Archangel, a star system with four terraformed worlds. But he hasn't factored in the space pirates.
Just as Tanner begins basic training, the government ramps up its forces to confront a band of rowdy raiders who are wreaking havoc in the void. Led by complex and charismatic Captain Casey, the outlaws love a little murder and mayhem, but they are also democratic, egalitarian, and devoted to freeing each new recruit from debt and corporate oppression.
Assigned to the front lines, Tanner soon finds himself caught in the crossfire between ruthless foes, cruel comrades, and unforgiving space. Can he do his duty when good and evil look so much alike?
©2015 Elliott Kay (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I picked up Elliot Kay’s rollicking “Good intentions” on a whim, thinking perhaps it would make for an entertaining break from my usual interest in Sci-fi and fantasy, and was pleasantly surprised when beneath the highly adult themed overtures of the book was a very well written, character and plot development driven book.
Shocked by this turn of good fortune I got the sequel “Natural consequences” and was even more impressed by his ability to tell a fantastic story while seducing his readers with all the sensuality you would expect from Sherrilyn Kenyon or some such other author.
Seeing as I had gone two for two with him I dared to take a chance on this book. Now, anyone who reads Sci-fi and fantasy will be quick to point out that THESE TWO GENRES ARE NOT THE SAME! No matter how readily the guild and (publishers) may want to and continue to classify them both in the same category.
The “Sci” in Sci-fi denotes “Science”, meaning the author has to make a plausible case for scientific origins of events and technology in both story and character. Unlike “Fantasy” fictions in which spell casting and magic can be easily explained through less ornate imagination.
This is why many Fantasy fiction writers don’t or can’t do good sci-fi. The science has to be plausibly explained to be good and this is not something that can be done easily or as easily as explaining a spell.
I say all this to preface my trepidations when I came across this book, as my only experience with Mr. Kay had been with the two fantasy books above so I was unsure if I wanted to sully my experience with a bad sci-fi book. Based on the strength of his prior works, I cashed in my confidence points and spent the point on this book, and boy am I glad I did.
What a story.
This is a very well written and developed Military sci-fi. Yes you will find some familiar themes like the reluctant hero thrust into uncertain situation, acting with valor and honor and with a bit of luck, overcome the bad guys almost single handedly. This was “Die hard” in space
I loved it.
It was enjoyable, and driven by excellent plotlines and characters, and anyone with student loans may even find greater sympathy and enjoyment from this series.
Great work Elliot Kay, looking forward to your next series.
I've read other works by the author (Good Intentions) and thought I would like his try at Military Sci-Fi. Unfortunately I came away more than a little disappointed. The protagonist Tanner just didn't work for me. His self-doubt and insecurity came on a little too thick in the beginning. I get he was young and inexperienced, but while his experiences at the start may be true to life, it felt too forced. As if his troubles were suppose to endear him to us, but ultimately made me feel annoyed with him.
The story picks up once he starts his training. I don't think the novel covers any new ground with the boot camp portion. Its been done a million times in other books and movies, but it was still fun and I felt like Tanner really did develop as a character.
Running parallel to Tanner's arc is the story line of the pirates. I almost wish the author spent more time with the pirates. The character Casey was a continual favorite of mine. In many ways they had the more interesting story line.
Then the third act. Other reviewers have called it Die Hard in space. I just felt it was completely over the top. Tanner goes from a competent, albeit an inexperienced crewman, to becoming Rambo. He is repeated injured, sometimes gravely, but continues fighting against impossible odds. Don't get me wrong, much of later chapters are very exiting and Tanner is smart in his attacks, but there are parts that made me groan at the complete unlikelihood of his success. In the end he comes away as the big hero and everyone celebrates.
And here is where I had the biggest problem with the story. (Minor spoilers here) Earlier in the story Tanner has a run in with some pirates on another ship. His initial fight came off much more realistic and the resulting aftermath felt very grounded. Tanner's discussion with the chaplain felt real...it made him human. Not so with at the end. Friendly banter with a friend and then on to awards. To me, it felt like the guy should be going through some major PTSD.
So far I have binged every book this author has put out so far. The authors writing and stellar narrator combined to bring the story and characters to life in a truly fun and creative tale.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
WHAT IS A HEAD? (bathroom)
This is a YA book if I have ever read one. It shouts YA. It is also a conversation based book, where they talk more than do. Boot Camp is extremely tame. It is not badly written, but I sure don't understand the high rating and reviews. Narrator was more bored than I was. It's your money and their are lots of books to chose from.
Enjoy the adventure
A Military Sci-Fi coming of age story. The book opens with a student taking an exam to determine the amount of the cost for his education that must be repaid. Do well and the bill is small, but a low score results in a big debt. If this was true today, some of my friends would be paying back the total cost for going to school.
After crashing on the final exam, the main character decides to join the military to repay his bill and the book follows him through boot camp and his first assignment. There are many battles, brutal deaths, and fire fights. Recommended for those who like to hear butt kicking and the gurgling sounds of the dying’s last breath.
Very good book. The hero proves that there are more important thing then riches and intellect. Smarts, determination and hard work can push anyone into accomplishing great things.
love the heroic action of Tanner and his want not to kill anybody but he is forced to
A fun story that went a direction different from what I expected. If you like SF that explores the way different cultures might work - for good or ill -- you may like this. If you want Rambo meets Starship Troopers, you'll probably like this too. There's a lot of action and a good bit of social commentary as well. Mr. Kay also did a really interesting job exploring an alternative pirate culture that is quite different from what you've seen elsewhere.
I really enjoyed this and will go straight on to the second book.
As to the science -- It's not hard SF. There is no explanation of the way the spaceships work. Just deal with it. Accept that spaceships and fake gravity are magic and move on.
"A riotous, action packed good listen"
Timothy Andrés Pabon did an absolutely spectacular job providing distinct, memorable performances for each character. I absolutely loved listening to him provide exactly the sort of personality that distinguished every character from one another and made them memorable and fun (despite the cruel nature involved in the book on occasion). The writing was sufficient and the plot build up gradually to a final and spectacular action-packed sequence of events that resulted in a very satisfying experience overall.
Quite likely Casey the pirate. Written in such a way to make him a character I loved to hate pretty quickly. Initially starting off as a reasonable sort and becoming more erratic and ruthless as time went on. The combination between the writing and Timothy's energetic voice-acting created an exceptional antagonist!
A certain scene involving engineering and a "match".
Perhaps not all in one sitting but that's more personal preference. I think that this book would be very easy to digest and a thrill to listen to all in one.
Overall a fun and thrilling experience for those who are interested in an action packed "flying by the seat of your pants" adventure. Starting off comfortably and leading up to an excellent payoff at the end that left me satisfied with the book.
If people are perhaps looking for deeper sub-plots you might find this lacking but if you're after a blazing "Die-Hard-In-Space" book look no further!
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