In the aftermath of an interstellar war with an alien race, Captain James Drake is unjustly court martialed and sentenced to hard labor. Now Drake is on the run from Lord Admiral Malthorne, while another pursuer, Drake's old friend, believes the accusations are true, and promises to bring him to justice.
But Drake won't go down without a fight. Rather than surrender, he'll lead his loyal crew into the lawless frontier worlds, infested with pirates and smugglers, to repair and rearm his ship. Then he'll return to attack Malthorne's estates and seize the evidence he needs to clear his name.
But more than just Malthorne's estate is at stake. If Drake is captured, he and his crew are doomed - and the kingdom will be plunged into another war.
Book one of the Starship Blackbeard series, by Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling author Michael Wallace.
©2014 Michael Wallace (P)2015 Michael Wallace
Sci-fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Adventure, and YA Novels. If it weren't for physics, law enforcement, and my medication, I'd be unstoppable!
I wasn't too sure about this one after reading the description, and wasn't sold in the beginning of the story, but by the end... I wanted more!
The story starts out with a former captain's crew rescuing him from a brutal prison sentence at a mining camp. When his former ship turns out to be the one transporting him, a group of loyal former crew stage a mutiny to free him and some of the other prisoners. Although the captain is initially against being rescued, sure that he would have been vindicated of the crimes he was accused of in short order, his crew convince him of a deeper conspiracy within the navy to frame him, cover up evidence, and silence any witnesses. He then leads his under-crewed ship into pirate and enemy controlled space to find answers to why he and others are being silenced.
This book was slightly shorter than most similar Sci-fi novels, and I definitely did want more by the end. I really hope we see the next part of this story from the author and audible...
One of the things I liked about the story were its differences from other similar stories. The take on future technology and space warfare was different (if a little simpler) then others.
The book also brought up a great moral quandary that I'm looking forward to the author and characters exploring in the next book...
I usually like to get something a little longer for my credits, but this was good enough that it was worth it...
I love the way he developed his characters and the problems they had. It really seemed as if the author has a military background. the way that this story was presented made it really really entertaining. I love the voices and the accents.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is a new author for me and a different type (sort of) sci-fi thriller, than my usual fare of sci-fi literature. Apparently this is the first book of a series and the book is short only 6.3 hours long.
Our hero is Captain James Drake. He commanded the HMS Ajax during the war against the Hroom. Captain Drake was court marshaled and found guilty of shooting down an innocent merchant ship. His first mate and crew believe he is being framed and rescue him and steal the Ajax.
Drake and crew seek help and safety within a plants cluster of pirates and smugglers. Drake and crew set out to find the evidence to prove him not guilty. Drake renames the Ajax to Starship Blackbeard. The crew of the Blackbeard set out to find out why the Lord Admiral Malthorne framed Drake. Drake learns that the Admiral who owns vast sugar plantation is inciting War with the Hroom Empire and attempts to keep the Hroom addicted to granulated sugar to keep them working as slaves.
The book is well written, lots of fast paced action, with space battles and chases. The crew is bold, brave and daring with lots of interesting characters. The book is highly entertaining and is easy to read. Steve Barnes narrated the book.
It makes me happy to wake up everyday and look forward to listening. Many times I listen while doing artwork. I find it very relaxing.
Michael Wallace continues to write exceptional novels proving his skilled talents. This was a solid science fiction/fantasy with everything I would expect in this genre. It wasn't predictable at all and included all the technical details I would expect to read or listen to. It had a great plot with unexpected twists. He writes in a way that engages all the senses of the reader or listener. You feel as if you're right there in the story.
Along with great characters, one can picture the spaceships, smell the atmosphere, and taste the sugar. It's a vividly picturesque listen. It's the whole package. This is an impressive audiobook all around. While this is the second audiobook I've listened to by Michael Wallace, he stays consistent and true to his work. It's the perfect length with excellent editing as well as superb narration. I feel this book is destined to be a classic as Wallace continues to deliver. He's an author to watch as I'm certain he's destined to be one of the greats.
Overall, I would highly recommend listening to this audiobook as well as his others. His writing is quality and I feel he puts everything into his work and doesn't spare anything.
Steve Barnes did an exceptional job voicing this audiobook. This was one of the best narrations I've heard. His performance was smooth and flawless. He had excellent voice control and character differentiation. He didn't miss a beat throughout the entire book. Very, very impressive. I look forward to hearing more from him as well.
Audiobook received in exchange for unbiased review.
Damn the Romans!' - Leto II
Entertaining space opera worth the 3 for 2 deal and easy enough for a background listen.
The book tries to be an old time pirate story and a sci-fi book but the story is not very interesting and much of the dialog is just poor.
This is a fantastic audiobook. Michael Wallace's great stories! I stayed up late and just wanted to finish Starship Blackbeard as soon as I can, I am disappointed the sequel is not going to be out for several more months.
Starship Blackbird is, admittedly, silly. An amusing sci fi romp that you really shouldn't take seriously and just enjoy it in all its B-movie DNA glory. For what we have here is the world of the Pirates of the Caribbean transplanted to space: replete with doubloons, grog, pirate women in low cut garments and gold hoops, incompetent aristocrats, sugar plantations and even slaves to work there (in the form of aliens who are addicted to sugar) , and ships with the names Captain Kidd and the titular Blackbeard. At 200 pages, it's a short read that ends just as it starts to get going.
Story: Uptight aristocrat Drake, captain of the HMS Ajax, is falsely accused of a crime and sent to two years hard labor in the mines. But his loyal crew stage a mutiny to save him - something he doesn't want to happen. He feels he can do the two years, survive, and then come back to clear his name. But if he allows the mutiny to happen, he'll be branded a traitor forever. But his crew has been doing research on his crime - and have found startling evidence that Drake's framing is part of a greater conspiracy that could topple the Albion empire. Can Drake survive long enough, especially since he is being hounded by his best friend to recapture him (a la Logan's Run)? Can Drake assemble a new crew in time?
Pretty much most of the swashbuckling era is lifted wholesale. Albion is England, there are colonies in the form of planets, aristocrats protect their slave trade and the income it generates, and the pirates pick off the privateers and merchants while the navy hounds them. A clever idea was to make the slaves aliens - aliens who are addicted to the sugar they are forced to make in order to addict more aliens.
It all makes for grand fun but ironically I found the characters to be cliche, stereotypes, or just plain unbelievable. Drake as the uptight aristocrat captain was a plank of wood - the loyalty he inspired in the crew inexplicable. It made for a lot of telling but not enough showing to make us believe the crew would throw away their careers and possibly lives on a mickey mouse mutiny. Tolvern, as the first mate, spends too much of the book mooning over her captain - it made her whole mutiny seem like the act of a school girl crush. The evil aristocratic admiral was lifted wholesale from Georgian romance bodice rippers - he should have been twirling a long mustache while cackling over his own incompetence. And the aliens were completely inscrutable (and did stupid things - to say what they were would be too spoilery). But it made for a lot of unlikeable characters. E.g., the alien people are conquered and enslaved by sugar but there might be a way to end that - and Drake has the key. So he and Tolvern ponder whether it would be a good thing to free the slaves - in front of the alien they supposedly call friend who says nothing (and did a LOT of things to try to free his people just previous). I supposed author Wallace was channeling the period - but were people really that stupid?
Since this was a quick 6 hour audible reading, it went fast. If I shut off my brain to the bad physics (people use miles?!?), it felt like the Pirates of the Caribbean movie in space. Enjoyable but empty - the sci fi version of a Twinkie.
Note: I listened to the audible version and the narrator did a decent, if not great, job.
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