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Starswarm | [Jerry Pournelle]

Starswarm

Kip has a secret. A young boy who lives with his uncle at the Starswarm Station research outpost on planet Paradise, he has heard a voice in his head for as long as he can remember. The voice guides him in all his decisions, helping him through situations with useful information and helpful insight.
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Publisher's Summary

Kip has a secret. A young boy who lives with his uncle at the Starswarm Station research outpost on planet Paradise, he has heard a voice in his head for as long as he can remember. The voice guides him in all his decisions, helping him through situations with useful information and helpful insight.

One day, finally daring to ask the voice some tough questions, Kip discovers that his computer scientist parents implanted an artificial intelligence chip in his skull, which connects with a powerful mainframe computer via satellite. He also learns that his parents died under suspicious circumstances and that his very existence is a well-kept secret that will soon come to light - putting his own life and the whole of outpost Starswarm in grave danger.

©1998 Jerry Pournelle; (P)2000 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"An extremely strong story....plenty of suspenseful action in a well-realized setting." (Booklist)
"This is one you won't want to miss. [A] taut, credible, fast-paced adventure story." (Science Fiction Chronicle)
"SF veteran Pournelle demonstrates his gift for traditional SF adventures in this coming-of-age tale that combines fast-paced action with...an appealing protagonist." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (545 )
5 star
 (177)
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Overall
4.0 (195 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (195 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (4)
1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    L. Travelers Rest, SC, United States 05-11-07
    L. Travelers Rest, SC, United States 05-11-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    180
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    "Genius"

    I think the Heinlein book others are referring to is actually, "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"… and there ARE many similarities to that book (AND to "Citizen of the Galaxy" also, I guess).

    MANY of us grew up on Heinlein,. There's "young Heinlein" (directed mostly at kids, about kids).. and there's the "Older Heinlein" that is more adult oriented.

    However, the genius in Pournelle's work is that he knows "people".

    MANY of us that actually grew up to be Professional Engineers (and such) remember "Young Heinlein" and we went back to re-read those books as adults at some point, and then we are kind of disappointed at how "young an audience" those books were actually written for. Pournelle has taken a "Young Heinlein TYPE" of story, and written it for Adults. NO ONE likes thinking about their favorite TYPES of stories being "For kids"… Pournelle has bridged the gap.. many have tried to do it over the years (probably without knowing themselves what they were trying to do), but Pournelle has actually DONE IT (and probably KNOWS he did it).

    Kudos Pournelle!!!! I'd give it 5 stars, but it's not "the book I judge all others by"… however, I've already sold 8 more friends on buying it to read (or listen to)… It's that good.

    There's just no GOOD way to explain the essence of the story itself except to say, "it's the Heinlein-type book you THOUGHT you were going back to re-read as an adult"…

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Gallegos Houston, TX USA 08-30-08
    R. Gallegos Houston, TX USA 08-30-08 Member Since 2007

    47 is the real answer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well written and mysterious"

    I am always better at saying what I feel, rather than writing it. So this review may not be well-written. In short, the book is great. I've read it twice since I purchased it. The author develops the characters in a wonderful way and it's hard to tell where the book is heading as it develops. I am always a fan of books which take in the future, but which are realistic in what might actually happen as the human race advances in technology. This book does a great job at describing places, events, and the state of the government.I was truly amazed when I found out who the voice was in Kip's head. This book is definately worth getting.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emmagemma Connecticut 09-18-07
    Emmagemma Connecticut 09-18-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    This is an excellent tale in good science fiction fashion. Its the type of tale that you cannot wait to get back to. I highly recomment it for readers of all ages.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lars San Mateo, CA, United States 07-24-07
    Lars San Mateo, CA, United States 07-24-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heinlein??? For this book who cares."

    I am a Huge fan of Robert Heinlein's books for adult readers.
    After seeing the reviews above comparing this to Heinlein's book, I listened to this book before hearing or reading 'Citizen of the Galaxy' and I really enjoyed it. The story is well written, and half way through, I couldn't put it down.
    This is good Science Fiction. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hyrum Knudsen Orem, UT, United States 01-13-07
    Hyrum Knudsen Orem, UT, United States 01-13-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not bad"

    Not a bad effort for the team that put together this audiobook. Because the book itself is very derivitive of Robert Heinlien's "Citizen of the Galaxy" and a book by Orson Scott Card I would normaly rate it very low. However, the production values and performance of the Narrator save this otherwise mediocre story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 599 Spruce Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 10-04-09
    Amazon Customer 599 Spruce Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 10-04-09 Member Since 2002

    lifesavr

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable Story"

    I guess this reminded me of my younger years reading Sci-Fi books, where the major character was a young boy coming of age. It has to do with a wrong done to his parents that needs to be corrected. This is your basic Good vs. Evil story. But I liked all the characters and wanted to know what happened to them. I liked the high end techno stuff in the book, made it very up to date. Actually listen to the complete book in one day. That is another nice thing about it, the book is long. I wish there was more by this author on Audible.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriel Ballwin, MO, USA 02-03-08
    Gabriel Ballwin, MO, USA 02-03-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Read"

    I got this book after listening to Jerry on the TWIT podcast. It was a thought provoking sci-fi adventure that will appeal to younger readers as well as older readers. I can't help but think that Jerry has a not-to-subtle message to today's business and industry.
    But don't get lost in that. This was an imaginative tale and a superbly written story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin Johnson Salisbury, NC 01-01-08
    Benjamin Johnson Salisbury, NC 01-01-08 Listener Since 2007

    skuttr

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Instant Classic"

    As a big fan of the Fantasy and Sci-Fi genres, I was extremely pleased with this audiobook. The pace of the story never leaves a dull moment and you will find yourself looking forward to your next session, even if it is your commute to work.

    There aren't many books that I can recommend across the board, but this is definitely one of them. Like the Chronicles of Narnia, it may be enjoyed by young and old alike. Jerry does a fantastic job of pulling in technology, pushing the imagination, and making it all believable at the same time.

    The only thing left wanting is a couple of more books to round out a series. Keep them coming.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nils FreiNorway 11-02-07
    Nils FreiNorway 11-02-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best iv'e heard"

    Star swarm is one of the best books iv'e ever had the pleasure of listening to, I was unable to pause the playback of this one as it constantly keeps you wanting more...
    Starswarm vill give you 10 hours of immense listening pleasure, I can not praise it enough..
    The plot is a plausible one in everyday life today
    wich only makes the story more beleivable.
    The setting is futuristic enough to keep you wondering.
    I highly recoment this book to all SciFi fans and
    altso to anyone else. If you liked Jurassic Park and it's like you will most definately like this one as Starswarm is in the same class only set far into the future on another world.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natasha San Jose, CA, United States 12-28-06
    Natasha San Jose, CA, United States 12-28-06 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book, but!"

    I liked this book a lot, the main players were likable. However I think this book is spot on with a few cosmetic changes to Robert Heimlines book "Citizen of the Galaxy". That doesn’t make it bad just very similar to something I already listened too.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 26 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Mara
    10/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting story, mediocre narration"

    The story was quite interesting and original enough to enjoy. Well paced, too. I especially enjoyed the idea of the artificial intelligence (AI) chip in the boy's head, as well as some other surprises of the planet.

    The problem though was the narrator. I can't say that he was exactly bad, he tried to vary the voices and to put emotions into them. That he managed good enough. But - oh my - I hate his voice as such, the vibe to it! I can't stand it, it gives a very weird feeling to the book and it totally doesn't fit well with it. And he can't make woman's voices at all! It felt VERY weird to listen to him as Gwen, the AI, you couldn't picture a woman there even in your wildest dreams and you have to listen to it a lot and pretend you understand it as a woman speaking. I have to admit, it put me off a bit. I don't know what could've been the solution - maybe another narrator for women roles... Or a different narrator altogether.

    But to conclude - the story beat the narration and it's a good choice of a book to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leslie
    Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom
    5/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Yarn"
    What did you like most about Starswarm?

    The story flowed from one moment to the next which made it hard to stop reading


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the characters are good for the story


    Have you listened to any of Lloyd James’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    very good performance


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did listen to the whole book in one sitting, and I will do it again in a few days


    Any additional comments?

    Being an older reader (late 50s) I really enjoyed the book, but so did my teenage daughter who was as enthralled as I, the book is based around a characters for younger readers; but the author does very well to connect to all ages... it is a very good tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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