Adele Mundy is a scholar with no money and no prospects since her family was massacred for conspiring against the Government of Cinnabar.
Kostroma is a wealthy planet which depends on diplomacy to stay independent in a galaxy whose two great powers, Cinnabar and the Alliance, battle for supremacy.
In a few hours, diplomacy is going to fail Kostroma. Daniel, Adele, and the scratch crew they gather aren't much to stand in the way of a powerful invasion fleet, but just possibly they're enough.
Men and women who hold courage cheap and honor more dear than life itself face impossible odds in a novel of color, intrigue, and slashing action. From the corridors of a treason-ridden palace through the perils of unknown seas and hellish jungles to a final blazlng climax in space, the heroes never bow and the action never flags.
They have nothing on their side but each other - and heaven help whatever tries to stand in their way!
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction by author David Drake.
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©1998 David Drake; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"The yarn unfolds into an authentically taut and exciting tussle, courtesy of Drake's unflinching portrayal of battle's downside and his eye for telling detail." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A full measure of appealing derring-do." (Publishers Weekly)
If you enjoy the adventure of The Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian then you will probabibly enjoy this series. It has the character development and excitement of the older series with a twist that it is in space.
On an entirely different note Drake's mix of male and female characters is wonderful and suprising in the usually male dominated space adventure. He has created a suprising duality in the roles played, at times turning convention on its head and at other times presetning characters in a traditional manner. At times I think he fooled the narrator as there are a couple of times the female sergeant has a really deep voice. Drake has done a suprisingly good job at making the sex of the character not a factor in their position or rank. Very well done.
The story seemed so focused on character development that the science was seemed in the way. Very slow start and, frankly, plodding. I never bought into the main characters and did not care to see how things turned out. For the first time in 15 years of listening to science fiction on Audible, i did not finish a book.
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
Like one of the reviewers said "Master and Commander in Space".
This series is definitely worth reading, despite everything good I can say about the first book, you should understand that it's only the beginning of the main plot.
The main characters have a real feel, and they are very different, so everyone can find someone they like.
I'M MALE NOT FEMALE, BUT IT'S ASKING TO MUCH FOR AUDIBLE TO CORRECT THERE RECORDS, THERE NOT SMART ENOUGHT
ONE OF THE GREAT WRITERS OF SPACE OPERA . AUTHOR SETS THE SCIENES JUST LIKE YOU ARE THERE.
I actually just fininshed the 1st book last (because of the ratings ya-know), and have to say I liked it the best. Maybe it's because I already knew so much about the characters that seeing how they all got together made the book more interesting.
Also, I do agree with the author that this is not your typical military Sci-Fi Space-Opera. It's geered more to a grown-up audience.
I will difintely buy any new releases.
This first book starts slowly, and you realize why as the story progresses. Drake takes his time building some depth to his characters, allowing them to grow so that when thrown into an extraordinary circumstance, their actions are believably lucky. The first segment may seem to drag a bit, but hang in there. The second segment is really fast moving and gripping. I like character development and fast plots. The character development early on makes the later action that much more fun. This is a really good listen, and I am now ordering the next one.
David Drake has always been one of my favorite authors. He and David Weber lead the pack in action packed, easy reading space adventure stories. The Lt. Daniel Leary series is no exception. I have been waiting for this full series, and the entire Honor Harrington series, for a long time. At least this one finally got into audio production.
From long experience, I have found that even the very best audio book can be destroyed by a Narrator who either can't get into the story, or can't manage the character voices properly. Victor Bevine, the narrator for this series, does a very good job with character voices and meaningful dialog. His only failing is in the reading of narration. His flat, unemotional delivery stays the same no matter what the situation happens to be. He reads the setup for high emotion fight or flight scenes no differently than he reads a change of scenery description. He only manages to get emotionally involved with what's actually taking place in the story when the characters speak. Those abrupt changes in style, flat to emotional and back, make for some very strained listening at times.
Now, having said that, I still highly recommend this audio book. However, if you have the time, I would ask that you to read the hard copy first. That effort will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the series. If not, you will still enjoy this audio presentation; I certainly did!
- Mike -
Fans of the standard Age of Sail novels will quickly recognize the jargon and speech patterns in this and follow on novels. The translation is very clunky at times, appearing forced and artificial, but the characters and story usually make this a minor irritation. However, keep this in mind if expecting the naturally flowing, organic dialogue of the Hammers series, and other works of Drake.
The choice of narrator, however, is problematic. Bevine has a fine speaking voice, and captures meaning and tone well. However, he has a very low energy delivery that is very much at odds with the more energetic, swashbuckling elements of the novel, of which there are many. There are times when the tension and action of a scene are completely undermined by what I would almost describe as a 'bedtime story' voice.
All in all a good story, one that seems to indicate that it will get better as the series matures, and a narrator that perhaps needs to drink a little more coffee before sitting down before the mic.
Daniel Leary, on a diplomatic assignment, well primarily assigned as a filler on a routine mission to Kastroma. Undoubtidly included due to family name. Corder Leary, Daniels estranged father is Speaker Leary) As Daniel is an add on, place holder he is overlooked when the Alliance of Free States Takes over Kastroma. Daniel turns out to be a resiliant, self effacing character that's easy to like and root for.
This is written in the format of an old fashioned Space Opera, lot's of action, fun and doesn't take it's self to seriously. It would be easy to say it's not this or not that, but what it is is FUN and well written along with an excellent audio production.
Victor Bevine I've listened to before and he does a credible job and fits the story well. Prior to this I hadn't listened ( I have read a few) to other David Drake stories, but did purchase Book 2 LT. Leary Commanding after hearing this one and it was if anything even better. while these certainly can be listened to or read out of order with out difficulty as with most these character driven stories they are better in order.
No extreme reaction after all it's not military SciFi it's an old fashioned Space Opera. Sure there is some violence and some emotional content but for the most part this is simply light fun reading.
If your unaware of what Space Operas are or have a fondness for the classics like EE 'Doc" Smith's Skylark etc this would be a wonderful introduction
This is an enjoyable series, well written and narrated. Initially I was wary of the modelling on Patrick O'Briens series but I have absolutely no complaints and I am happily working my way through all David Drake's stories. It's a delight to find a great storyteller.
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