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Publisher's Summary

Until the Confederation created Allora, it had produced SADEs (self-aware digital entities) for hundreds of years with enormous consistency and harnessed their capabilities to power the society. But this particular young SADE was disturbed by her confinement. Trapped in metal-alloy housing on the bridge of a luxury passenger liner, Allora sought to possess the same freedom enjoyed by humans, who came and went from her starship with abandon.

Allora's hope for emancipation rested on Alex Racine, the Haraken president who had freed his SADEs, and she yearned to walk the worlds a free entity, as they did. Racine had pleaded for years with the Council of Leaders to give the Confederation SADEs equal status as citizens, and it was Allora's thought to have him intercede on her behalf and bargain for her transfer to a mobile avatar so that she might live among the Harakens.

But Allora's plans were thrown into disarray when she learned that Racine would soon end his presidency. Desperate, Allora, known to her fellow SADEs as the wild child, concocts a plan to kidnap the Council Leader and his associates. She intends to hold them hostage until they acquiesce to her demands.

Little does Allora know that her actions will set the Confederation and the Harakens on a collision course. Quietly waiting and watching the drama unfold are tens of thousands of SADEs, who control Confederation starships, stations, and Houses and have a vested interest in the outcome.

©2017 S. H. Jucha (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Allora

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tad short

I just wish the story had been longer. I assume it's useful plot but just wish it a tad longer :)

3 people found this helpful

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Engaging

When I started reading this series, it was the silver ships that first attracted me to the story line. But soon I was hooked on the SADEs (self-aware digital entities) particularly Julian.

In this story a SADE named Allora, who is the SADE for a luxury passenger ship, wants to be free to move about in a mobile avatar like the key Haraken SADEs do. She asked the Confederation for permission, but it was denied. In desperation Allora plans to kidnap the council leader, when they board the ship, to obtain her freedom. All the SADEs in the Confederation are watching the outcome of Allora’s stand-off.

The book is well written. Jucha is a great storyteller and I like his writing style. It is so easy to read. The characters are unique and extremely interesting. This particular story asks a philosophical question: “What does it mean to be human?”

The book is short at four and a half hours long. Grover Gardner does a great job reading the story. Gardner is an award-winning audiobook narrator.

5 people found this helpful

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A excellent writer, but this one is something less

A patch that bridges novels of how the heroes became so with a new story direction to include a newly important charictor. If you are following "Silver Ships" storyline do catch this story

1 person found this helpful

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This is the last of these books I'll buy

This is the last of these books I'll buy. Let me start by saying that I know they aren't based on reality. However I find a reoccurring theme that annoys me. President Racine always and I mean always wins with ease. He can out smart Einstein given 3 minutes. And the robots in here are valued more than humans. One killed a ship full of humans and is locked away and somehow the humans who did that are the bad ones. In this novel another one crosses a serious line and is viewed as a hero that has done no wrong. However the humans are backwards for feeling that something that a human would have gone to prison for should be punished. So in short my problem is all humans are dumb basically unless they are on the Presidents side and these same humans should know that they are serving place to robots.

1 person found this helpful

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Scott H. Jucha NEVER disappoints.

This is worth every penny or credit. Yet another home run in one of the best written and character driven universes in the Sci-fi or for that matter any genre. As an author myself I can only aspire to create such well written, developed characters. All of his books are master classes in dialogue both spoken and implied.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CL
  • 04-30-17

Jucha just keeps delivering!

What made the experience of listening to Allora the most enjoyable?

It's hard to point at one aspect. Grover Gardner is one of my favorite narrators. And the books are well written; the story lines enticing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, there's Alex . . . and Julian . . . and Miranda and . . . Zee . . . and Renee and the Swee Swee (however it is spelled) and . . . just about all of the characters are my favorites.

What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I was introduced to his narration style in the Rosenfelt books. His wit, sarcasm, humor are all delightful. What he brings to these books is the inherent goodness and courage of his characters.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My main reaction is that I tend to stop whatever else I'm doing to listen.

Any additional comments?

I am looking forward to future books. Thanks, Scott!

1 person found this helpful

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My new favorite

I found the novella a nice break in the series. it was a pleasant sideline setting up???

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The never ending story

Allora is basically a retelling of the story laid out in the series. The Silver ships novels are a single story told over and over again, repeated and slifhtly modified but it's the same story, same black/white universe and personalities.

=== Spoiler Warning - reading from here on will probably tell you more about the plot/story than you want to know if want to learn on your own listening ===

I started with the first novel, "The Silver Ships". This story laid the foundation for my decision to purhcase more in the series. Unfortunately for me, I got most of books 2-6 in a single go, something that I almost regret. Had I known that I was going to listen to the same story again and again, I would have let it be.

In the Silver ships our protagonist Alex Racine is introduced as a person not fitting in, high math skills and loving his family. He enjoys spending time in space by himself for months at a time. His high math skills allows him to board a dead ship - only the ships "computer" - a SADE - is still around, and Alex changes from a person who has enough in himself to someone who's motivated by the well being of others - why that happens isn't really clear. The people Alex represents is thoughout the story line portrayed as Alex was and it's pretty clear this is a negative trait to the story writer. Alex helps the SADE repair the ship and it turns out humans were in hyper-sleep and now Alex turns all his energies into preserving the Sade (Julian) and the people on the ship. Through-out this, it's clear "technology" is one of the attractions. As a whole, "great technology" is translated into a great society. So it's no suprise that a thread throughout the story line is to turn the main technology - the Sades - into sentient beings; beings that spend a lot of their time (later in the series) emulating humanity in their appearance. A techno human = the perfect strong society. As the story continues, being technological superior is laid out as being superior; technology sharing is used to negotiate deals to help repair the ship and to arm it with fighters. Turns out the ship had been attacked by "silver ships" which caused it to drift in space. Alex's allegiance to these strange new people (Meridians) has him promoted first to ambasador for them, then the story moves him to their leader. They go back into space, and again through technology find a potential way to defeat a silver ship. A ship that strange enough is techological superior but in this case, that's not good. At least not until our protagonist gets his hands on them.

The next novel, "Libre", follows the same thread. Technology is good, technology based beings have been badly treated and need to be rescued. Treating the technology "good" provides great results. In Libre our hero discovers that the people he rescued was from a Confederation and his rescued humans (to which he now has joined with the leader) has a awful history. While they invented Sades they enslave dissidents and their sades have no freedom (a Sade is said to be a box in a room - all electronic - hard to imagine "freedom" in this context). Libre is the planet where the dissidents are exiled to; people who dared to not agree with their leaders. In general the society is being painted as being corrupt - something Allora plays on (repeats a lot of the points made in the prior 6 books about how bad it is). Alex who now has created a military house with his rescued people and sets out to "fix the situation" by helping the people of Libre to evacuate as the silver ships are many and are wiping planet after planet as they mine it for resources. Instead of fighting like our hero does, the Meridiens choose to flee. They don't even have weapons - they're portrayed as ideological and morally failed. They oppose our hero's attempt to assert himself into their society and have them fight back. Only the hero will fight back and in the rest of the books even after winning over the silver ships, animosity of being rescued drives most of the plot. In other words, they're as one dimension, unable to learn and as a whole you wonder who someone who thinks like that could invent the Sades providing them with intelligence and the mind to think on their own. It makes little sense. A very "white" vs "black' story has now been repeated. Before it was Alex's home world, now it's his partner's home world. They're portrayed as just as awkward/backward. Alex's plan wins the day as "mother ships" are created and all but a few elders are rescued before Libre is attacked and all life is destroyed. Our hero now commands more than 1/2 million people and is promoted to "Admiral". He's the co-leader (there's never a marriage/joining cermoney in the books - so ot sure Wife can be used about

Of course there are exceptions in each society - a few people are considered good because they think like Alex and his compatriots do. Again, very black and white. Many times Alex gives ultimatums that could be written as "you're with us or against us" particular when it comes to his fight for Sades and their right to freedom (making the technology the hero). It's as if the author has created a story where technology was repressed and it had to be rescued to save the human race. And as now there are 17 books, all telling this same story?

Book 3, Alex finds his home planet totally changed and the people he liked (pretty much his family and a handful of others) have been side-lined and are out of power. Instead a corrupt industrialist grabbed power and corrupted the so valuable technology (must make them bad right?) and they don't want anything to do with Alex and this agenda. Because they're corrupt and rather ignorant, Alex easily wins "a battle" and forces his home planet to rescue the people he evacuated. Alex then goes on a long venture to over-turn the government of his home planet, grows irritated as his plan doesn't go as smooth as he wanted and the corrupt leadership fights back in secret. This makes Alex so mad that he cuts ties with his old home world, including the leader he wanted and liked that he now finds incapable and so different from himself that instead he bids goodbye to go establish his own world. He gets that from the Meridien as he first defeats the (also evil) aliens that impressioned other aliens (Suvi Suvi). The Suvi Suvi is the secret behind that technology that is better than Alexes (the silver ships) so they're good for an alliance. Having enabled the Suvi Suvi to overcome their destiny and given them their own planet/seas, he's taken resources from both his home planet and now by force planets from the Federation his wife comes from. Because this very black/white story must make them unhappy that an existential threat was removed without them having to move a finger. At this point it's really hard to feel any of this is real - everyone portrayed are either very good or very bad. You either made a lot of good decisions or you make a lot of bad ones. There's no middle ground - no grey zone. No hard decisions where you have to weigh up factors. Alex ends promoted to president of his new people (and the Suvi Suvi although he doesn't want to admit so - the book says the subject is too complex for the Suvi Suvi to understand (yet). The books never follow the Suvi Suvi as they're fractured by those who want to follow Alex and those who don't. We only hear from those that follow - presuming the rest are "not good"? Alex sees his relationship to this new race a s way to elevate his "technology" and build/sell silver ships as transport vessions and as fighters.

In book 3, the Sages all get the ability to inhabit a robot/avatar in real space. It's a mystery to me my placing a "core" in the robot makes any difference to beings that are nothing but electrical energy. Couldn't they just have remote controlled them in the first place? Anyway they are personalized.

So our hero is good, and every other society so far is bad. Not a mixture of good and bad, just bad. Because they're not at the same technology level as Alex. If I ever get a PDF of these books I'm going to count the number of times the word 'technology' appears. Feels like it's on every page written! Alex's choice to rescue the Suvi Suvi seems to stem from getting a way to a new technology. While the books certainly tries to make a story out of getting to know an alien race, from our Hero's perspective it wasn't his plan that things went the way it did. Turns out that if you become friends with our hero, things starts going your way. We'll see more of that in the next book.

In book 4 everything repeats again - this time it's old earth showing up, again as 100% bad people with just a handful of good ones out of two large ships. The next novel will show that people are also kep in servitude or killed if they disagree with the leadership (yup, same thing as in book 2). These bad humans have come to force the former colonies under their corrupt regime, to steal their technology (makes them extremely evil) and generally do to Alex's people what the "earthers" have done to their own people. Alex's people use their superior technology to "play" with the earthers initially, and every thing they do succeeds. Never discovered. The learn of the earthlings real plans, and plot to find a way to prevent them from happening. The bad earthers suggest a fight to the death by a few pilots but "secretly" plans to ambush thinking that these people have no real military force. The tech-blessed Alex and his people deduct the subterfuge Alex has to fight the Confederation who not only just wants to ignore the situation, but ends up working against Alex (war ships enters your space, send demands and "ignoring" is the right reaction? At this point I was pretty sure that besides the few books left I'd already purchased I would not continue).

Not only does Alex defeat the forces that came to subjectfuge by making them flee, but as they take aim has Alex's new home world (Haraken) and the world he was born on, he uses FTL communication (a concept I find absolutely ridiculous) to warn his people to mobilize and their use their superior technology to beat back the attackers, destroying one and crippling the other ship. A few people on one of the ships are not evil, they actually love science and technology, and they manage to flee and join Alex's team. This plays an important role in the following book.

So again, we have a world full of bad people - unless you agree with Alex that is.

Finally in Sol (book 5), Alex goes to the world where the earthers came from (Sol system) to preempt a new attack (something the defectors told him was sure to come). Here again we have a 100% corrupt world with a few good people in it. Again, superior technology is launced, everyone who cames in contact with it is in awe and falls in under Alex's will, the technology fixes first a space station and later the worlds (colonies on other planets in Sol). The better technology means Alex can beat back much larger forces, partly by bluffing, but mostly due to having abilities nobody else has. A final battle ensures where Alex has won over enough of Sol fight on his side and a final last ditch attempt by an evil man who cares nothing about life, futures etc. about anyone, is barely won over. And the people of Sol now have a hard time to let go of Alex and his technology. There's a cute few by-stories including the Sades getting REAL children to take care of.

At this point I should have stopped but I has book 6 left, Espero. Reading the summary I knew exactly what plots and sub-plots would be there. No surprises here. Bad people kidnap Alex's sister and her friends, Alex mobilizes every piece of military force and use their technology to free them, while discovering corruption and bad leaders who'd sponsored the trading in humans, subterfuse etc. etc. etc. It almost is like a story to just get a book out. Rename the bad people, alter the way they're bad a bit, and presto a new book!

Allora was a freebie to me - not sure why Audible presented it as something I can add to my library without paying for it. It's short compared to the first 6 books. Then again, it's a summary of the first 6 books. The same characters, same bad vs. good. Some of the characters from the other books have brief moments in this one. But shortly, Alex finally frees all Sades from the slavery they have been put under by humans. Those metal boxes consisting of nothing by energy have been imprissioned to perform tasks they were never appreciated to do. And you know what they're replaced by when they leave? Other computers - other boxes. So free one box but put another in instead. If electrons and software becomes a personality why is any electronic computing good? The whole idea of the book is that the Sades are good (better) as humans and make things better - but in the end, nothing gets done without putting other computers to do the mindless tasks like controlling a starship, keeping inventory etc. So there are some good/free computers (sades) and some imprisoned ones. In Allora a Sade is created, learns about Alex and the stories are retold through her learning about the past; Alex comes and helps her defend her right to be free - and in the she joins up as a clone of another Sade joined/merged with another conscience. At this point, the books are claiming that merging code in a computer is akin to having a child.

I hope this long "summary" shows how the books I have are basically the same story told over and over again. The characters are rather one dimensional at times, and if it wasn't for a very good narrator I'm pretty sure this series would have been much smaller. I won't get any more - even though Audible claims I have other free books in the series. No thanks.

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Short and interesting

While shorter than most silver ships novels, Allora packs a big punch and takes on the underlying issue throughout this series of what rights should be afforded all artificial intelligence within both societies. There’s no filler in this one, with the story always moving forward in an interesting manner.

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A short but touching story

This book covers the final stages of the meridian s.a.i.ds battle for liberarion. It is a touching tale that deeply impacts many of the series main characters.

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  • CJSILV
  • 06-09-20

Great book 👍

Great book series can't wait to listen to the next one love the story and narration i highly recommend listening to this book series

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  • Ostfeld
  • 09-20-18

A short one.

One of the best series ever as I’ve kept saying but this one was really short so if you are listening to the audiobooks of this series you can skip one without hurting the rest of the series.
Audiobooks are expensive so it’s understandable if people decide to skip this short one even so that it’s still as good as the rest of them.

Recommended !

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  • David T-Rex
  • 09-25-17

Just a stunning series

This series continues to entertain. Funny and moving, the continued expansion and growth of the characters just make you loose yourself in thier lives.