• Ardulum: First Don (Volume 1)

  • By: J. S. Fields
  • Narrated by: Lynn Norris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ardulum. The planet that vanishes. The planet that sleeps. 

Neek makes a living piloting the dilapidated tramp transport Mercy’s Pledge and smuggling questionable goods across systems blessed with peace and prosperity. She gets by - but only just. In her dreams, she is still haunted by thoughts of Ardulum, the traveling planet that long ago visited her homeworld. The Ardulans brought with them agriculture, art, interstellar technology...and then disappeared without a trace, leaving Neek’s people to worship them as gods. 

Neek does not believe - and has paid dearly for it with an exile from her home for her heretical views. Yet when the crew stumbles into an armed confrontation between the sheriffs of the Charted Systems and an unknown species, fate deals Neek an unexpected hand in the form of a slave girl - a child whose ability to telepathically manipulate cellulose is reminiscent of that of an Ardulan god. Forced to reconcile her beliefs, Neek chooses to protect her, but is the child the key to her salvation, or will she lead them all to their deaths?

©2017 J.S. Fields (P)2018 J.S. Fields

What listeners say about Ardulum: First Don (Volume 1)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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now THIS is a tale well told

So OK, so I was drawn in to give this a listen, as I always am, by the always stellar work of narrator ☆LYNN NORRIS☆, who never fails to bring warmth, intelligence, flawless pacing, and characters delineated with the input of an excellent ear and a strong, thoughtful take on each personality and how they all factor into the action. That said, sometimes I've felt that the material she's had to work with in the past fell a bit short of her prodigious gifts to bring it to vivid life — a windfall for that author, but mildly disappointing to me when the story didn't give her the richest chance to show what she can clearly do.

And then: ARDULUM. At long last, a story giving Lynn Norris some real red meat, with deep, rich characters; spectacularly detailed (but fully accessible) and clearly knowledge-based science that challenges religious superstition but potentially enhances and informs spirituality (Dancing Wu-Li Masters, anyone?); a moral universe that provokes thought and aspiration but never proselytizes or gives easy answers; fully realized cultures to relish; gender fluidity (including coined pronouns for those who don't fit into the more rigidly conservative constructs of some Terran mentalities of our time, though here, new genders are unequivocal genotypes); no overt romance (so far), leaving one's imagination free to take telepathic connection into a still more intimate realm; and action and suspense aplenty, always in service of the excellently paced plot.

Ms. Norris does her magical thing in spades here, creating delicious accents and/or intonations for the various sentient species, within which framework individuals are still miraculously discrete; handling the scientific jargon like a pro; bringing just the right emotional tone and muscularity to each scene, encompassing everything from tender vulnerability to life experience-based indecision to occasional shameless relish in violence (particularly of the vendetta variety). I was in the hands of a master. And especially with material this good, that is a fine place to be.

This is the first of a series, apparently, and I am thrilled at the prospect of more, as the combo of J.S. Fields and Lynn Norris is a dynamic synergy that knocks my socks off. The story's breathless and contemplative by turns, and introduces us to a universe that is chock-full of mysteries great and small, some resolved here, but some of which I predict will be unraveled in the books to come.

I can't wait.

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome Adventure !

I really enjoyed listening to this story. I had a hard time keeping track of who was who because I didn't realize that there was a third gender and the pronouns confused me. Once I figured it out, the book held me captive from then to the end. I really liked how the narrators (Lynn Norris) put feeling into each character-she did a great job! I could totally see this book on the big screen. Lots of action and some suspense wrapped in Scifi makes for a great adventure. I fell in love with Neek and Em and am looking forward to seeing how this relationship develops over time. I just bought the next in the series. I'm excited to continue on this Journey.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it!

I'm an odd scifi fan. There is some I can't get into at all. And some that just pulls me in. Ardulum is one that pulled me in. Adalant amuses me to no end. I truly adore her. The interactions between the crew are interesting. To imagine being with the same people on a single ship for so long, it feels pretty logical for them to love/hate each other.

A key to scifi is the science. Here it involves trees which I found utterly fascinating. JS Fields takes a deep knowledge of tree science on earth and sends it to the stars in such a unique way I found myself trying to figure out the science when I wasn't listening to the book.

I highly recommend the series for scifi fans, and for people curious about scifi. It will take you on an amazing journey.

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Rogue Sci-Fi Adventure

The beginning few chapters I was very confused. I thought the young slave girl in the 1st chapter was the same woman in next chapter. But there was two different characters, Neek and Em.

Three rogue crew of Mercy’s Pledge is transport ship, smart ass captain, young newbie man, and Neek the pilot. They all work well together in a crisis. Interaction with other aliens sometimes gets them in trouble.

I really like how Neek was disillusion to believe her homeworld would treat her, and her crew well after bring god-child home. Neek never learned how corrupt politics works after been exiled. Her naiveté cost her greatly. Especial to her crew too. I like how writer showed Em, the slave child's thoughts and feelings by torment seeing her mother beatings.

The last few chapters felt a little bit rush with different actions happening at once. I was trying to keep up which characters was hurt or who who’s.

I was told lesbian love story is “very, very, very slow burn” played out in series. There’s no sex, or love story in this book. Just good Sci-Fi space opera!
Note: I received this book from author for my honest review.

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Very different but in a good way

I love how imaginative J.S. is. Their brain made a story like I’ve never heard before. If you like space adventures give this one a chance. You won’t regret it and Lynn’s narration will keep you hooked.

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Great Beginning To Epic Space Opera

This creative, unique and fun space opera is well worth your time. And if you love a series that goes on for a couple of books then this one is a great addition to your colleciton

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Great Scifi fantasy

While the story was a bit slow to unfold it was a goid story with interesting characters. I hoped to keep listening. Sequel?

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Excellent!

I read this book a few months ago and absolutely loved it, from the world-building to the multi-layered characters and the complex storylines. I’m happy to say the audiobook is even better. I’m very impressed with the narrator’s ability to give life to so many different characters and so many species. I started listening to book 2 (Second Don) immediately after I finished this one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book. Great start to an amazing series!

I loved J. S. Fields story of the charter systems, Neek, an exile from a fundamentalist planet and an unknown powerful being.

This space opera introduces us to a cool cast of characters and a coalition on the brink of war. The book is entertaining and thought provoking. Religion, politics, New weapons, telepathy. It is a great intro to 3 more books exploring the world where a powerful species and a potent type of wood have so much impact.

The book reads quickly, despite such rich descriptions of several species, and detailed character development. I could not wait to download the next two books.

Snappy dialog, inner monologues, plot twists and character evolution add flavor to this to this multilayered novel.

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Complex and thoughtful

If the story hadn't kept me listening the narration would have. It was a fun, suspenseful, and thought provoking journey wrapped up in a wildly creative package. I absolutely loved it.

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  • Crackdown
  • 08-22-19

I really enjoyed the story.

This tale slowly drew me in, its characters were people you were rooting for, and the worlds they inhabit was nicely crafted.

It's not often I find myself pleased a tale has been made into a trilogy. However, this story is so well balanced, it fits into three books perfectly. I especially liked the extra binary additions to the story, I have Trans family and friends, as well as non-binary friends, and my dearest wish is for their existence to simply coexist with the rest of us, equal on every level. We get that in this story.

The narrator was not too bad, I've certainly heard worse.

I have enjoyed these books so much, I have found myself listening to them on more than one occasion. Each time I seem to find more layers that enhance my listening experience.

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  • R. R. Langham
  • 08-07-18

A complex, full-throttle adventure through space

I’ve read this as an ebook and now returned to it as an audiobook. I must admit I understood, and engaged with, the story and its impressive scientific content more fully in the audio version. I’m a “soft” sci-fi reader who tends to struggle with technical elements of some sci-fi and so my second foray into this world helped me to really grasp Ardulum more effectively.

The action scenes — of which there are many — really came to life in the audiobook. It’s always full steam ahead with Ardulum, that’s for sure! So you better hold onto your seat and buckle in for the ride.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-30-18

Loved this book

Great story looking forward to hearing the next to narrator was also really good I recommended this to any les sify fan

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