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Publisher's Summary

The galaxy’s worst bounty hunter just might be its most relentless hero.

Esper Richelieu is a wizard with a mission: To make the galaxy a better place one lost soul at a time.

Donning the trappings of an interstellar bounty hunter, she delves into the galaxy’s underworld to search out those most in need of help. Whether it’s a teenage runaway or an actor kidnapped by cultists, the victim comes first.

Money is an afterthought. That confuses a lot of clients.

But sometimes the best way to get someone to accept the help they need is to convince them to pay for it. Other times, clients unwittingly fund their own reparations by hiring the last person who’d want to aid them in continuing their wicked ends.

But are pure intentions enough against the vilest forces in the galaxy?

©2019 J.S. Morin (P)2020 J.S. Morin

What listeners say about Black Ocean: Mercy for Hire

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

best bang for your sci-fi buck...period

edited! finally just finished this 92+ epic black Ocean romp! it held up pretty well as I re-listened to the first 8 books when I got this 16.5+ mission sweeping adventure of Espyr the "do gooder"! wanted to wrap with 2 final thoughts...
1) it ended kind of weirdly imho...almost a little anticlimactic...which was a mild disappointment. it wasn't a full leave you hanging but it was just sort of...over all of a sudden. but it did have 3 short missions afterwards which sort of helped "finish" the adventures...somewhat. kind of. I guess?
2) to this end, the very last short story was actually mission 0.5...it should have been at the very beginning! not at the very end. various short missions interspersed in between major missions. but there were only 2 or 3 thru the entire 16 missions...which made 3 of them at the end kind of surprising. but really should have only been 2 (maybe even just 1 but could live with 2...no spoilers from me tho!). mission 0.5 should have been before mission 1 however. it would have immediately given those of us who had purchased individual missions or even the 4packs something brand new on this epic 16.5 mega mission jaunt! start off with a little back story of mission 0.5! it definitely linked the adventures of Espyr on the Mobius from the original series to her new adventures in this series!

so. if you're reading this and want a suggestion...go to the very last mission of this entire 92 hour menagerie and start with mission 0.5! then go back to mission 1 and listen sequentially :) you're welcome!

original review (written before finishing the set!):

if you're reading this and are curious, stop right now and go get JS Morin's Galaxy Outlaws Black Ocean 16.5 books for 1 measley little credit! that is, if you haven't listened to that yet! that sets the stage for this spin-off of Morin's original epic magic-scifi masterpiece! if you love sci-fi and especially if you love magic, honestly intertwined in a way I never thought of before hearing this series, you will likely agree its the best credit you'll ever spend! over 80 hours for 1 credit?! over 16 epic books (kind of like long chapters as part of the overall storyline)...Morin's imagination is one of the best I've ever heard.

1 caveat...there is quite a bit of language (not kid friendly...though he has an earlier series thats more so magic mixed with a little sci-fi vs. this series thats mostly sci-fi but a healthy dose of magic). to me I had to dock 1 star for this...as his earlier series before the Black Ocean had barely any language and the story didn't suffer in any way from the lack of cursing.

and ho-boy...despite this spinoff being centered around the do-gooder and former "one church" princess Espyr...wow does this series pour on the language more than even the original Black Ocean Galaxy Outlaws. it detracts for me enough to have to point it out...it may not for you. but the storyline is still stellar and always edge of your seat as to what twist it will take next!

oh. and this series is over 90 hours! for 1 credit! if you dig Morin's stories at all you owe it to yourself to go get his all-in-one packages like this or the Galaxy Outlaws (and there is a 2nd spinoff called Astral Prime, kind of like his version of deepspace 9 that centers around another character from the Galaxy Outlaws books, Cedric the Brown). that one had more potential than this series imho, however I didn't like the turn it took towards the end of that series...i still rank the original as the best of the 3 but the spinoffs are very good too! there is a little crossover between this series and the other spinoff but not much (mainly the character Espyr...otherwise they're fairly separate...i dont like too much crossover like the Flash and Green Arrow do...I feel like i have to sink myself into too much investment in both...so thats the good side of not having too much crossover between the 2 spinoffs).

hopefully I've not spoiled anything bc I hate spoilers! but given a good idea of my drawback for this series and yet still highly recommend it (just not for the kiddos).

28 people found this helpful

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extremely enjoyable. pleasantly suprised

I was very pleasantly surprised with him much I enjoyed this series. extremely fun. the characters were unique and the world building was interesting. especially liked the dynamic between magic and technology.

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

stop ruining these. first one was brilliant

made it so esper has no magic just a few chapters in. so im done reading...which is the opposite of your main goal...good job dummy.

7 people found this helpful

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Love this galaxy (no spoilers)

This is a great continuation of The Black Ocean galaxy. I l enjoyed each new character introduced and relished the bits and pieces we see in the future of characters that were featured in the Black Ocean series. There were so many parts where I was completely thrown by the twists and developments of many of the missions. If you enjoyed the original Black Ocean stories, you will definitely enjoy this spin off of one of its main characters.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Some of its legitimately funny, but

Mary Sue Richilieu is basically omnipotent for 90% of the story so what's the point? The whole Black Ocean Universe exists around and solely for Esper.

5 people found this helpful

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  • M
  • 10-03-20

Great series

Wonderful addition to Black Ocean. Gotta hope Morin will continue the story with some of the characters in another series. Loved the ending. Very Black Ocean. Always enjoy the extra stories too.

5 people found this helpful

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Black Ocean fun!

Loved it. I hope there will be more stories in the future! I've listened to Carl's and Esper's stories and am looking forward to more!

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

With this much story...

Not for the feint of heart, this story is long and should definitely be attempted only after "Galaxy Outlaws" has been thoroughly enjoyed. If you didn't enjoy that one, just give up now. Here's my biggest gripe with "Mercy for Higher", I believe we are best at writing what we know. J.S. Morin is a straight dude. I really don't think he has any business writing about a lesbian woman as his main character. I mean, case in point, every woman Espyr is attracted to. In fact nearly every woman who is sexually available in this book is a big breasted, femme with beautiful features and perfect skin and always wearing something skin tight and eating chocolates and sipping champagne and silk is usually involved and on and on and on ad nauseum. Why couldn't Espyr find some masc. butch with a shaved head and tattoos that walks around in an unflattering A-shirt who only wants to protect her and intimidates the shit out of everyone on the ship?? He writes about women in a way only a straight man could. Its honestly exhausting after her first triste and gets into weird fetishization of lesbianism by about halfway through the book. If Espyr is (nearly) exclusively attracted to women, why is it she's only attracted to women who are stereotypically attractive to straight men? And sure, I get that there are plenty of femmes that are attracted to other femmes out there but seriously every, single, woman? My second issue is how he portrays "good" men and "bad" men. "Good" men are always the picture of honorable, would never abuse someone or betray someone's trust. They always have best intentions and are by and large, painfully static. Wesley Wesley, who I must say has some of the funniest dialog in the book, is a bad attempt at flipping the script on the macho meat-head. He had so many opportunities for his character to develop and yet somehow couldn't seem to break out of his mold. "Bad" men are always attracted to underage girls, they are the quintessential "goon", all muscle no brain or as in Don Rucker's case, all brain and all of it used for devious and conniving ends. There are no gay men in this story, good or bad and idea of being attracted to a man is relegated to a teenagers bumbling attempts or a wife's adoration for her husband (though nothing sexual, of course because the only sexual attraction in the book features the attraction to women and specifically to extremely feminine women). The problem with these characters is I don't believe in them. At least with Tiffany or even Melody (don't get me started on her daughter being named Harmony) I can believe in their stories or at least suspend my disbelief long enough to empathize with them. I feel very little for Don Rucker, his very young pregnant wife or the countless number of innocent bystanders and syndicate lackeys that are crushed between him and Espyr. My last critique of this novel is "Dark Espyr". Really the "do-gooder" and "dark Espyr"??? Did anyone edit or even re-read this book?! Surely, for a man who claims his aspiration in life is "to be clever and right at the same time" he really, really missed the mark there. I've gotta say there are so many other examples of lazy or sloppy writing and slipshod story arcs, I can't get into all of them but these felt especially egregious. If your still reading this review it means your attention span is adequate for this book and you should probably just buy it and listen. 93 hours is a lot of entertainment, even with the numerous disappointing aspects, there's plenty of intriguing content and a whole Black Ocean to sail into. Also it should definitely be noted that Mikael Naramore absolutely kills it! Such a great narrator!!

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent, It goes full circle.

It starts off a little slower than "GALAXY OUTLAWS" but hang in there. Once it starts moving, your in for a wild ride with all the original and new characters. I cannot wait till till J. S. comes out with the 3rd series, I think Tiffany will steal the show. I've never read or listened to any of his books but in the last 5 weeks, l have listened to over 170 hours and I'm hook, BiG Fan.
Thank you J. S. Morin, I'm grateful for the experience.

3 people found this helpful

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Slow and ridiculous

I can't finish this. It moves slow and a large part of the character development and plot points hinge on the idea that the characters can just argue with the universe for things to happen. Ridiculous.

2 people found this helpful

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  • janet smith
  • 12-07-20

How does he do it?

I purchased the first Black Oceans series with quite frankly low expectations, 60+ hours for a single credit seems like it must be a budget production of a bottom of the barrel series. but no!! It was awesome! pulp sci fi at its best. Then I saw the second series, again 60+ hours for a single credit. Well, I thought, all the good material is gone so this spin off is going to be a let down but still, its good back ground noise. Hold the boat! It too was excellent. J.S. Morin must have run out of ideas for this series by now.

And then. Oh look another spin-off, with one of my least favourite characters... wait a sec... Its awesome, again, again!!!

Narration is superb, if you like easy going sci fi with a touch of humour. you can't do better.

I've just finished this and from beginning to end it is superb. The Setting is well fleshed out with everything from bands to celebrities but it doesn't seem forced.

4 people found this helpful

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  • dublindara
  • 03-02-21

definitely worth a read

loved this great characters and a great storyline couldn't put it down until it ended

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LadyRynn
  • 02-12-21

Brilliantly Entertaining

The very idea of mixing Wizardry and Magic into Science Fiction didn't gel in mind at all but oh how I was wrong to even think such a thing.
This is (as far as I know), the last current book in the Black Ocean series and I've totally enjoyed every minute of all of them.
J S Morin's characters are all far from shallow or superficial. Each of them come with almost tangible personas and to me took on an almost 'real' life of their own.
I've a fair way to go in this book but I passionately hope the end leaves a big opening for more Black Ocean books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-11-21

Excellent Value

Really excellent collection of stories. One of the best value credit uses I've ever had bar the authors 2 other black ocean collections. It really is the series that just keeps on giving.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nathan "Bat" Sleat
  • 10-27-20

a lot of bad language

was surprised how much swearing there was. trying to make the teenage character edgy but just smacks of lazy writing. shame really as the story sounded like it would be quite good. disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fredbear
  • 10-08-20

Superb value for a Credit!

I listened with apt attention to the point that I had several sleepless nights and actually cried at one point in this narrative, either I am getting emotional in my old age, or there is actually some good writing mixed in with the general coming of age and morality tales within this marathon listen, amongst all the fights, chases, romances, angst, problem solving, magic, space flight, aliens etc etc etc

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. D. A. Lindsay
  • 07-25-21

Massive bang for your buck!

If you have been missing the hurrumphing characters from the black ocean you'll enjoy this. Bit slow to start but picks up speed nicely. Nothing new or spectacular but reassuringly familiar.

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  • Richwarf
  • 07-07-21

the last chapter should be first.

great series, just the very last mini book (170) should be at the start (001). it sets the background and makes little sense at the back.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-03-20

Black ocean thought

Really enjoyed all the black ocean series purely engrossed me for the last few week if your looking for a good series to get into this is the one , once you get your head around the magic side of this universe your fine

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dondeeflugs
  • 11-24-20

Funny and clever

Brilliant narration for a witty and fun ride through the galaxy. I love all the black ocean stories.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-26-21

Great Story

I really enjoyed the great story with all of the over the top characters. I also enjoyed the performance it was well polished ave engaging.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel Nelson
  • 06-30-21

Mercy for Hire. The best series of books so far

Mercy for Hire is the best series of books so far in the Black Ocean series.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Aussiegal
  • 04-14-21

Not my favourite

Mission 12.5 was the only reason I kept this book but it's a good reason!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-14-21

Story line promising, but....

The story has a lot going for it. But the guy reading it.... My God. It sounds like an infomercial. Wayyy to stiff and official.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brett
  • 02-20-21

If you liked Galaxy Outlaws...

You're going to love this!

Lots of new and old characters alike, with one of the new characters being my all time favourite of the series.
The pace and escalation of events flow more similar to Galaxy Outlaws than Astra Prime, which I was happy about.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-07-20

The Bkack Ocean

I really got into the black ocean series, someone has got a twisted imagination. good listen enjoy it.