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Publisher's Summary

Some secrets carry the weight of the world.

Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she's made a powerful ally - a fellow prisoner with whom she's formed a strong bond. Sazo's an artificial intelligence. He's saved her from captivity and torture, but he's also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided.

Captain Dav Jallan doesn't know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he's not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead - all except for one strange, new alien being.

She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5's owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn't the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games.

In this race for the truth, he's going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.

Winner of a SFR Galaxy Award 2016 and the Prism Award 2016 for Best Futuristic.

©2015 Michelle Diener (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Dark Horse

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Perfect Sci Fi / Romance Series You'll Love!

Last year when I found this series on Kindle, I was stunned by the beautiful writing, plotting and character development -- something I've never seen in a typical sci fi romance before. I could only hope that if the series was ever given the Audible treatment, that the author would choose the perfect narrator as well. And she did!

I LOVE sci fi romance novels, but too often the writing suffers from authors who lean a bit too heavily toward ever more bizarre alien sex scenes, and overly bit*chy dialogue for the women as a substitute for strength and/or wit. It gets old after a while, and I had given up ever finding a well written book in this sub genre, until I found this amazing series.

Michelle Diener is a wonderful author who can really write, and she has written three great books in this series. Each book contains a lovely romance, lots of action, and spectacular and well thought out science fiction -- it's a freakin miracle!

AND -- Christina Delaine is wonderful in this series, and performs it as well as any of the great narrators out there. I'll be looking forward to hearing more from her!

What a treasure!


HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (For anyone who loves sci fi romance, but also wants to read well written books!)


Note: There is no explicit sex in this series, and you won't miss it at all.

34 people found this helpful

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Love this book! New fave author.

I loved this book. I won a copy of the audio addition from a giveaway of the authors. But I already own the kindle addition. The author brings you into her world and makes you want to belong to it. I loved her unique take on things and the plot was excellent. Now the audio addition was good. I did have a little trouble with the voices the narrator did for the Class 5's. I had just imagined something a little different. It was a little TOO much "Good Morning Dave" for me. But once I got used to it, it was fine. I also could tell the growth of the Class 5's as their voices became a little more humanoid for lack of a better tone. But sometimes the narrator would be speaking in Sazo's voice and it wasn't until after when Rose "could tell from Sazo's voice he was embarrassed" that I could actually picture him embarrassed. I hope that makes sense. But that would be my only negative with the audio addition. And it was only a small thing. I really enjoyed it and this author went on my auto buy list. In fact I've gone and bought the other two books I. The series that are out.

8 people found this helpful

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Awesome Sci-Fi Romance.

After reading the review from another reviewer on this book, it sounded like something that I would like. I am so glad I gave this book a look, I really liked it. I like the whole music aspect of the story, I kept trying to guess what music choices Rose was singing throughout the book. I like the friendship Rose made with the Class 5 ship and realized it was not just a machine. This is an interesting new world and I hope there are many books to come from this series. In my opinion there were a few flaws in the details, but they were minor. Mostly that everything came too easy for Rose to learn and that not many of the other species seemed to ask an questions about Earth. There were hints of it but I feel the story would have been just that much better with a bit more wonder in the plot. Narrator is really pretty good, she does pretty good on all the voices by making them distinct, only a few a bit weird but hey this is an alien society she is speaking for.

5 people found this helpful

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Cheap romance, otherwise great story

The overall story of exploring worlds, pursuing the rescue of mistreated AIs, and showing the best of humanity on the interstellar circuit is really fascinating and agreeable. The romance side of it started to be intriguing, but was thrown away by somewhere at or after two thirds through the book. It was played up as immature minds diving into sex and it really messed with the storyline. Overall, the story is really well written; it's just a shame that very, very few authors, and possibly readers too, grasp the essence of romance or human sexuality. It's obvious when one sees good romance, but today's people don't realize what they're really seeing and how it differs from unenlightened foreplay and sex.

4 people found this helpful

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great book

loves the book when I read it loved listening to it just as much Def worth the buy

4 people found this helpful

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As good as a whole season of a great sci-fi show!

This audio book is so, so awesome! It has 14 hours of top notch Sci-fi entertainment, and I can't wait for the next book in the "Class5" trilogy. It is now on my list of my top 5 favorite audiobooks ever.

"Dark Horse" is as vivid and compelling as an entire season of a really good Sci-fi TV show. I recommend this to all Sci-fi fans, especially trekkies and fans of artificial intelligence. This book is certainly not a copy of Star Trek. "Dark Horse" has a few elements that people like about Star Trek, but it has so much more. It is a wonderful mix with really great internal consistency, a plot with twists and turns, vivid characters, danger, space battles, and artificial intelligence. The heroine is one of the most admirable, tough, intelligent, multi-faceted heroines that I have ever encountered in Sci-fi or in any other genre. I am more of a Star Wars fan than a Trekkie but I was captivated by this audiobook. By the way, there is no paranormal or telepathic ability element in this book. There are, however, plenty of cool high-tech tech equipment and space ships.

I usually do not like much politics in books. It is strange, but I seem to like politics in outer space if it involves a federation of planets and multiple species of people, like in here.

The author Michelle Diener really impressed me with the intrigue, secrets, suspense, and depth to this book. She even includes details of linguistics and cross-cultural adaptation! Great! I think it is one of the five best science fiction books in the last decade. I certainly need to buy the remaining two audiobooks in this trilogy when they are released.

I have heard that this book has been classified as Sci-fi Romance. I would disagree and call it simply Sci-fi. There is a bit of romance, but it does not overwhelm the plot or take over the book. For a frame of reference, I do not think this book has much more romance than the movie "The Empire Strikes Back". FYI, there are only one or two love scenes, and they are not explicit.

I do not want to give too much away about the plot, so you can read the blurb to see what the book is about.

The narrator knocked my socks off! She is very skilled with accents and with both male and female voices. She has more than 15 very distinctive-sounding character voices in this epic novel, and all of them were outstandingly done! The narrator also had to do a bit of singing, and I congratulate her on how lovely it sounded. In the first chapter I was not sure if I liked how the Sazo voice was done, but I really warmed up to it by the end of that chapter. At the end of this Audible production is the first chapter of "Dark Deeds", the next book in this "Class 5" trilogy. The writing and narration on it are awesome, and I will be buying it as soon it is available. I am so hooked on this series, and I am very happy about that!


#Suspenseful #Clever #HappyEnding #OuterSpace #FemaleProtagonist #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

9 people found this helpful

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A different new world

What did you like best about this story?

An ordinary woman had to become something more in situations she had no control over, just to survive in a new universe.

Any additional comments?

I read the Kindle version several times just because I liked the story. When I found the Audible version I jumped at the chance to listen to a good narrator. I am looking forward to the remainder of this series to be recorded.

4 people found this helpful

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Disappointed!

All three of these books are exactly the same with only the characters names changing. Different women, different male gree, and a different ship, but the exact same story. Listen to the first book and save your money, because there is no need to buy the next two. I did thinking the story would evolve, because the narration is good and it is well written. I feel like I have ben scammed!

6 people found this helpful

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WHAT A JOKE & OPERATIC THEME? HORRIBLE BOOK!!!

The main character is a female crybaby, entitled, and plays the victim game too friggin much.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent Epic Story

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dark Horse?

The Narrator

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

I am so glad I did the audio along with reading. It brought the story to life. It was narrated by Christina Delaine, and her performance was excellent. She had different species and IA to represent and she did it with ease. She even sang for a few scenes and that made it even better.

Any additional comments?

This was an Epic read for me. And, of all my 5 star reads this year this story was the most outstanding of them all. The writing was superb, and as I said the plot was epic. The smidgen of romance and sex was enough to keep my libido interested. That alone is a rare find for me. The species characters and the galaxies creation kept me intrigued. The thrilling adventure was beyond anything I’ve read in a long time. In the beginning the artificial intelligence scared me, so it had angst. Then, I came to love the same artificial intelligence. The heroine and hero represented all we want in our couples and their love story. What most impressed me about this author’s writing and the story was the amount of dialogue. It was meaty with conversations and not just narrative. That’s also a rare find for me. All of these examples are what made this an over the top read for me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Leigh UK
  • 12-27-20

Geezanages! That was good!

The plot, the characters, the writing, the world building, the 'human' rights issues.... let's just say I missed a night of sleep. I just could not put it down. I thought, I'd set the sleep timer and be asleep in 30mins. 30mins later, I extended it to 45mins. 45mins later I extended it again and then honestly, I just gave up. I literally listened to this til the sun came up. I absolutely had to know how it would end and I couldn't wait til tomorrow to find out. On to book 2! Or maybe I should get a night of sleep in first... hmmm

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-28-16

A new auther

I really enjoyed this first book with this author and am looking forward to the next one

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  • Nikki Logan
  • 06-06-21

Great space romance with a great narrator

I’ve had this book for ages and just haven’t got to reading it but because it had whispersync I was able to buy the audio at a bargain price. I’m so glad I did. It’s the first time that I’ve actually stopped doing other things in order to listen to an audiobook (rather than listening while doing those other things). I ended up spending a lot longer than I expected listening but wasn’t sorry (except that it was over all too quickly.) Looks like the series is going to have individual storylines with new characters in the existing world but that’s OK because book one came to its own satisfactory conclusion and I’m ready to visit some of those other planets and cultures.