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Embers of War

Series: The Embers of War Series, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
4 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From BSFA award-winning author Gareth L. Powell comes the first in a new epic sci-fi trilogy exploring the legacies of war.

The sentient warship Trouble Dog was built for violence, yet following a brutal war, she is disgusted by her role in a genocide. Stripped of her weaponry and seeking to atone, she joins the House of Reclamation, an organization dedicated to rescuing ships in distress. When a civilian ship goes missing in a disputed system, Trouble Dog and her new crew of loners, captained by Sal Konstanz, are sent on a rescue mission.

Meanwhile, light years away, intelligence officer Ashton Childe is tasked with locating the poet, Ona Sudak, who was aboard the missing spaceship. What Childe doesn't know is that Sudak is not the person she appears to be. A straightforward rescue turns into something far more dangerous, as Trouble Dog, Konstanz, and Childe find themselves at the center of a conflict that could engulf the entire galaxy. If she is to save her crew, Trouble Dog is going to have to remember how to fight ...

©2018 Gareth L. Powell (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sign me up for the crew!

This book is a great character driven Space Opera. It immediately pulled me in and kept me hooked. Great opener for a trilogy and looking forward to what comes next.
This book reminded me of A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. However, if I'm honest, this one is better. It's better for the fact that it's character driven but it also has fast paced action that will keep you at the edge of your seat which was lacking in A Long Way (at least for me).
If you love sentient ships, space operas, character driven novels, strong female characters, adorable aliens, fun science fiction, multiple narratives, or just a great book...check this one out!

I read this first as a physical book and then we had the author on our podcast (www.litchickspodcast.com) and he informed us that the audio book was coming out. Not only was it coming out but it was a separate narrator for each character that's given narration in the book! I knew I would have to check it out. I would have to know how they gave voice to their characters. And they absolutely crushed it. Love all the narrators in this book! Hope they all sign up to do the rest of the trilogy! I hate when series change narrators!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Derek
  • Gatineau, QC, Canada
  • 12-21-18

great space opera

I just finished #nebulareading of @garethlpowell's Embers of War. Great #spaceopera with self-aware ships, ancient tech, and human conflict. An anti-war, anti-violence story of guilt, redemption, power and humanitarianism.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Character Study, Not a Sci Fi Novel

This book is not a sci fi novel but instead a character study. There are moments of action interspersed between long, long descriptions about how miserable each person/AI/alien feels.The characters are all insecure, depressed, experiencing existential crises, and suffering from depression, guilt/shame, and PTSD - including the AI and the alien. All are consumed with themselves; they don't work and play well together. None of the characters were sympathetic; I hoped they'd all die just so the misery would end. The book was boring.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant Audio Adaptation

Loved this sweeping interstellar story of lost civilizations, sentient space craft and all too human protagonists. Audio version is a joy.

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  • Sarah
  • 07-01-18

multiple narrators are great, in enjoyable story

This takes the familiar trope of dispirit rogue starship crew who have different agendas and some of who are not even on the same side and does something new and interesting with the idea. This time it's a first responder rescue ship. This really makes it stand out as abit different and makes for a very engaging tale. It helps a great deal that the ship itself is a well rounded and entertaining character. what really makes this an engaging audio book is that the tale is told by several different narrators each playing different crew mates as each chapter is 1st person from a individual characters point of view. This really really works and draws you into the tale. Highly recommended listening!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • russ
  • 05-21-19

Nice story. not cheesy

Nice story, not cheesy but also not serious. great performances, and I'll check out a few more of his books. hopefully the cast, real and imagined are back again

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • mr
  • 05-05-19

Cool sentient spaceships

Took me a while but once I got about a third in really enjoyed it. Loved the concept of sentient spaceships. Decent story, good characters, liked the use of multiple narrator's tho one of them I did not enjoy at all so fortuitous that there was more than one!

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  • Elmamaria
  • 04-03-19

Listened to twice

A wonderful cast of characters and moral dilemmas. Had to listen to it again before embarking on book 2 - fleet of knives. Loved the vast scope of it and can’t wait to see how the de facto peace keepers of the multiplicity stop themselves from becoming tyrants and where Trouble Dog and her crew end up.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Iron Duke
  • 03-22-19

Awful

Just bad. Terrible characterisation, daft dialogue terrible narration. Very little sci. Reads like a bad YA novel.

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  • Len
  • 03-07-19

Excellent story let down by narration

Super imagination and excellent story. However the narration was across the board poor with the overwhelming sound of breathless sadness across everything becoming boring and keeping the listener from becoming as engaged as it could have been.
Will however get second book on strength of the story

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  • R. Maines
  • 01-16-19

Fun!

It’s the start of a Space Opera series and it’s a fun start. It’s not really original and uses tropes you’ve probably seen before in the works of Reynolds and Saberhagen. The AI that controls the Troubled Dog is my fav character in the book. Still it left me looking forward to book 2.

The narration uses multiple narrators and is rather good.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe at the shed
  • 10-24-18

Nice concept but lacked substance in the delivery

I found this audio book difficult to finish, starting it fine... The introduction and character generation were sound with believable back storeys.

However as the story developed I found the choices the characters made less believable and even jarred with what was written (although in an audio book it's sometimes difficult to tell how progress has been made) in the previous page. This seemed to continue right through the book, examples include the captain/admiral who appeared later in the book, only having one constant setting, rage. While it might be believable that admirals might get in a rage, someone who has extensive military experience will be able control their own emotions better.

The ending also seemed rushed, and in my opinion to easy for the hero to win out to victory from an unlikely position, also giving them to much power without understanding the costs or risks associated.

To summarise... Only buy this if you are desperate for a fill in between better quality books

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  • F. Adomeit
  • 09-15-18

Slow and not very original character piece

The story tries to show all the different characters and their perspectives, but none of them are very interesting or original. There is barely any story around the characters and instead of progressing the story it often goes into the characters thoughts and histories for ages before returning to the current moment. It even sometime reiterates the not very interesting situation from different perspectives just so we definitely know how every character in the scene felt about it. This seems to be a central problem where the book just keeps explaining things instead of showing it organically through the story. Here have the "History of the House of Reclamation", let me just explain these space suits, oh aren't these weird planet formations mysterious? All of these things could have been interesting if they had been part of a good story, but it is not.
It gets very exhausting and didn't hold my attention on a train ride where I had absolutely nothing better to do than to listen to the story.

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  • Rogeraee
  • 07-21-18

Enjoyed to book and looking forward to the next<br />

Good listen and nice to have multiple performers for a change and helped to get the characters across better. Would recommend.

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  • Steven
  • 03-06-19

a great story, masterfully told

An enjoyable sci fi romp with delicious teasing of the story to come. Relatable characters and good descriptions of technology at a good placement in the hard/soft sci fi intersection.