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Publisher's Summary

Captain Jessie Cinders faces a hazardous choice. The murderer of the governor's nephew stands before him. But, the frightened teenager, Aurelia Garmenti, doesn't resemble the commandant's description of the vicious, hardened killer his security forces seek.

To complicate matters, Jessie's mind has felt Aurelia's mental powers. The girl is an empath, who escaped the domes below and rode the El car to reach the JOS, Pyre's orbital station. This shouldn't be possible. The century-old agreement between topsiders and downsiders forbids the domes to knowingly admit empaths.

If Jessie decides to protect Aurelia until he can discover the truth of the accusations against her, he risks his company and ships to the commandant's wrath, if his actions are uncovered. In the midst of Jessie's complicated maneuvers to keep Aurelia safe, he receives a call from one of his mining captains and learns of a strange find on Pyre's far moon, Triton.

Meanwhile, the domes' governor, Markos Andropov, is desperate to apprehend Aurelia and return her downside, before the girl can reveal his sordid secret. Aurelia lived her entire life imprisoned in the governor's house with her sister and her mother, whom Markos kidnapped from the JOS 17 years ago. If the governor's crimes became public, it would jeopardize the Andropov dynasty's rule of the domes.

Pyrean factions engage in a struggle against one another to possess Aurelia and use her to gain the upper hand. The ultimate prize is the complete domination of Pyre.

©2017 S. H. Jucha (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"I really liked both the characters, the action and the world that was being built." ( Mixed Book Bag)

What listeners say about Empaths

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Almost made expectations

Totally got addicted to silver ships and was stoked for a similar series. Story is good, narrator not so much. Grover Gardner is MUCH better. Might not be able to listen to another book with this narrator, sounds almost like a computer.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not yet tied to the Silver Ships series

Where does Empaths rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 15%. I've got 100's

What did you like best about this story?

Another Earth colony & a space resource Captain Cinders with ideals similar to Captain Racine. Maybe Alex Racine will come across this bunch later in the series. Another colony ship damaged before reaching its ideal planet, but this one has become a political subdivision of the settlement & due to the usual deceit by the elite, the original rules have thought to have been hidden by the elite who set up things the way they want. An abandoned alien site is found, probably remnants of a war long before the Earth people arrived, complete with bodies of 2 alien races. The elite get too out of control, forcing the colony ship to be made space worthy again & during the process, copies of the stolen rules are found aboard.
The real fun will probably begin in the next book, although this one has enough problems to keep one occupied.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the commandant was informed that his suspect had been found innocent, the elites who bribe him have kept vital knowledge from him again & he is told he has no authority aboard the colony ship Bell, with hints of worse to come for him & the elites.

Any additional comments?

The timeline of colony ships from Earth, put this as one of those that started the Silver Ships Series.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Nicole Poole ruined this audio book

I enjoy S.H Jucha’s books Immensely. Silver ships is a masterpiece. I was over joyed to find out about this connecting side series.

Grover Gardner is exceptional, his performance narrating the silver ships series enhances those books to another level.

Nicole Poole’s narration of Empaths was almost unlistenable. Her robotic cadence and randomly changing tones used for characters was amateurish. All I can do is pray she was replaced for book 2 of this series. Poole should never be allowed to read out loud to anyone ever again

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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good hook, fair world building, mediocre narration

the story is good although sometimes lacking in the little details that give flavour to the world. perhaps I've been spoiled by books like the expanse series.

the narrator is clear and we'll spoken, but delivers all her lines with a strange kind of... platonic joviality which is often rings odd. even when the characters are angry or sad, she still sounds like a pleasant grandmother who just baked you a plate of cookies. she doesn't have much emotional range in her delivery, but the small range she does have is expertly delivered. unfortunately more emotional range is called on for the story, which makes it hard to really be pulled into the drama.

2 people found this helpful

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Imaginative world

Compelling yet simple characters. Predictable plot. Narration is not strong. Best for young adults. Came to this from the Silver Ships series so I was "forced" to do this book too.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Terrible! Almost like a different author wrote it.

I love the silver ships series. This is nothing like the Silver Ships. This has very little to love. Its characters are hard to care about and its one-dimensional villains are unbelievable.

The dialog is terrible. Real people, even people in the future (I hope) don't talk the way these characters do. This is so unexpected because the dialog in the Silver Ships books is what brings me back to listen to the series over and over. I kept thinking this must have been written by someone else. The whole thing was like a freshman attempt.

The Narrator was horrible. Every time she had to do a male voice it was so bad it took me out of the story. Every time. Terrible. Very disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

beautiful readings I just have to get use to a fem

I just have to get used to a female author. I think she actually did fucking fantastic!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Well, a good beginning, and well conceived.

Just not yet a five. Eagerly I wait to see. Promising, yes lets see what happens.


A question, about empathy...
When/where does common empathy become something more, no longer but a disability for an empathetic person . This story takes a few steps beyond "Empaths" a number of steps beyond to expand empathy into a powerful advantage. What if feelings, one's sensitivity, once felt can be amplified, and boomeranged not just out, but with training be focused on one or more others, persons , what's more so amplified as to drive the flight impulse to loose rational control over self preservation. Eg. Scared to death by running off a cliff, onto the freeway. This is beyond the loss of bladder control / poop your pants. I've been there in Nam. That body effect is not a cowardly response to to fear, it's how we are. Courage is what action comes next. Freeze up, fight or flight. How training helps... when your mind freezes in terror, training is what gives the body a memory to fall back on. One has reflexes.
If you are a soldier there is something our ancestors learned. If you flee your brother who need you to be there will die without you beside them. What's more when facing an armed foe; to flee is to be shot down. Your rifle is your life, when you fight /kill, that is the enemy who won't kill your buddy, and you next.
This "to be continued" novel hasn't addressed these issues. So far, "Empaths" has relied on leadership but wiser, and a shade smarter than the "bad guys," or we the reader/listeners.
commonly our shes are encouraged to flee calling for help. Guys are indoctrinated along other expectations. Except in war freeze, or flee may be a wiser choice than facing your fear for a fight. It's prevail, or get squashed, violated, or whatever it was wiser to face, and god help any male who screams, or crys for any aid. Face it, accept what comes may protect him later. Victomisers hate courage, avoid those with it.
I'm eager to have these things addressed as the story unfolds.
I eagerly await the dropping of the next shoe.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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love these stories!

I've been working my way through S.H. Jucha's works. Empaths is my favorite so far, but the narrator is a bit monotone.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Hmm loved silver ships

This one is tough to get used too. The writing feels like a step down from silver ships. Very blah blah he said ; blah blah she said. Maybe it’s the narrator, I don’t really know.

Cool plot and events.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for CJSILV
  • CJSILV
  • 01-27-21

You have to listen to it

A great book loved the story great narration 5 stars I highly recommend listening to this book 👍👍👍⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Profile Image for Sharon Barron
  • Sharon Barron
  • 09-24-19

An interesting, well told simple tale

I enjoyed the narration of Nicole Poole: she added something to an otherwise simple tale. Her range of voices is good, even the male characters were believable.

The story is that of an human colony some half a millennium after being founder. It's dominated by a group of aristocratic families, who lord it over the remainder of the colonists including a small group of empaths who are forbidden from going down to the colony and must remain either on the space station or the orbiting colony ship. The governor of the colony kidnapped one of the empaths and twice impregnated her. Her two offspring turned out to be very powerful empaths, the eldest of whom was repeatedly raped by the Governor's nephew.

Along with the empaths are normals and spacers, who keep the colony fed with raw materials mined on the system's moons. On one such moon they find the remains of an alien installation and are consequently quarantined for six months, threatening their survival.

It's a good story, but I rankled a bit at some of it - the leading characters are ALL good and the antagonists are ALL bad - there's no subtle variations. Otherwise I'd recommend it as an easy read.