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Publisher's Summary

From award-winning author Gareth L. Powell comes the second book in the critically acclaimed Embers of War space opera series.

The former warship Trouble Dog and her crew of misfits is called upon by the House of Reclamation to investigate a distress call from the human starship the Lucy's Ghost. Her crew abandon their crippled ship and seek refuge aboard an abandoned, slower-than-light generation ship launched 10,000 years before by an alien race. However, the enormous ship contains deadly secrets of its own. 

Recovered war criminal Ona Sudak faces a firing squad for her actions in the Archipelago War. But, at the last moment, she is smuggled out of her high-security prison. The Marble Armada has called for her to accompany its ships as observer and liaison as it spreads itself across the human Generality, enforcing the peace at all costs. The alien ships will not tolerate resistance, and all dissenters are met with overwhelming and implacable force. Then her vessel intercepts messages from the House of Reclamation and decides the Trouble Dog has a capacity for violence which cannot be allowed to endure.

As the Trouble Dog and her crew fight to save the crew of the Lucy's Ghost, the ship finds herself caught between chaotic alien monsters on one side and, on the other, destruction at the hands of the Marble Armada.

©2019 Gareth L. Powell (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Fleet of Knives: An Embers of War Novel

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

A degree of AI stubbornness

Gareth L Powell's Fleet of Knives is the second installment in his Embers of War series. The TroubleDog is back on task, this time attempting to rescue a disabled ship in alien space that was salvaging a derelict vessel. Meanwhile Ona Sudak is rescued from her death sentence at the request of the marble armada and unknowingly initiates the mission which in typical stringent AI programming fashion decides to keep the peace by destroying all war vessels and doing away with interstellar travel. At the same time, an evil entity known to the marble armada from another dimension has now joined the party.

Powell overreaches a bit here. The trope here of AI entities deciding that the best way to prevent war is to destroy and kill anything possibly relevant for warfare undercuts the sophisticated nature of the AI entity. Furthermore, when in the face of a clearly superior enemy to continue to defang potential allies is the height of idiocy. Finally, the need for real human eyes suggests that their science is not advanced enough to figure out what the eye is perceiving and that an organ such as an eye is beyond cloning / 3D printing possibilities. Lastly, there's a bit too much lamentation and remonstration over past actions by many of the characters that is almost asking for a "suck it up, snowflake" comment.

Given the shifting perspectives throughout the tale, the ensemble cast of narrators was a wise decision and adds positively to the pace and mood.

4 people found this helpful

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Beautiful Cover & Great Narration!

This has a beautiful cover image and great narration. Unfortunately for me, the story was what was lacking. It seemed to contradict things that were established in the previous book. The book also moved rather slow, unlike the previous. I wanted more to happen and yet the little that did, didn't really conclude in this book.
If you read the first one, check this one out for yourself. Maybe it's just me but something was missing from this one and it didn't pull me in. One part in particular really just made me flat out mad.

3 people found this helpful

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Second installment - already got boring

Very unfortunately, the seemingly clear plot line of the first volume is getting ever more blurry the longer the second volume continues. Because of that, in the end, my sympathy with and investment in the characters was approaching zero - I will not read the third part, sorry. I think the author lost the story and just wrote on for the submission/money’s sake...

The narration / voice acting is actually better with this volume - someone may have told the reader of The Poet about her misplaced emphases, and that annoyance went away, too...

1 person found this helpful

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Disappointing sequel

The first book in this triology really gripped me and I finished it quickly - a great sci-fi novel with action and adventure, and great characters. This one just goes on and on, endlessly repeating itself without going anywhere. There is nothing interesting to latch onto either in plot or characters, and in the end I just gave it up out of sheer boredom. Read the first book and pretend this did not happen. I will not pick up the third book.

1 person found this helpful

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Still love the setting, but not the plot

I enjoyed the first book more. This one was such an obvious rehash of an Asimov plot. Ona Sudak (or whatever her real name is) was once again an idiot despite claiming to have studied military history and still didn't realize the consequences of what she asked for, and then convinced herself she didn't care. I still love Trouble Dog and the new Lucy's Ghost. It is a pity the story has gone done such an obvious and unimaginative hole. Also, once again, Nod is another saving grace.

1 person found this helpful

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yes, let's put damage people in charge

So let me get this straight, humanity has no qualm putting a known genocidal maniac in charge of 1 million ships. That's like putting Pol Pot in charge of human rights committees in the UN. it kind of jumps the shark. Also for a rescue vessel that can hold 300 people to only have 4 people. you'd have at least a dozen qualified medical personnel and advance equipment for treating people and rescue. Being in hostile space, you'd have a contingency of security. Instead you trounce around the galaxy understaffed and loosing people right and left. definitely amateur hour for this book.

1 person found this helpful

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So very, very derivative

My 9th grade English teacher, Mr. Holmes, told my class that the work "very" doesn't add anything meaningful to a description. Adding it twice is a sin... His instruction has served me well for 20+ years, but here we are. To be fair he also cruised around town in a `93 (I think) YELLOW Mustang.

1 person found this helpful

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Inbetweener - Not as Good

Not as crisp as the original. Hopefully the concluding volume will match the first one.

1 person found this helpful

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Mistakes mellow drama for charater depth

Utterly forgetable people. Even the ships ai has drama. I just cant care about anyone or the plot. There is a downside to anybody being able to be published. And do you ever notice these books are magically highly rated?

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Better than first book.

I liked the turn of the story arc. Somewhat predictable and still too much recap but I still like the story and the writing.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-21-19

Meh

Long because of unnecessary phrases every two or three sentences.
A weird story.
Well read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elmamaria
  • 04-06-19

A good 2nd part

Not as gripping as the embers of war but a really great telling of how a supposed altruistic decision can quickly turn into tyranny. Still enjoying the development of the characters and the storyline! Can’t wait for the 3rd.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DENNIS
  • 11-09-19

GOOD FOLLOW UP TO FIRST BOOK

ENJOYED THE FOLLOW UP TO THE EXCELLENT FIRST BOOK,ALTHOUGH I THOUGHT IT WAS DRAWN OUT A LITTLE WITH FILLER,HOPING THE THIRD PART IS AS GOOD AS THE FIRST.

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  • Pip
  • 08-19-19

Gripping Yarn

Second in the series that deepens the characters. I'm looking forward to listening to book 3.

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  • Sarah
  • 07-31-19

Great follow up to Embers of War!

If you enjoyed the first book you'll enjoy more time aboard the Trouble Dog. Multiple narrators still works great for the flow and character point of views, and they all do pretty good impressions of each other when required. A very enjoyable listen.

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  • JGE
  • 02-25-19

A great Sci-fi novel

Not as good as the first book, but still thought it was a good read. Look forward to the next book.

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  • Steven
  • 04-25-19

excellent follow up to the first book.

The story is really going places now, sides ard solidifying and the universe is changing but perhaps not for the best. story is fantastic so far and I will definitely be buying the next book in the series.