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Hand of Mars

Starship's Mage, Book 2
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
Series: Starship's Mage, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,535 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Three years ago, as ship's mage of the starship Blue Jay, Damien Montgomery was pursued to the edge of human space by both the agents and enemies of the mage-king of Mars before being brought in from the cold. Now, trained in new skills by the mage-king himself, Damien has been sent to the planet Ardennes alongside Alaura Stealey, hand of the king. A rebel movement there has destroyed cities fighting a governor seemingly lost to corruption. But not all on Ardennes is as it seems. As allies become enemies and an entire world comes apart in chaos around him, Damien will find both his skills and integrity tested to the utter limit.

©2015 Glynn Stewart (P)2015 Tantor

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Average Customer Ratings

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Just Okay

I think better character development and a deeper world history would go a long way to improving this series. I only read the second book because the character was heading to Mars for "training" and I thought we'd learn more about the history of the Mage King and the rune magic and how Humans got to where they are in this world. Instead, the second book starts after the training and plunges the reader right back into another fast-paced action sequence with one chase, and near miss after another. It's like the books are all third acts with no first or second acts. . I found it repetitive after a while and just wanted it to end. There's no story arc. The villains repeatedly underestimate heroes and lose again, and again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • mary
  • San Antonio, TX, United States
  • 06-19-18

A little too simple

The basic plot is fair. The writer then seems to belittle the readers intelligence. The main character and his mentor are working for the King of Mars. The mentor is a Hand, the roaming judge, jury and executioner of the king. The main character starts story as an envoy. Envoys and especially the Hands are viewed by the general population with fear, mistrust and often hate. Envoys aren't treated much better. They go into volatile situations. The Hand is older and has survived many attempts on her life. She has had internal organs replaced from said attacks. At the beginning of the story, the main character and the Hand go to the planet in question with a warrant for the arrest of the villain. They know who he is. They are aware that he has been alternating facts in his favor. He is not just a local bad guy. He is governor of the planet. He is in position of much power. So why do they go into the situation with their eyes closed? Why isn't their star ship captain on alert? Why does the hand go towards the lions den and have a near fatal assassination attempt? Why does the hand then go into the lions den and get killed? Why are their supposedly protective troops unalert to the point they all get killed? Why is their starship captain and crew unalert to the same degree? If you can tolerate these poor facts in the beginning of the book, then you can tolerate the book. The reader does a good job. His tone in the narration portions are a little flat. But to me this makes the character impersonations easier to follow. His voice is clear and easy to understand. I enjoyed book 1 and was glad to see many books in this series available. But the quality of the plot has me not interested in the remaining books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Paul Manning

In the realm of Si-Fi it is rare that someone comes up with a faster-than-light drive that isn't based on some mechanical device. Not only does our hero able to travel pass the limits of our solar system, it's through his sheer willpower and ability to do so. Yet the character remains humble and keep second guessing himself. I thoroughly enjoyed our hero stepping up to the challenge.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story

This was a great follow up to the previous title, my one and only complaint would be the lack of emotion by the reader, although with some characters like the Mage King, it works well.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Mediocre story with some very weak plots and some really bad voice acting

I bought this book because book 1 was refreshing and a fun listen, this book was a serious letdown. The story was not too bad but rather predictable after the first few chapters. A couple of plots were very weak and implausible and the bad guys downfall was bleh. During the final battle I had serious problems knowing which side of the battle was “talking”, all of which resulted in only 3 stars rather than a week 4 star for the story itself.
The voice acting requires a review as well. English speaking voices are ok, although too much alike for it to be easily recognizable who’s speaking, but once he starts with the French and French accent I really just wanted to turn the audio off and find something else to do. I’m not a French speaker but I am around enough of them to cringe when listening to the narrator butcher French accent. Again, I simply couldn’t award more than 3 stars to the narrator here and I even wondered if I was too generous. I rather suspect that a good narrator would have managed to overcome the week storyline and a couple of really week and implausible plots, as the acting of a story is part of what makes audiobooks so great. Otherwise I might just as well read it myself.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a light read and don’t mind the butchering of the French, it’s ok but I can’t recommend it as anything special.

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Good story but the French!

Good listen, liked it as much as the first. But as a French speaker I wanted to throw my phone across the room every time the narrator spoke "French". I don't expect perfection, but he was so bad there were parts that I genuinely have no idea what he was trying to say. Painful to listen to.

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Outlaw to the Hand

Great story for futuristic science fiction. I have it in an Audible book form. Makes my driving less stressful and a pleasure. The Narrator is gifted with his voice and the story is interesting and exciting. Very thought provoking.

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great story

worth listening to while working. Glynn Stewart is an outstanding author. The narrator is outstanding as well.

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Good listen but bit of trouble keeping stakes high

This is a good story, but at times it lacks punch because the protagonists appear all but certain to prevail. Admittedly sometimes that is an illusion, but not always. Even when it is an illusion, in the moment that perception is reality, and the lack of stakes feel real. However even during the lulls in intensity, the story moves at a good pace, and doesn't reach the point of becoming boring.

All of this isn't to say there isn't real conflict or consequences.There most certainly are, and when it happens the story is gripping. It is just that the story feels compelled to undercut the danger and uncertainty as soon as possible after it occurs.

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It feels like it's read by Rod Sterling!

KIm
The narrator is fairly monotone, which after the second book is becoming tedious. At least he doesn't try to change his voice too much for different characters! The story is great though. I love the character development. The author goes on way too much though about spaceships and guns etc. etc.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-16-16

outstanding story, but...

Would you listen to Hand of Mars again? Why?

not sure, I think I'd rather read it next time

What did you like best about this story?

just that is was a continuation of the Starship Mage story

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jeffrey Kafer?

John Lee or anyone really who is willing to make an effort

Any additional comments?

Please re-record this book with someone with some life, listening to Jeffrey Karcher was a chore, he used little inflection or emotion, obviously didn't care about the characters or the story in general, and I found it difficult to focus on the narration and was easily distracted.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • CJSILV
  • 03-09-19

5 star's 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Great book love the series so far I highly recommend listening to the books 😁

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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 03-09-17

a typical story

a typical story with an evil governor and the hero sent to get rid of him and free a planet and its people from oppression.
I like those types of stories as long as they are not complicated like this one is.