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Midshipman's Hope 

The Seafort Saga, Book 1
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Series: The Seafort Saga, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 18 mins
4 out of 5 stars (252 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When a hideous accident kills the senior officers of the UNS Hibernia, it leaves a terrified young officer to save 300 colonists and crew aboard a damaged ship on a 17-month gauntlet to reach the colony of Hope Nation. With no chance of rescue or reinforcement, Nicholas Seafort must overcome despair, exhaustion, and guilt. He must conquer malfunctions, mutiny, and an alien horror beyond human understanding. And he must save lives and take them - in the name of duty.

©1994 David Feintuch (P)2015 Audible Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing...

First Impressions
-- slow to pick up, a lot of dialogue and story. It rewards you in the end with an amazing timeline of events that would make you scream "More!!!"

Narrator
-- things started out as weird. I thought that he was a lousy narrator, but in the end it was very satisfying.

Final thoughts
-- this is the type of book that would make you think and put yourself into the eyes of the characters. It forces you to think of things in a different way. It had me crying on some of the scenes... a lot of times. (Ive never cried for a sci fi book ever)



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DB
  • Floresville, TX USA
  • 04-02-18

Needs more hope

There is a lot of negativity in the book... Maybe the writer was trying to represent real life, but in leisure time, I prefer a bit more up lifting and fun. It was a pretty good book otherwise...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing Writing, Decent Story

I was very torn about writing a review for this book. I decided in the end that I would have to because I had so much to say that I just couldn't keep it all in...
The main character of the book is a 17 year old midshipman on a years long voyage to a distant colony. Through a series of unusual and unfortunate circumstances, he becomes the captain of the ship, with a number of other midshipmen, and hundreds of crew and passengers looking to him as the leader.
To be clear, this ship is mostly about interpersonal relationships, leadership, and personal struggles set in space. There are a few very short fighting and battle scenes, but It definitely isn't what I would call a "space opera" (at least by my definition).
For the most part, I thought that the writing was very good, with the characters not being amazing, but believable enough for the story.
As for the negatives... The strangest (and my least favorite) part of this book was the fact that religion plays a huge part in the story and the future that this book takes place in. There are prayers before every meal and CONSTANT references to "Lord God" and "blasphemy" throughout the story. Basically, the government has established a "state religion" and religious code that every is forced to be obedient to. I'm not sure if the author is himself a deeply religious person, or if he was trying to create a story in some fictional future... All-in-all, I really disliked this whole concept. Personally, I might consider myself "religious" (on a good day), but this really started to annoy me after awhile. If the whole religion aspect was taken out, I would give 5 stars... As it stands, only 4.
I'm looking forward to the next book, but am not sure if I will listen to the full series or not yet since the others take place much later in the main character's life.
It was definitely worth the listen. If you can get past the fictional religion, then I would recommend it.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • New York, NY
  • 12-07-16

One of my favorite sci-fi book series

I am so excited to find that Audible finally brought this series to audio (granted it was over a year ago but somehow I had missed it until recent)!

Feintuch's Nick Seafort and his coming of age story was inspirational to me as a young man as Seafort is his harshest and most severe own self-critic, not unlike my own striving for perfection in my younger days. I still find the story riveting to this day (almost 20 years after first reading it) but I look upon the main character with a little more pity, a lot more forgiveness, and even more sympathy now. It's every sci-fi loving kid's dream to be a Captain of this own ship and following the tragic early events of this book, it's easy to wish you were in Nick Seafort's shoes!

The story varies in pace throughout and you are often left wondering where Nick's motivation comes from (you learn it wholeheartedly by the end of the book). The supporting characters are excellently portrayed by the author, although given to you through the first person narrator, you question the validity of some of it due to perspective.

I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of any of Jack Campbell's novels.

The narrator does an excellent job with the voices of all the characters and I hope he continues reading the rest of the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • SGL
  • California
  • 08-10-16

Can a midshipsman horror of being captian be real?

Where does Midshipman's Hope  rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a solid old fashioned space opera. The characters engaging though dark at times. Action isn't nrisk but well formed. The events are well written and full almost as written as a stand alone book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Midshipman's Hope ?

It could have been reprograming the ships computer Darla but no. The death of captain Hage? Probably it was the little touches of humanity through out.

What about Vikas Adam’s performance did you like?

For the most part his pleasant almost flat voice fits the flavor of an old fashioned space opera.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It wasn't really that kimd of story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow......

This is one of those books that just flows.....the narrator is perfect for this story, and it is one of those tales that just rolls from one scene to the next, and you ust know the author is going to continue from page to page effortlessly (so it seems). Towards the end you say "oh no, don't,end it that way!"......and then an ending unfolds that you never saw coming....
Fantastic book.......

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rory
  • Calgary, AB, Canada
  • 07-28-15

A Tortured Soul Grows Up Quickly

So, you're a lowly 17-year old Midshipman still learning how to be an officer, still maturing, still ... well, guess what, none of that matters anymore because you have a job to do regardless of whether you want it or whether anyone else wants you to do.

You have a short time to grow up and take responsibility for your ship, the lives or your crew and the lives of your passengers. And now, to top it all off, you're under attack from a previously unknown alien.

How would you handle it? Do you think you could save the ship and get back home? How would you cope with the horrors your decisions bring?

Midshipman Nick Seafort didn't have a choice - the regulations clearly state that he has to assume the roles and responsibilities of Captain of the Hibernia. Every decision he makes eats at his soul, but every decision he makes ensures that the Hibernia will get to its destination safely.

I sent Audible an email 2 years ago asking that they get the rights to this series, as I wanted others to enjoy what I've enjoyed all these years. David Feintuch has crafted an excellent character study of a tortured (albeit to himself) sould trying to do what's right and what's best for those lives he's now responsible for.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • Queen Creek, AZ
  • 08-05-15

Pretty good start

It’s always fun to find a decent new series. This first book builds a whole new world where civilization is united under one nation and one religion similar to the British empire in medieval times. No it isn’t a religious “preachy” book, it just creates an story where the captain is the head of the church and state while underway. Any other religion is discouraged and blasphemy is about the worst thing anybody could do, but that’s about the extent of it. If you are offended by anyone even mentioning God, go ahead and skip this one.

Like most “space operas” I was expecting some high tech ship involved in all kinds of space battles with the lasers, nuclear torpedoes and of course light speed delays. The ship in this book is a very minimally armed navel cargo ship full of passengers and just a handful of actually navy personnel aboard. Think love boat in space….. with a single laser.

Despite the lack of action the book was pretty entertaining. The story deals with different situations where a young person is put in charge and his fresh view of the way things are currently ran causes people to question and think about what they are doing. The main character is a bit juvenile with his temper tantrums but I guess that is understandable since the main punishment for the midshipmen throughout the book is a good old fashion spanking.

It’s pretty good so far, but we’ll see for sure after book 2.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Great Naval Space Opera!

You know how it feels when you find a book that satisfies you in every way? And then the combination of joy and relief when you realize that it’s the first part of a series? Well, this is how I feel after finishing Midshipman’s Hope. The novel sparks several of my interests, not the least of which is the presumption that military space ships will fall under the naval command of the military. My father was a Midshipman in WWII, before he was promoted to Lieutenant JG and became captain of his own ship. So it makes me happy to see that Feintuch has done his homework and provide us with enough details about Navy life on board ship to provide authenticity. This includes the problems lower ranks suffer under higher officers, whether caused by psychological issues, personality styles or politics.

Secondly, even though the main focus of this book is life on ship, we’re provided with ingenious and possibly realistic scenarios when it comes to not only the difficulties of terraforming a planet, but also one way a culture might imprison law offenders. The idea of combining the need for a secure penitentiary with an Empire’s (?) technology for extracting raw materials, while brutal, is plausible and creative considering the greater culture of the empire.

Which brings me to another point. It might be difficult at first to imagine a scenario where a planet/galaxy- spanning government is intertwined with what I consider near-fundamentalist Christian. I’m not sure why Feintuch chose to create such a culture, but I do find it interesting. Most of the characters, in particular the protagonist, take religion seriously and use the Christian Bible for consolation, inspiration and advice. What I do find a little peculiar is that, while taking the L-rd’s name in vain is horrifying, pre-marital sex is not. Which makes me wonder what is meant by the term “fornication” as used in the text. It’s a different category from adultery or homosexuality. So what is meant by the word?

I also encountered one of my pet peeves in speculative literature. In this book, as in many others written by different authors in which the prevailing attitude is either Christian, agnostic, etc., there is often one culture/religion which survives intact throughout the ages: Islam. Now, I don’t have a problem with having the religion, which is always portrayed at its best, survive into the future. What I do find frustrating is that I never see Orthodox Judaism, at its best or not, surviving in the same manner. This is not only because I am an Orthodox Jew, but because it is historically and logically unlikely that our religion would not survive the ages. While most scholars believe that Islam began in the 7th c. CE, if one postulates that Judaism began with the Exodus from Egypt (and our texts say that Judaism began way before this event), then it began around -1300 BCE. And our religion has survived not only subjugation to various rulers, but also a few attempts at genocide, as well. So I’m always disappointed when only Islam is seen as the only religion which is ardently followed in speculative fiction’s future. Especially as there have been centuries when Jews and Moslems have lived together peacefully.

Back to another part of the book I found inspiring and interesting: the development of a heroic personality in the classic style. Originally, the main character sees himself in the worst possible light. And we all know that people tend to view a person in the same way s/he presents themselves. But fate puts Nick Seafort in a position that demands abilities he does have, but those that he doesn’t believe he has. In fact, one skill where he fails miserably time and again, comes not only to show that he was making correct calculations (though slowly), but, due to his unpopular determination, makes decisions which actually saves the ship and its passengers from total annihilation.

So, all in all, I most highly recommend this book. In fact, I plan to listen to the entire series. After that, I’ll look for other goodies by this author.

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Disappointing and Disgusting

I was sorely disappointed in this book. It had all the makings of a good story in a well-defined universe. However, the main character is tyrannical, cruel, and downright abusive. He allows others to be the same in a system where no one is trying to change it, and in a book where abusive control is confused with good leadership.

The phrase "by the grace of God" is repeated several times in the book, but there is very little grace shown in this book. The title is "Midshipman's Hope", but there is also very little hope in this book.

I dragged my way through 13 hours of this 16 hour book, and finally quit in disgust. This was the first and will definitely be the last book that I have read in this series, and I will be very weary of reading anything else by this author.

On a sidenote, the narrator does a very good job.

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  • VJ
  • 10-21-18

Unexpectedly Addictive.

Many sci fi books I’ve tried via kindle unlimited remain unfinished - probably because I sometimes find it difficult to engage with the plot, style or narration. This book has been an amazing find! Apart from the need to sleep, I devoured it on one sitting - I was totally absorbed.

I can thoroughly recommend this book to anyone - from young adults to middle aged old foggeys like me who enjoy futuristic interstellar stories.

I’m off to use a credit to get the next in the series now!

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  • Poppey
  • 02-06-17

For a younger listener, possibly

I found this a little slow to get going; but it seemed to get a sprint on towards the end.

If there was one character I did not take to it was Captain Seafort. He came across as quite a sadistic, self absorbed young man who was thrust into a position of authority for which he was not suited.

Narration was bearable, if a little on the cold side.

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  • AJ
  • 09-24-16

Great Book

Love it as it like someone talking about their life as a teenager as he was only 13 when he became a credit in in UN navy. He becomes a Captin at a very young age. He had a sensible head on his shoulders. He had a lot to contend with when the fish attacked his ship. He found it hard when he had to hang some of his shipmates because they had broke the rules.

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  • Chris Thompson
  • 02-27-16

A Epic in Space

Where does Midshipman's Hope  rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would say it ranks near the top of my list, as it was fluid and powerful performance.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Midshipman's Hope ?

The scene when the captain died, as you could hear the grief and saddness in Seaforts voice when he found out.

What about Vikas Adam’s performance did you like?

He brings each character to life, they are full of emotions and feelings which you could feel as times goes on.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would of loved to listen to it in one sitting, but due to Real Life I had to break it up to smaller chunks and listen to it over a week.

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  • Aldo
  • 01-13-16

A must for all Sci-Fi fans

A truly non put downable story that I found myself finding reasons to listen to a few more minutes everyday.

This is the first of a saga I read years ago and have read some or all of the books each 18 months because it is that good!

I hope you enjoy it to!