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Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue

The Bern Saga, Book 1
Narrated by: Jennette Selig
Series: The Bern Saga, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
Categories: Teens, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
4 out of 5 stars (393 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It wasn't easy for Molly being the only girl in Flight Academy, but getting expelled was even worse. Abandoned by her family when she was young and now tossed from the only home she's ever known, her future looks bleak.

But then Molly hears that her father's old starship has turned up halfway across the galaxy. Setting off to retrieve the old craft, she hopes it will hold clues to his disappearance. Accompanying her as a chaperone is Cole, her old flight partner from the Academy.

Molly can't believe it. She's now the proud owner of her own starship. Her spring break is going to be spent traveling across the galaxy with a cute boy. Could things possibly get any better?

Little does Molly know, they are about to get much, much worse....

©2009 Hugh Howey (P)2013 Hugh Howey

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 05-19-14

The Forced Was With Them

Before he wrote Wool, the groundbreaking self-published series about a dystopian future, which I have read in its entirety and loved, Hugh Howey's first book was Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue -- in fact, he wrote four entries in Molly Fyde's Bern series, plus two other novels, before Wool put him on the map. There was a reason it took that long for him to break through -- he was still cutting his teeth as a writer and wasn't really there yet, especially in the creativity department.

If it was me, I would not have published this book without first going through a rewrite (or two or three) and rethinking all of the incredibly derivative events. For example, after writing the opening section, I would have asked myself, where have I seen this before? An action sequence that turns out to be a training simulation for academy cadets bearing an Asian title. Oh yeah, Star Trek -- the Kobayashi Maru. Better rethink that and come up with something more original.

Then: A planet full of intelligent beings who resemble humanoid bears. Hmmm. Sounds like -- Wookies! OK, these guys are more intelligent than the dog-like Chewbacca (or at least what we thought was the intelligence level of Wookies before Solo), but still -- why write a species that is almost identical to one that was quite original when it first appeared in Star Wars? There are an infinite number of alternatives (no one has ever done intelligent giraffe-like humanoids, giraffes are actually far more intelligent than people realize), including those that may exist only within your own imagination. Why not get creative?

Similarly: Jump into hyperspace and suddenly, unexpectedly appear in an asteroid belt. Wait, this is no asteroid belt, this is the debris of what was until recently a planet! Seriously Hugh? Nothing more original came to mind? You didn't think about rewriting this when you went back and reread your first draft? Or did you never go back to rethink and rewrite your first draft? Did you think that no one has ever seen Star Wars?

There is not an ounce of originality here. This is just a plain vanilla space opera that is totally derivative of the seminal space opera, Star Wars. Guy and girl who pine for each other but refuse to admit it, accompanied by a metallic looking guy and a giant furry guy, ride their dilapidated space ship as they escape from one predicament just to fall directly into another, making totally unorthodox moves that somehow work out just right, and saving the free world(s) in the process. Seriously?

Even Howey's high concept ("a tale of a teenager from the 25th century who is repeatedly told that girls can't do certain things -- and then does them anyway") is embarrassingly unoriginal -- in Goodread's list of "Best Kick-Ass Female Characters From YA and Children's Fantasy and Science Fiction" in which Hunger Games is #1, Molly Fyde ranks down past #2000. Having been published after Hunger Games, it's almost laughable that Howey would promote it that way, as if he was the first person to think it up.

I listened to this book because I was so impressed by Howey's totally original Wool -- also set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic near-future, but a totally adult version, highly nuanced and texturally paced, a surprisingly creative entry in a crowded field. I knew going in that Molly Fyde was YA, but I still expected Howey to be original, unorthodox. I never once expected him to be so, so derivative, so shamelessly or obliviously derivative.

I once told a friend why I didn't like a particular movie, bashing it, as I have this book, for rehashing so many familiar characters and conventions and plot points from well known movies of the past. My friend's precocious ten-year-old son was listening in, and he cut me down to size by noting, quite correctly, that he was too young to have seen all those other movies, so this was his first experience with that type of movie, and he liked it.

Fair enough. Same could be true here. If you've never seen Star Wars or know nothing about it, maybe this will come off as an original work, maybe this will be your introduction to cadet simulations and hyperspace landings in asteroid fields and intelligent bear-like aliens and empowered girls. Otherwise, fuggedaboutit.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • humble, TX, United States
  • 08-29-15

O no! We are about to be captured!!!........ Again

Any additional comments?

I listened to the first two books of the series before I had to quit. I will sum up my main issue with the series and just say that he reuses the plot device of being captured over and over and over again. You know its bad when the heroes of the book start joking about being captured repeatedly and starts rating their current prison accommodations........ And overall is just poorly written. This is a series to be avoided.

* I will note that the narrator did a good job with the material she was given

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Very teenie bopper.

Would you try another book from Hugh Howey and/or Jennette Selig?

Yes, the story wasn't bad but I wish there was a lot less of the does he or she love me or not stuff.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Removed a lot of the teen love story aspect of the book. He could have cut out a lot of the constant blabbing by the main character about her feelings, and just hinted instead.

Which character – as performed by Jennette Selig – was your favorite?

she does all well, and I wouldn't mind listening to her again.

Any additional comments?

The story was good, though there was a bit of young puppy love stuff within. After listening to the rest of the books I understood why the author didn't explain alot about certain parts, because there is supposed to be a mystery behind the whole thing. However, I still felt as though they could have thrown a bit more of a bone to keep me more interested. I was on the edge of not getting the second book by the time this one was over.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

If you failed physicis you might like this book.

What disappointed you about Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue?

First, the author really needs to take some science classes. This is science fiction so I don't care if you can manipulate gravity, jump into hyperspace.
The problems in this book however destroy the suspension of disbelief on a regular basis. The main character has 'just enough time' to maneuver to 'dodge laser fire'. The author also appears to frequently confuse acceleration and velocity. And many of the descriptions of combat make it sound like aircraft in an atmosphere.
At one point a bomb starts a fire that burns down an entire planet, because apparently there has never been a forest fire there before (inhabited world).

You should also be warned that this is much more young adult than scifi

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

First off fix the science.
Then the story needs to be yanked out of it's young adult roots.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I admit I am a bit curious as to what happens next, but that happens with all but the worst books for me.

Any additional comments?

If you did not fail every science class you have ever taken please do not purchase this book. You will be going along listening to the story and suddenly want to bludgeon yourself to death because of the stupid emanating from your audio player.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A good story.

I usually "think" ahead as to where the story is going but the author doesn't take that path..lots of surprises!

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    2 out of 5 stars

Young adult sci-fi

Out of place from what I had expected from Hugh Howey based on his other work - should have known by the cover art - but this is YA sci-fi (good for that genre I imagine?) - the terrible voice talent made the less than expected story even harder to stick with - curious about what happens in the next book, but not if it is the same VO talent

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enjoyed it

enjoyed it little tedious at times but overall good story good narration I enjoyed it a lot

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love it!

I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who might be interested in this type of novel.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but not great literature

Would you try another book from Hugh Howey and/or Jennette Selig?

Maybe, the narrator was good

What was most disappointing about Hugh Howey’s story?

Characters are not that intelligent or wise or sly no idea how they survive except that the writer wants them to.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Decent story but whispery narration

The story is good, if a little too fiddly with butterflies and teen love angst. Completely forgiveable, because the sci and fi and action are good, even if the disrespect and ignorance of naval command is way over-played.

But the narration is very difficult to accept. Jennette has a beautiful voice that trails off for the second half of so many words. It's as if she is whispering, or struggling with a paralyzed vocal cord. Crank up the bass from -5 to plus 10, and as loud as I can bear, and it still requires focus to make out some of what's being said. Some terms are pronounced as if never heard, but only read. And "enemy" sounds like "eminy".

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Profile Image for sandandstars
  • sandandstars
  • 12-04-14

A good yarn for children

Would you listen to Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue again? Why?

No. There's not much story and it's for children.

What could Hugh Howey have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Rewrite it now he knows how to write novels.

What does Jennette Selig bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Jennette Selig makes it sound interesting.

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

It's nowhere near interesting enough for that.

Any additional comments?

It's like watching a low-budget sci-fi film on DVD. Useful to while away some time.