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Publisher's Summary

The first book in a thrilling new sci-fi action adventure, set on Donovan, a treacherous alien planet where corporate threats and dangerous creatures imperil the lives of the planet's inhabitants.

Donovan is a world of remarkable wealth that comes at a high price. When Supervisor Kalico Aguila's ship arrives, she discovers a failing colony, its government overthrown, the few remaining colonists gone wild. Donovan could make her career - or kill her.

Planetside, Talina Perez is one of three rulers of the Port Authority colony - the only law in the one remaining town. With the Corporate ship demanding answers about the things she's done, Perez could lose everything, including her life.

For Dan Wirth, Donovan is a last chance. A psychopath with a death sentence looming over his head, he will make a desperate play for power. No matter who he has to corrupt, murder, or destroy. Captain Max Taggart is the Corporation's enforcer. But is it too late to seize control of Donovan?

Then a ghost ship, the Freelander, appears in orbit. Missing for two years, she arrives with a crew dead of old age and reeks of a bizarre death-cult ritual that deters any ship from attempting a return journey. But maybe it's worth the risk, for a brutal killer is stalking all of them as Donovan plays its own complex and deadly game.

©2018 W. Michael Gear (P)2018 Recorded Books

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

Manifest Destiny

Good off world colonization story , reminiscent of North America's age of robber barons exploitation of natural resources and a desperate immigrant population .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jim N
  • Chicago, IL
  • 05-21-18

The Extraterrestrial Frontier

Outpost is basically an American frontier tale set on an alien planet and it plays out more or less as you'd expect based on that premise. Remove the alien trappings and replace them with the flora and fauna of the American west and the story wouldn't change much at all...

...except for a few plot elements that are intriguing but insufficiently explored in the first volume of this planned trilogy. The hero, Talina Perez, is a beautiful, resourceful, respected law enforcement in the only town on the wealthy planet Donovan and she develops a rather odd connection with one of the most prominent species native to the world: quetzals. It's an aspect of the book that I wish had been explored further. Perhaps it will be developed in the next two volumes.

Another intriguing but underdeveloped plot point involves a corporation ship called the Freelander, one of several ships that has been dispensed to Donovan but never showed up. When it does finally show up, it's a ghost ship.

I was hoping for much more on these two aspects of the story but the novel focuses more on adventure and politics. There's some truly awkward writing when the book tries to get sexy or romantic and overall, I can't say I found this a satisfying listen. I enjoyed it but it feels incomplete. It's clearly meant to set-up the rest of the trilogy and too many key plot points are left unresolved for it to feel like a satisfying novel on it's own. Unfortunately, I'm on the fence about listening further.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Original, Intelligent and Deeply Satisfying

I've been reading science fiction for 50 years- seeking out and enjoying the best this genre has to offer. By now though, I want everything to be "exactly right". There is a Goldilocks Zone for great science fiction, and I found it here in Outpost.

This story is a rare blend of many familiar elements, re-imagined with an unusually deft hand. A colonization story then, but far more interesting than the usual fare.The writing is both sturdy (very good structural elements) and subtle (finer touches everywhere and in everything). Equally vital is the happy fact that the splendid narration is exactly right for the story. Other secret ingredients of Outpost's enormously satisfying journey include:
1. all the characters are drawn economically, yet distinctly, with mysterious clarity and depth
2. an astonishing new kind of planet is presented, with an extremely peculiar- yet oddly believable- ecosystem
3. we are treated to a unique and very deep strangeness concerning ship life and space travel.

The meticulous tapestry of the groundwork laid for a new trilogy comes to a hard point. The difficult accommodations humanity is forced to make, in order to fit an entirely alien world, prove unexpectedly extreme. Outpost isn't a simple-minded story in the least. It is a great one, embodying the spirit of the grandest traditions of space opera. This first book of the Donovan trilogy left me with a very strong anticipation for the next.

Recommended for those who enjoy profoundly human and profoundly alien science fiction. .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful