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Rando Splicer

Spiral Wars, Book 6
Narrated by: John Lee
Series: Spiral Wars, Book 6
Length: 18 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (164 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Separated from her ship, Major Trace Thakur is stranded on the reeh-occupied world of Rando. The native corbi have suffered beneath reeh tyranny for 800 years, and many have given up hope. But Trace needs the data stored in the reeh’s genetic technology and command center - the Rando Splicer - if she’s to learn how to save humanity from impending disaster, and is planning an assault against overwhelming odds. She’ll need help from the UFS Phoenix, though, which is caught in a ritual medieval battle to change the croma leadership that sees her crew embarking on a perilous journey across a warring desert continent. Should they fail, humanity could be just one of many species to die.

©2019 Joel Shepherd (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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

A Tale of Two Planets

Sublime narration once again. Typically the chapters are either set on RANDO with Trace and Giddy or on a Croma planet with Erik, Styx, etc. However, one chapter is set in human space with the Fleet triumvirate, and another chapter is set in Parren space with Lisbeth. Chapters on Rando are grim and desperate with nary a smile in sight, but chapters on Croma are lighter, adventuresome, and sometimes funny in a snarky way.

Funniest scenes go to Peanut. Snarkiest lines go to Styx.

As far as character development, it’s all about young Skah losing his baby teeth, Trace becoming a stone, and Tiga (the female Corbi rebel) becoming nuanced and much wiser.

The plot chugs along nicely, like a train, and ends with a few nice surprises and a good idea of what’s to come in the next book.

Quibbles: The author tends to interrupt the flow of action sequences with expository or reflective statements. The dark government secret trope is getting repetitive across books.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Joel Shepherd's finest

It's not often a book this far into a series is the author's finest work but this is easily Shepherd's best work. While I've certainly enjoyed the previous books they were mostly 4 star efforts; certainly strong enough to keep me listening but not rising to the level of being thought provoking as Rando Splicer was. Where there was previously an adequate level of character development there's now in-depth and thoughtful maturation of characters and their motivations. Combined with one of the most interesting plots of the series it made for a book that I created opportunities in my day for listening.

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I really love this series

Any book read by John Lee can’t be bad, he had me hooked since the Commonwealth Saga. However this series stands on its own and John Lee is just the icing on the cake!

I can’t wait until the next one

1 person found this helpful

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I love this series!

Joel Shepard does a great job of mixing the story lines keeping them both separate and intertwined as he moves us along in the Spiral. There is a reason that John Lee is far and away my favorite reader and his deft handling of dozens of individuals of various genders and species demonstrates that once again here. I cant wait to see where Phoenix is off to next time.

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Better and better

Joel ups the ante even more in this epic tail of honor, betrayal, stupendous battles, human and non human frailties. On the edge of my seat throughout. John Lee delivers a beautiful narration giving each character a distinctive voice. Even the female voices are rich with no to high falsettos.

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Phoenix and Trace are taking to the spiral's bad

Rando Splicer is the 6th installment in Joel Shepherd's Spiral Wars series. Picking immediately from the end of book 5, Trace is stranded on Rando, a slave planet for the Reeh. The 'splicer' refers to a facility where genetic engineering is performed for the Reeh's amusement. Trace hooks up with a fledgling resistance movement and takes on the splicer for the genetic information that may save Earth from the deepynine threat. Meanwhile, Eric and his crew are caught up with a political power struggle of the Croma. Eventually Trace and Phoenix are reunited with both the Croma and Reeh up in arms. At the same time, they learn some disturbing information that another branch of the machine intelligence may still be hanging around in Reeh space and hold clues to the deepynine / allo mystery.

Shepherd continues with Styx becoming more and more powerful, but adding another functionality with her assassin bug doing more than just killing. While the Reeh are never fully presented, much of the focus is on the biology and sociology of the Croma which is quite fascinating. The Corbi (the slave population on Rando) are also explored as an unremarkable race in a bad place at the wrong time. Phoenix continues to make both friends and enemies with equal abandon. There's also some hints that Earth has wised up these threats and is banking on Phoenix to succeed. There is no sense on when they'll start heading back towards Earth, but they continue to pick up strays along the way making for a rather diverse crew.

John Lee's performance is nothing short of spectacular. The range of voices is amazing and the pacing and tone match perfectly the plot. John Lee could make reading your grocery list exciting.

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alien history lectures plus fight scenes

On average, each line of dialogue is accompanied by four paragraphs of alien history lesson. Plot barely moves for the first 20 chapters while we are introduced to many characters who may or may not survive the book. Lisbeth appears in a throwaway chapter just to let us know that's she's doing great. Good news: Caught a first glimmer that this series may actually have an end.

1 person found this helpful

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This series is aweome

I love this book and I love this series. I will read everyone that comes out. I can't wait for the next book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent saga

The story continues and grows in a cohesive way to the series. Top tier performances from writer and narrator.

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  • Jon
  • 01-21-20

Gritty Space Opera!

Joel Shepperd manages to bring the World to life. Combined with John Lee's excellent narration you can hear the action and even smell the smoke of battle!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Malcolm P.
  • 12-05-19

Simply superb

This galaxy with its participants are both fascinating and a great story. The balance of pace, storyline and character is perfect.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-24-19

good

way better than po-faced US military sci-fi

doesn't feel like a story happening on a ship that has been transposed into a space-ship