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Publisher's Summary

What if you were thrown into a foreign society, never to see home again? What would you do, and could you survive?

Joe Colsco boarded a flight from San Francisco to Chicago to attend a national chemistry meeting. He would never set foot on Earth again.

On planet Anyar, Joe is found unconscious on a beach of a large island inhabited by humans where the level of technology is similar to Earth circa 1700. He awakes amid strangers speaking an unintelligible language and struggles to accept losing his previous life and finding a place in a society with different customs, needing a way to support himself and not knowing a single soul. His worry about finding a place is assuaged when he finds ways to apply his knowledge of chemistry - as long as he is circumspect in introducing new knowledge not too far in advance of the planet's technology and being labelled a demon.

As he adjusts, Joe finds that he has be dropped into a developing clash between the people who cared for him, and for whom he develops an affinity, and a military power from elsewhere on the planet - a power with designs on conquest. Unaware, Joseph Colsco has been poured into a crucible where time and trials will transform him in ways he could never have imagined.

Cast Under an Alien Sun is a story that's science fiction in premise, adventure in execution - a cross-genre adventure with elements of science fiction, history, hard science, epic fantasy, time travel, romance, alien contact, and space colonization.

©2016 Olan Thorensen (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ron
  • Allons, TN, United States
  • 09-18-17

Slowly we turn, step by step, inch by inch...

I was searching for a new sci-fi series to explore after the Bobiverse trilogy when I read the premise for the Olan Thorensen book. Reading the reviews, I noticed that one of those reviews having a large number of most helpful votes, referenced this book as having too many details and hard to get through. I must say this reviewer was spot on, and I came very close to considering the purchase a waste, and then everything changed!

The author certainly took his time writing numerous chapters about the back story in infinite detail through the first 5 or 6 chapters, however, the book took on a new life and the characters developed well after the initial history lesson and gauntlet of useless details the reader is exposed to at the beginning.

The story follows the main character Joe Colsco who is plucked from modern day earth after a disaster befalls him through an alien encounter. After the aliens save his life, he is transported to an earth type planet to resume his life. The story transitions at this point into Joseph's introduction into an early earth like society, and becomes both interesting and addicting as he struggles to come to grips with the loss of his previous life, and how he becomes invested into this new life in a land that is much like earth of the 1700's.

Jonathan Davis narrates this audio and is brilliant in bringing the characters to life with various character voices.

I became a huge fan of this story line by the end of this book, and immediately purchased and began reading the next in the series. I still believe the amount of descriptive detail used to convey the story at the beginning was overkill, and a major distraction before the story developed into something special. It reminded me of an old Three Stooges episode where a line was often quoted... Slowly we turn, step by step, inch by inch... which is how I felt at the beginning of this book.

I do highly recommend this book, and the series, which continues to draw my interest in these characters fate.









17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well worth the credit

What made the experience of listening to Cast Under an Alien Sun the most enjoyable?

Since I've always had a soft spot for Time Travel / Alternate reality books, this was a nice twist on both of those. Well created alternate world and settings as well as all those subtle differences between what we know (knew) and Joe's new reality. I read the Kindle version not that long ago and pre ordered this one as soon as it was available.

What did you like best about this story?

How our MC comes to term with his new reality. He goes through an emotional roller coaster, something that I find other similar books overlook more than not, and eventually carves out a place for himself in his new reality.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I haven't, but I think he does a good job. 4+ stars.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Home is where the heart is

Any additional comments?

I think more than avid TT/AR reader will enjoy this book. It's well written, a lot of research has been done and a huge effort has been put into the world building. This book is actually one of my all time favorites, though surpassed by the third book in this series. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series on Audio.

46 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Subliminal Assimilation

The first book of Destiny's Crucible has a riveting start, immediately followed by more mundane ground-laying, but gradually finds a way weave itself into your psyche. By the end of the first third of the book, you do not want to put it down. Surprisingly, what holds your attention is not fast action or a suspenseful plot. You keep listening because of a genuine bonding with the main characters, love of location in time and space, and the tantalizing potential of what the main character is going to do. You simply become very interested in his new life. This may sound simple, but it's effectively good writing - character development at its finest!

Cast Under an Alien Sun is not quite a literary masterpiece, but it is extremely well written and subtly entertaining. Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, everything in this book seems to be just right. It has just the right amount of science, sex, violence, and intrigue to keep things interesting and fresh. The narrative is mature, but not stuffy. And for Science Fiction, there is zero hokiness and believable context The performance by Jonathan Davis is superb and pleasant to listen to.

Because I have strict criteria about what I give 5 stars, I can't quite go there; but would easily give this book 4.5 stars if I could. What I look for in a 5 star book is that element that transforms a well written entertaining story into something deeper and more meaningful. Cast Under an Alien Sun is an entertaining and extremely well written book. Thoresen clearly has the potential to put the other books in the series over the top. I guess I'll have to read them and find out - something I am definitely looking forward to doing!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Don't hesitate, get it.

if you enjoy the detail of the Bobiveres and David Webers' Safehold series, invest the credit.

Don't worry, it's not as slow as Webers books, but it'll keep you hooked with a serious narrative and light humor.

If the initial premise intrigues you, then get tis audiobook, you won't be disappointed.


*Note to staff at Audible.

Don't you dare not publish the sequel, after buying over 230 plus books from you, owe me this much.

thanks in advance.
Tom.

78 of 87 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit too slow-paced for my taste

The story proceeds with a lot of time spent on digressions of a war council where long discussions were held on past campaigns which were mostly eye flyover sections since little discussed there ever really had any influence to subsequent unfolding story.

Joe's introduction to the society was subdued in the beginning which made for mostly uninteresting observations of the society he was placed into. Eventually, he began to become familiar with the people, at first, learning the language and then to using his 21st century, highly specialized chemistry discipline to introduce advanced technologies to the locals. So much so that he was able to expand from basic chemistry to things like paper factories, medical surgical procedures, mercantilism and even oil refinery, even though he nor the society's tradesmen had no previous real-world knowledge on these technologies. For the length of the novel, I was disappointed that except for the phenomenal ability for Joe to advance technologies, the actual story itself had not progressed very far.

The novel was written well enough but the story itself was rather uninteresting and uninspiring. The narrator did a good job in performing the various characters, be it male of female.

I'll not be continuing with the series.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 06-10-17

Loved it. Please Continue the Series

I have no particular insights. I love this genre -- society building and discovery or rediscovery of science and technology. A bit like David Weber's "Off Armageddon Reef". But I like Thorensen better than Weber. This book is particularly well done, with excellent characters. I just hope Audible gets the next two novels in the series soon. (And with the same narrator.)

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Do you love meetings?

I wanted to like this. The premise is fun -- modern specialized youthful academic gets transplanted to a down-tech milieu. The execution is mind-numbing. 45 minutes and 5 chapters in and the only actual *action* happened in the first chapter. Everything else has been clumsy exposition masquerading as dialogue and paper doll character development. Seriously, all of chapter 4 is a staff meeting among the military leaders in charge of the conquest and subjugation of a large island, wherein they tell each other the entire history of the campaign up until now. They're in charge! They know this stuff already! We readers are supposed to believe that these guys really don't have anything better to do than have a two hour meeting that could have been handled in five minutes? "Admiral, Doctor, General, I've received and read all your reports. We're moving out." There, job done.

Then, in chapter 5, we get a *recap* of the meeting as the guy who ran the meeting goes home to his wife and talks about his day. He lists to her all the meetings and paperwork he did all day, and he feels happy and satisfied about it, and she feels proud of him for being such an assiduous worker.

Really?

Meanwhile, the characters have no depth. I've spent a commute with this book and so far everyone is a paper doll. The author spends a lot of time telling us about details of appearance and characters' resumes, but nobody does anything. Therefore, all this description serves exactly the same purpose as coloring in fine tip pen on a paint-by-numbers mosaic pattern: plenty of details, but it's still flat.

The narrator does what he can, giving different voices to different characters and trying to shade the text with appropriate emotional nuance, but it's a losing proposition. No matter how dramatic the reading, an unrealistic status meeting where nothing actually happens is not going to be interesting. I feel angry about the waste of my time.

85 of 104 people found this review helpful

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

New Twist on an old idea

What did you love best about Cast Under an Alien Sun?

The world building and descriptions of the various cultural and ecological niches different organizations, people, belief systems, organisms evolved to fill on Anyar versus Earth.

What did you like best about this story?

The main character has real psychological and emotional issues with the entire process of moving from Earth to Anyar and is not a "superman" on Anyar the minute he wakes up. Rather he evolves and grows on Anyar and is not instantly "Merlin" or all powerful having come from an advanced society. The main character has to use his wits to survive and although he does well when faced with physical challenges he is not "superman" for having been altered by the aliens, he is very close to a average man and has to outsmart his opponents.

What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He does an excellent job of conveying the emotional turmoil within the inner monologue of the main character.

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

Yes, but it is a longer book so I listened to it at work in stretches like I listen to most books.

Any additional comments?

This is an excellent book and I will recommend it to anyone who enjoys science fiction and alternate history or cross genre novels as the book like many self-published titles does not it neatly into one genre. The inclusion of science and economics as a means to find ones place and for the main character to grow and mature as a man is an excellent premise. The amount of action is suitable for the book and picks up as the series continues. Although this series is not a heavily action orientated series like independent series are these days.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

First Review Ever!

First a little about me....I have been a listener on Adubile since 08/01/11 and have never felt compelled to write a review. I just finished listening to Mr. Olan Thorensen first book "Cast Under an Alien Sun" and was very impressed. There is science, world building, adventure, and characters that you truly care for. I listened to this book over the course of 5 days. I can not wait for the next audible book. (I know that the next 2 books are out in written format). I can say without hesitate to stop reading the reviews and use that credit....you will not be disappointed.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful

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

Highest Marks! Great Series!

My favorite book of all time is Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Cast Under an Alien Sun is the first book I've ever found to so completely modernize this story and yet keep completely to all the quarks, traits and storylines that also make the story great, all the while remaining a unique work on it's own.

I love the concept of bringing modern day knowledge to a new world of humans residing in a world that has developed to the equivalent of the 1600's on Earth. In this sense, the story emulates time travel without ever asking the listener to make this scientific leap of logic and all the paradoxes that can follow. I would argue this makes Cast Under an Alien Sun a purer story and allows the listener to focus on innovations and knowledge our protagonist struggles to release into his new world without worrying about consequence to our own modern day era.

I could not recommend this series more highly! 5+1 Stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 06-13-17

When can I get the next one?

What did you like most about Cast Under an Alien Sun?

Loved the premise and the characters. Well written story and strong delivery.

What did you like best about this story?

The technical aspects and the realistic characters

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Nope

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

When will the next one be available on Audible? Very frustrating that I can't continue - may have to revert to old fashioned Kindle or heaven forbid paper!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 05-31-17

Excellent Series - so good I read them first!

Cane across the series on kindle format and loved the premise so much, that I bought it. I am dyslexic and rarely read, thus a huge fan of audible. This is a fantasy plot, but reads like realism and is both very intelligent, detailed and at times witty. Really easy to get drawn in and hooked. This story is fantastic and I am so happy it came to Audible. Dear fellow fantasy audible lovers - I truly, truly cannot rate his series enough and the highly talented author. Haha, I am not paid or affiliated, me being a young British chap and the Author a Yank.

Definitely give it a go, I guarantee you will not waste a credit, but like me, will end up listening to it again and again.

Enjoy, I know you will!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-18-18

I prefer a character led story

I found the story contained to much of the author "telling" us facts rather than letting us discover them with the character, for me, it slowed the story down. I also thought "do I need to know all this background?" Tell me when I need to know it, if in fact I do need to know it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tommi Elonen
  • 04-22-18

Main character was the biggest problem

I can't really recommend. It was ok'ish, but not really. The writing was only meh, the book just dragged on and on and on...
One of the biggest problems was the main character. He lost all of my respect when he had a large hole dug in the middle of his village near their wells and filled that said hole with some pretty toxic stuff. He even wondered about if the stuff would have any harmful effects, but his solution was just to grin to himself and thank the gods that there was no chemistry pollution oversight agencies or such in his new home planet. Twice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mike Collins
  • 04-10-18

I gave up...

Any additional comments?

Tedious, unengaging, excessive exposition, silly fantasy names and the prospect of several volumes of this story...life's too short, and there are a lot of much better books to listen to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Heisenberg
  • 01-24-18

Interesting idea, but poorly written.

I tried with this, but have given up six hours in. I liked the basic idea behind the story, but found it poorly written (far too much exposition). Narration was fine.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sabine
  • 06-15-18

disappointingly boring

I was really excited after the first chapter, the story seemed to be promising and interesting. But it turned out that the main character is dull, the alien planet, including the habitants living on it and their customs, just like earth, including Abbeys, scholars and braised beef and that the most challenging thing for the main character to face is how to break up with a woman he just met a few weeks ago to have finally sex again after nine months of abstinence.
The really interesting idea of how a chemist would try to change this world with his knowledge and how this foreign society would react, is resolved in a very simple way: he doesn't face any challenges, not even the slightest criticism, people around him just accept his soap and paper and anasthetics and fertilizer factorys so that he is able to buy himself a comfy little cottage.
After reading the book I have the feeling that I don't know the main character at all, the book doesn't even tell how he coped with loosing his wife and unborn child, it's barely worth mentioning.
wouldn't buy it again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • mountpleasure
  • 01-16-18

Wow

Is Olam from another planet? This book seems so true its like your there. Straight into next one. Excellent

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 01-02-18

Can't wait to read the next one

really enjoyed this. great characters, great ideas, really entertaining. would recommend to any one. 😀

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rasmus
  • 12-31-17

Extremly well told and engaging story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

A great and novel science-fiction book that spins a unique and diffrent story

What other book might you compare Cast Under an Alien Sun to, and why?

Hard to compare as it's spin on the genre is different from any other I have read/listened to

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike Carroll
  • 04-20-18

Cringeworthy beginning but improved as it went along.

A protagonist called “Joe”. I mean cummon’!.. I was on the verge of returning the book because the beginning was so badly written, but I persevered and thank god, it improved. The idea at the book’s heart is really appealing and finally it connected with that story; one of finding yourself in the past, knowing what you know now, and how you’d deal with the issues and responsibilities that knowledge created. It’s surprising good yarn that travels quite well and raises a few thought provoking issues. I just wish the author could go back in time and read-write the first few chapters!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • A C Bennett
  • 07-12-18

Fantastic start

Great start to a tried and true formula. Mr Davis narrative was excellent and I look forward to the next audio in this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jlobb
  • 02-18-18

Fantastic Story

Highly recommend this book. Characters and the story draw you in. I'm already downloading book two!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-08-18

Good book, I will read the next one.

Overall the writting was excellent and the story interesting. The author did an outstanding job of describing a world and characters that made sense.

However, the performence was excessively emotional in places. The story a little too expansive and detailed in sections and some parts felt like they were put in during editing rather than part of the core story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • 11-10-17

Great idea

The main plot hook maintains the interest and I’m loving the series all the way so far.
There are many other ideas that perhaps I would have introduced in Joseph’s place but a couple he did I wouldn’t have thought of, in such is my enjoyment.
Looking forward to flight and naval additions

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-11-17

Great entertainment

Loved it-great story with somewhat flat but very clear narration. looking forward to more as story developes

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Manwell
  • 10-09-17

Good story

Good story with average narration. I enjoyed it enough to buy the second in the series!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Janice
  • 07-11-17

Fantastic

Good detail and development. A very interesting story. I want more of this story please!