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Publisher's Summary

The never-ending clandestine war between the Xen Empire and the Terillian Confederation continues and the Dark Zone is littered with the bodies of Guardsmen, Rangers, and those caught in between.

It is into this wasteland that a unit of the Humani Elite Guard set out on a recon mission to investigate a planet they suspect contains an illegal Terillian base. The mission quickly falls apart and Lieutenant Emily Martin is thrust into command when her base ship, Draxius, is destroyed and her commander is severely injured.

Stranded on an inhospitable planet with enemies all around them, Martin and her men find themselves outmatched and outgunned in a desperate gamble for survival. Lieutenant Emily Martin didn't become the only female officer ever in the Elite Guard because she thought it would be easy, but this mission could easily prove to be her last.

©2016 Christopher Brian Dorsey (P)2017 Christopher Brian Dorsey

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

Cold Planet

A very fun audiobook to listen to. Look forward to reading other books in the series. The story line and characters suck you into the story and keep you there until the end. Very entertaining

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Military Sci-Fi

Narration:

Kelley does a good job considering that this is her first foray into this genre. She compliments the protagonist's voice well, and does a good job with the supporting cast.

Story:

The book starts out with internal military politics and then it's pretty much action action action until the end, with a few stops for people to argue about the chain of command.

I felt like I was playing catch up the entire novel. This doesn't appear to be part of a series, so it was surprising not to have been given information as to who these people are, what they are doing on this planet, who they are fighting, and why. Yes we get names for all these things, but no sense of back story for anyone but the protagonist relative to her rank. Somewhere along the way I found myself asking "What's the point of these guys killing each other the whole book?" It reads as though the author has the answers, but they aren't passed on to the reader.

I think I'd have enjoyed the story more if the setting and stakes were spelled out from the beginning.

Other questions that came to mind: Why is this military so tolerant of the protagonist's insubordination? Why are they using swords so much? They're flying around in space ships, don't they have any better weapons than big knives?


If you know the world (I'm guessing maybe there are some other books in this world), this works well as a quick side adventure (6 hours is a bit short for sci-fi). There's a lot of action, and people who already know the characters and set up will enjoy it. If you don't know the world (presumably from other novels), you might be a bit confused.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Great sci-fi listen

Really enjoyed this book. The story has action from the start and a very strong female lead in the form of Emily. The narrator did an amazing job, different voices for each character and plenty of emotion. Highly recommend giving this one a listen and will be checking out other books in this series. I received a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

I loved It!

From start to finish, this book had me hooked. The militaristic background of the entire production was spot on. Meghan played Martin perfectly, and her other characters were easy to distinguish by her inflections. I wish it hadn't ended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • norman
  • burlington, nc, United States
  • 09-27-17

Action packed

This isn’t the most original novel ever written. However, it was full of action and the narrator perfect for the part.The pace never slows and you feel you are in the mind of the main character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Detailed and Picturesque

“Cold Planet: A Gateway Universe Story” is a complex book bridging science fiction, space marines, and the struggles of an elite female officer forced to make life and death decisions directly affecting the survival of not only herself but her crew and race as well. The book’s author is Brian Dorsey and the audiobook’s narration is performed by Meghan Kelly. The book is between a novel and novella coming in at 263 pages or six hours of audio, yet it does contain a fair amount of action and adventure. I’m a fan of science fiction and also like a good struggle to survive story, but for me, I felt the planet was a bit too cold and sterile for my taste. This is not saying that I disliked the book as it had potential, but the execution was not what I had expected or hoped for based on the publisher’s summary.

The author created an interesting and believable story framework, but it lacked much of what differentiates a simple story from an amazing adventure. Throughout much of the book, I did not feel that I was a part of the world as much as I was an outsider looking inward. From the author’s background bio, I was expecting bigger battles, yet this story mainly revolved around the inner struggles of the main character; which is not a bad thing. As I listened, I wanted more of Emily as the book progressed. She had to deal with very emotional experiences and I found myself drawn to her. However, most of the other characters in the book felt flat and one dimensional. When I was presented with some backstory details on the other characters, it seemed forced or to come just in the nick of time to resolve a situation the characters faced. I would have like to have seen this information trickle in overtime and have that “ah” moment when I thought back to first learning of it. Presenting such information to the listener over time would have been more impactful in the long run. I wanted to know more of their struggles and backstories than the author provided. As short as the book was, I felt had there been a bit more work, the book could have been bigger, grander, and epic in so many ways.

Not only were the book’s characters lacking in development, the depth and complexity of writing were thin at times. I felt that the writing style felt younger adult (YA) than it should have. This may be the author finding his style, or the book may be intended for a younger audience which I would question due to some of the included subject matter. I will say that I was rather impressed with the way the author developed the planet where much of the action takes place. The world felt unforgiving, unrelenting, and uninhabitable. All of these worldly aspects make for quite a challenge because the book could go in so many different directions and it helped to build a sense of dread over the characters. The expected and regular times the planet faced the vast temperature swings were points of high anxiety not only for the characters but for the listener as well. I quite enjoyed the technology, medicine, environments, and futuristic feel. The war dog was one of my favorite characters as it was loyal and faithful as a real service dog would have been.

Let me turn my attention to the book’s narration performed by Megan Kelly. She is no newcomer to the narration scene with over 160 titles currently on Audible at the time of this review. It appears most of her work has been in the romance genre, but I felt she did an exceptional job narrating this book. Her inflection and ability to voice the many different characters found in this book show a level of professionalism and maturity in her voice. I did not notice any issues with the audio volume nor do I recall any artifacts such as swallows or page turns while listening. I will be watching for future books narrated by her.

For parents and younger readers, be aware that this book contains a fair amount of vulgar, crude, and sexual context that at times would even make a true marine blush. The language was unnecessary and for me, it did not make the characters seem tougher or more military, it was quite the opposite. I understand the camaraderie of people in battle, yet the language along with the various pokes and jabs at one another seemed less mature than I would have expected from people in this situation. If any of this concerns you, I would recommend you find a different book to listen too.

In summary, I will say the book was good, but it could have been exceptional with a few modifications. The author did a good job of summarizing the book’s events near the end of the story helping listeners to be on the same page before the final events take place. I like that the story was self-contained and not part of a series requiring one to constantly pay for the next in the series. The narration and book’s environments were detailed and picturesque, however I wanted more from the characters and why they were the people they were and the reasons for fighting as they did for their race.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

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

Military scince-fiction with a strong main female

The Xen Empire and the Terillian Confederation have been at war for ages. Emily Martin, from the Xen Empire, gets stranded in a cold planet where it is suspected that there is an illegal Terillian base. Things will go belly up very soon, and Emily will have to demonstrante her worth in a men’s world.

This story starts quite slowly but as soon as it picks up speed, there is a lot of action. Something I find with military science-fiction is that we are up against many characters but few of them are fully portrayed. This makes it a bit hard for me to get into the story. Once they land on the planet things start moving faster and we have fewer characters but more recognizable.

Emily is a strong woman with many things to demonstrate, and her colleagues don’t make it easy for her. I really enjoyed the story but would have skipped the romantic part.

Meghan Kelly did a really good job with her narration and the different voices for all the characters. I just did not feel very comfortable for the voice used for the narration and Emily, but it is just a personal preference.

I would recommend this book to anyone into military science-fiction.

I received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

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

Military sci-fi with a strong female lead

Cold Planet: A Gateway Universe Story brings a strong female officer to the military sci-fi genre and lets her kick some serious ass. Lt. Emily Martin has a mountainous chip on her shoulder, but we get to watch her try to learn and grow into a respectable commander as this "how the heck are they going to survive this?" story unfolds. Her ship is destroyed, her unit is dwindling, and the aliens are hiding around every corner. It's an adventure that may not be entirely realistic, but it's exciting to read.

My only wish is that more editing had been done before the audiobook was produced. Glaring grammatical errors like "while her and Sharra went..." were unnecessarily distracting. As well, there were some odd mispronunciations in the audio -- frigate, chassis, intestine -- for common words, but these were infrequent and not off-putting. Overall the audio version was solid and enjoyable.

I received a copy of this book from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

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

Action packed story

An interesting Sci-fi story set on a unique world with a very unusual climate. It is a fast action, thrilling story with a great female protagonist. Emily Martin is a strong, kick ass military warrior with a bit of a chip on her shoulder. She and her unit of Guardsmen find themselves fighting for survival when the mission comes under attack and they are stranded on a harsh planet. Determined to not die in vain, Emily and her remaining Guardsmen try to find out, and stop, what the Terillian Confederation are doing on that planet. This is a well written story with some great battle scenes and excellent character interactions. The narrator did a great job of creating different voices for each character and infusing the story with tension and emotion. Even though this book is part of the Gateway Universe, it can easily read as a stand-alone. It’s an enjoyable story that well worth listening to.

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

Slow to start but engaging story

The first few chapters were a little slow to get through, but the story picked up speed and was overall engaging. The ending seemed a little abrupt, but as it’s part of a series the desire to jump to the next story would satisfy many readers.