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Publisher's Summary

Under the supertech Coalition government, Fortune's colonists are enslaved to harvest the highly valuable brain-enhancing drug Yolk, often losing their sanity and lives in the process. The population is dying off, and the planet is becoming a police state whose only purpose is to harvest Yolk. But a revolution is in the air, fueled by an unlikely band of rebels: Anna Landborn, a brilliant, sociopathic child; her quiet, lethally gifted sister, Magali; Runaway Joel, a virtuous military pilot turned tormented smuggler; Milar Whitecliff, a tattooed, chess-playing fugitive full of hatred and heart; Doberman, a simple robot in the throes of a startling transformation; and Tatiana Eyre, a captured Coalition soldier torn between loyalty and love. As their paths and fates collide, the battle to spark a full-scale uprising is violently challenged by the Nephyrs, the government's elite army of sadistic, near-indestructible cyborgs. But the prophecies of a mad soothsayer have foretold the coming of a hero destined to turn the tide - and the fight for freedom is just beginning. Revised edition: Previously published as Outer Bounds: Fortune's Rising, this edition of Fortune's Rising includes editorial revisions.

©2014 Sara King (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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  • Joki
  • Helsinki
  • 07-27-15

Too Much

I've read a couple of Sara King's books now and what readers can expect is: a LOT of pages, violence, heavy torture, everyman characters who have heart but not brains, oppressive regimes, silly romance, and fluid storytelling. With Fortune's Rising, King takes all of those themes and tips them completely over the top; it translates into a lot of stupid people in soppy romances with egregious torture porn throughout - at a whopping 600 pages. Admittedly, by about 90% listening to the Audible version, I had had enough and felt dirty and disgusted with the whole thing. 10 showers later and I still can't wipe the filth off from this book - it managed to hit nearly every trigger. It's far more enticing to Saw/Hostel horror fans than science fiction aficionados.

Story: Fortune is a planet with a treasure: alien creatures with psychic abilities whose eggs can be harvested to create a powerful drug. But harvesting is dangerous and if the harvesters (called eggers) aren't killed in the process, they eventually go mad from proximity to the yolk. Nephyrs (cyborgs) control the eggers and reap the profits of the yolk. Among the inhabitants of Fortune: twin rebel brothers Milar (who escaped becoming a Nephyr and bears the scars from the process) and Patrick, nephyr operator Tatiana who crash lands on the planet and is found by the brothers, egger sisters Magali (who harbors a terrifying secret) and preternaturally gifted but highly sociopathic Anna, a former smuggler and now prisoner/egger Runaway Joel, and an AI robot who becomes fully sentient, Doberman. Their paths will intertwine as a prophecy comes to fruition.

Our lovable but oh-so-flawed characters will do things to each other that far outweighs anything the bad guys can do. If someone is called a sociopath in a Sara King novel, they are truly going to do very terrible things with aplomb. The twist here is that our sociopath is 9 years old. The ugliness adds up fast.

With Forging Zero, King's previous work, we had a hero that was tortured but very likeable even with his flaws. No such character exists in Fortune's Rising - everyone is really stupid (and I mean really really dumb), so they can make huge mistakes that get them tortured in some way or other (unnecessary surgeries, heavy beatings, rapes, forced to kill children, etc.). Further compromising any chance of liking them, we get a LOT of soppy romances that in effect take strong women, turn them into marshmallows, all for the love of falsely swaggering man-childs. Add in one character who could actually kick butt but refuses to throughout the book (she wants to be a mother, not a killer!) so a lot of people die horribly and continually around her - and you get a frustrating story with a lot of frustrating characters.

I have always suspected there was a mirror universe in sci fi to contrast intricate and nuanced works like CJ Cherry's Alliance-Union books or Tanya Huff's confederation worlds. Sara King found that bottom feeding area, definitely. Easy writing, chirpy if bland/dumb characters, and torture replacing space action as the theme. There's not a lot of depth to the characters or the worldbuilding even though there is an intricate plot. It's pretty much torture, flirt, torture, flirt, action, torture, flirt.

I think the big problem with Fortune's Rising is that it is just too much - too many words, too many characters, too much torture, too much stupidity, too much romance. There's a really good story in there - that interweaves and then comes together in the end. King knows how to write a good story. I only wish she had more restraint to make a tighter and more focused group of characters and plot. With Fortune's Rising, I made it to 95%, which is a lot of time invested in this large book (600 pages), and still I couldn't finish it. I hated all the characters and the relentless torture scenes of every.single.character far passed my tolerance threshold. It was just too much, to the point of being intolerable and flagrant.

I listened to the Audible version and the author did a good job of creating unique sounding characters but I found that I hated them even more as a result: Tatiana sounds like a vapid and stupid valley girl, Joel like an idiot who thinks he is God's gift to women, 9 year old Anna very childish and frivolous, and Magali even more useless than portrayed in the book.

133 of 145 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • Apopka, Florida, United States
  • 06-24-15

Painful, and Not Worth the Read

Would you try another book from Sara King and/or Allyson Johnson?

No, I won't read another book from Sara King; Yes, I will listen to Allyson Johnson again, because she was the only good element I received from this read.

What could Sara King have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Should have fallen under horror instead of sci-fi. This book needs to depend less on the "B-book" crass sexual overtones; contain less torture scenes and psycho heroes (anti-heroes); and the scene description were non-descript. There was not one character in this book with whom I could identify and like in the least. It was painful to listen to, and I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never did. Awful!

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

As I said earlier, Allyson Johnson was the only bright spot in this book, and she did the best she could with a poorly written novel.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

NO, I would definitely pass on seeing this movie.

Any additional comments?

Don't read it.

64 of 74 people found this review helpful

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A bit adolescent, but fun. Ignore the science

This is a hard one to review. It was fun, but creepy. There were a lot of fun SF concepts in here, between battle armor, and the usual trope about the mining company abusing workers. The relationships in the book strike me as the stuff of 15 or 16 year-olds more than as adults. There is a sort of constant threat from any number of directions that puts the characters in danger of sexual abuse either from their oppressors or each other, but again it's all in the sort of imaginary teenage fantasy way that ends up reflecting innocence more than deviance. I can't decide if I'd read another in series or not.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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STRAWBERRY SODA

MISS, IT WOULD BE BETTER IF YOU JUST KEPT YOUR MOUTH SHUT.
I had seen this book before, but at full price I did not want to risk it. Then it became a daily deal. As a lover of horror, the bad reviews actually encouraged me. I could only listen for four hours. While the tech seemed good and interesting, the silly characters made it unreadable. I love my wife more than anything in the world, but when I ask how her day was, her answer usually takes hours. I can't tell her to shorten it up, cause I enjoy sleeping with her, but I don't have to listen to these characters constantly jabber about every small thing that happens to them. There was absolutely nothing terrifying in the first four hours, except maybe only having strawberry soda as an option for something to drink.

SQUID
Jonathan Maberry and Richard Kadry can really whip up some great sarcastic remarks, but coming out of Sara King's characters, they sound silly. Like humor, there is a certain rhythm to writing good sarcasm, and King, does not have it.

YEA, WHATEVER
The narrator was good

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Crazy and compelling

You know, peeps, that I'm a fan of Sara King. Her sci-fi and urban fantasy are craaazy good! This book is no exception, even if she just a couple of degrees gentler with the reader than R.Lee Smith.


This book is character driven more than plot driven, the characters are sooo larger than life you end up following your favorites with morbid fascination, and it's the characters you want to talk about rather than the plot itself.


I have to say Magali is my favorite. She is a natural born sharp shooter, a warrior and is famous in her hometown under the nickname Killer. And yet, despite her extraordinary abilities, Magali hates violence. She wants to do anything possible to avoid it, but the circumstances are such that she becomes the driving force for the uprising. A reluctant heroine, an idealist, she makes the reader pity her and will her to become more ruthless and practical, which she does by the end of this book

Anna is a repugnant little sh*t. She is not only a sociopath, she is a psychopath who takes pleasure in other people's suffering. Unfortunately she is Magali's little sister, a Yolk baby genius who leaves Magali in a world of trouble without a backward glance, and she keeps ruining lives of everyone she touches. I honestly wanted her dead.


Milar and Tatyana were fun, and had classic for Sara King snarky antagonism which slowly turned into attraction and love. Joel was marginally more interesting because he showed more depth and his character stayed ambiguous throughout. I'd be really curious to see how he behaves later in the series.


At last, Dobby was one of the very few absolutely positive personalities. A cyborg whose conscience was awaken, he was the only one who could keep Anna in check trying to minimize the damage she was doing. He is another character I'd enjoy reading about in the next book.


The narrator was excellent, and the book flowed really well. Overall, Fortune's Rising is a compelling story, fast-paced, dramatic and gruesome. Recommended to any fan of the genre.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Sara King has a return reader

The world of Fortune is surreal. Nearly every character wants to kill or fuck one another. It is extremely entertaining. The plot resides somewhere between post-apocalyptic and deep space adventure. It really finds a neat and enjoyable middle ground. I will be digging into the folly right away!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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an awesome sci-fi book.

this book had me on edge waiting for a dozen very next action scene each action scene was awesome and full of thrill the only drawback I found out of this entire book was how the scenes kind of jump from one to another but it kept you on the edge of your seat

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rocky
  • Kaaawa, Hawaii
  • 06-22-16

Fantastic

This was an excellent adaptation of the book. I loved the narrator's shift between voices. her portrayal of Anna and the AI, Doberman was perfect. I highly recommend this audible edition of Fortune's Rising.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

I really enjoy Sara King's stories. Her characters are witty, complex, layered, and entertaining. The story lines are unexpected. The worlds she creates are Richard vibrant. The reader for this book was phenomenal. She had just the right mix of humor, pathos, pacing, and energy without falling into an annoying cadence.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Wilson
  • Franklin, PA United States
  • 07-26-15

Just too anoying in it's repetitiveness

The concept is great, with a number of different arcs. The problem is that these arcs are almost identical in execution if not in story. The author goes for emotional pull at every turn, but all I feel is anoyance at having to listen to the bad logic and forced drama over and over.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Mitchell
  • 02-06-17

addictive from the start

read with skill, this book had me hooked from the sample, shocking considering I've never read this author nor heard this performer before. Sara King has written strong lead characters, a lot of them female, and Allyson Johnson has managed to make sound strong. Audible should stick to readers like her where the main protagonists are female as so many male readers make them sound whiny and petulant regardless of how heroic they are. So, if you want a gripping listen, go for this one, you will find yourself looking for excuses to shut out the world and find out what happens next! As for me? I bought the 2nd book a minute after I finished the first one!

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  • M
  • 07-30-15

So Good! Not Perfect.

Not quite as good as Forging Zero but still a fantastic listen.

A fully realized world but the story is focused on only a few locations. This leaves plenty of time for character development and there are some great characters here. With motivations that range from noble to evil and everything in-between.

The one bad point is the character Tatiana Eyre. She's quite possibly one of the most annoying characters in any book I've ever read. Reminded me of all parts of Katniss (hunger games) I disliked.

Aside from that, it's a 10 out of 10.

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  • Kristin
  • 06-02-17

Busy and quick paced

I really enjoyed this; each character was flawed and interesting and thrown together in a messy sprawl that suited the plot. The planet feels alien, and yet the society built on It feels very human. It also does not shy away from the horrors of colonialism, nor what it means to endure it.

At some points I felt impatient with characters, but that felt to be a result of how these narratives normally play out in media.