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Publisher's Summary

Ten thousand years ago, a single alien super-ship survived a desperate battle. The vessel's dying crew set the AI on automatic to defend the smashed rubble of their planet. Legend has it the faithful ship continues to patrol the empty battlefield, obeying its last order throughout the lonely centuries.

In the here and now, Earth needs a miracle. Out of the Beyond invade the New Men, stronger, faster and smarter than the old. Their superior warships and advanced technology destroy every fleet sent to stop them. Their spies have infiltrated the government and traitors plague Earth's military.

Captain Maddox of Star Watch Intelligence wonders if the ancient legend could be true. Would such an old starship be able to face the technology of the New Men? On the run from killers, Maddox searches for a group of talented misfits. He seeks Keith Maker, a drunken ex-strikefighter ace, Doctor Dana Rich the clone thief stuck on a prison planet and Lieutenant Valerie Noonan, the only person to have faced the New Men in battle and survived to tell about it.

Maddox has to find a place hidden in the Beyond and bring back a ship no one can enter. If he fails, the New Men will replace the old. If he succeeds, humanity might just have a fighting chance...

©2014 Vaughn Heppner (P)2014 Vaughn Heppner

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,197
  • 4 Stars
    1,170
  • 3 Stars
    544
  • 2 Stars
    153
  • 1 Stars
    90

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,120
  • 4 Stars
    938
  • 3 Stars
    524
  • 2 Stars
    192
  • 1 Stars
    135

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,177
  • 4 Stars
    986
  • 3 Stars
    499
  • 2 Stars
    151
  • 1 Stars
    96
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

THE NEW MEN

SOUNDING CONFIDENT ABOUT A THING DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE
I don't want to sound like a copy cat of The southern STRIKER man on meds, but I too thought this good, but not great. It was 70% entertaining. The filler in the middle was boring.

I MUST SAY DOCTOR, YOUR AWFUL HARD TO LIKE
While I did not like the doctor on the prison planet they rescued. I did like the adventure on the prison planet.

THE WAITING IS GETTING TO HIM, JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.
This is a long set up for the gathering of a crew and the finding an ancient derelict from an unknown super race, in order to beat THE NEW MEN, who are far superior to us and who feel we are like ants. Heppner writes in a old time serious manner, so don't expect any laughs. His writing reminds me a little of pulp science fiction.

The narrator was a little slow and I put him on 1.25 for the last three hours.

48 of 51 people found this review helpful

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

Old school-style scifi with dreary narration

I'd love to say great things about this book, but all I can come up with is "meh". The simplistic, straight-line, single character focused writing is reminiscent of classic 50's-60's scifi, which was fine for Heinlein half a decade ago, but this is supposed to be a contemporary book. Heppner seemed to borrow too much from older scifi, and at times this novel reads more like Star Trek fan fiction than an original piece. While there's nothing wrong with fanfic, I was expecting something a little more unique in theme and modern in complexity.

As for the narrator, who was at best dull and at worst awkward, I am very happy to see that the next books in the series use a different one. The breathy voice he used for the female characters was laughable. The odd pronunciations (e.g.,"rum" for "room") and sometimes outright mispronunciations were distracting. The supposedly "Scottish" accent sounded more like a cartoon character than a serious one. There were also times when it was clear the narrator forgot who he was speaking for, and used the wrong voice or changed it midway through. All in all, it didn't work.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

I'm spoiled. Even imaginary universes have physical laws.

First: Too much explanation. The author telegraphed his main character's angst over his origins in chapter 1. Nothing left for him to do for the next hours, except action. Like the space battles, 2D.

Second: You can't change the laws of physics. You can create new laws, worm holes, FTL drives, whatever, but if you're communicating by radio, you're limited to light speed. If you're sitting 3 light years away from a planetary system, your sensor data is 3 YEARS OLD. Telling us that you see no sign of the enemy from that distance is bogus.

Third: The author wasted a perfectly good character, the alien AI. Granted, he'll probably be back in the sequel.

I won't.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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

I liked it enough to get the next in the series

TECHNICAL: Well done technically, with the exception of volume variance that made me turn up and down the volume to get a comfortable level. Otherwise, no music added, no audible mouth sounds, swallowing, digestive or breathing noises. The latter being important features for me.
PERFORMANCE: A good performance. Characters were easily distinguishable and consistent. Inflection, emotionality, accents all well done.
STORY/AUTHORCRAFT: I liked the story/plot. Lots of excitement with a good ebb and flow. Dialog could have been better. Didn’t like how he used awkward dialog to avoid a narrator that could have more pleasingly added the background information that he forced into the dialog. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

A Good Concept and Decent (But Not Great) Story

Let me say first that I disagree with the one-star ratings. Although this story wasn't amazing, I was still entertained and thought that it deserved the three stars I gave it.
I loved the overall concept of the story, I just didn't care for a lot of the "filler" leading up to the actual "lost starship" and thought that a few of the characters were a little unrealistic.

The summary given by audible is pretty good. The story focuses around a gifted intelligence officer who is given the mission of finding a potential new weapon to save the human race from a new and powerful enemy. The "new men" have recently attacked several planets and every ship and task force sent against them has been completely destroyed with no losses on the side of the enemy.

The main character must rely on the notes of a missing professor and the cooperation of his assistant to find an ancient, but powerful, alien starship in a system long ago destroyed by war. With the new men having infiltrated seemingly every branch of the government and military, the enemy is on their tale the entire book, and sometimes even a step ahead of them.

Much of the story that I didn't quite care for consisted of the main character having to rescue the missing professor's assistant from a supposedly escape-proof prison planet. Later, I found this character to be completely unrealistic and annoying as she takes every opportunity to sabotage the mission for seemingly no real reason...

The main character also believes that he may actually be a new man-human hybrid, explaining his considerable physical and mental abilities (abilities that seem to closely match those of the new men). This plays into the story quite a bit as well.

As I said, I did still enjoy this book and will purchase the next in the series if it is ever released on audible. It is worth the credit and the listen.

62 of 77 people found this review helpful

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

Fun story but how about some production QC!

The story was OK but not great. A major detractor from the immersion was the awful narration.

The narrator takes some getting used to but it seems like no preproduction was done during recording. There were multiple times that the narrator used the wrong voice and would try to transition from one voice to another over the course of a sentence. I don't know what techniques are used so that a narrator knows who is speaking a certain line but this could have been done much much better.

If you can get over this it is a fun jaunt.

21 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Hermitage, Tennessee, United States
  • 01-25-16

Disappointing

What would have made The Lost Starship better?

The story bogs down badly. It would have profited from better direction and better continuity.

What was most disappointing about Vaughn Heppner’s story?

The story started out in one direction but broke down into angst and internal dialogues combined with an insane AI.

Would you be willing to try another one of David Stifel’s performances?

Probably not.

Any additional comments?

Just weak. I wish I'd listened to it while I could still return it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

So horrible. Please don't purchase!

I couldn't wait to finish this book so I could write a bad review! I want to cry when I think about all the credits wasted on this book. Credits that could have been used on decent books.

The dialogue between the characters is literally the worst dialogue I have personally ever heard. It never gets to the point. I'm pretty sure this book was written by a 12 year old boy with ADHD. The characters are also impossible to like. They seem to have no redeeming qualities.

The narrator of this story is dreadful! Every female voice is some sort of caricature of a breathy Marilyn Monroe. The narrators attempt at a Scottish accent makes you cringe every time you here it.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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

So much promise, such a sorry delivery.

Where to begin? The idea of the story really aroused my interest. A long abandoned warship from a long dead race mixed with the threat of a new, hostile, implacable race of supermen. I was immediately caught and purchased the book regardless of the substantial amount of poor reviews. First off the narration was really poor with the delivery being on the same level with a computer generated artificial voice. And the character effects were awful with Kevin having an accent that seemed to combine a Glasgow/Liverpool thing that made me think of a hybrid Scotty from Startrek/Ringo Starr character. Aside from the delivery I found the writing itself to be juvenile, full of cliché and reminiscent of 50's pulp sci-fi. The science was high school level with little explanation. All this said, I listened to the entire piece to be fair and I can safely say I will not be buying the sequels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Bad narration & amateur writing ruin a good story

Would you try another book from Vaughn Heppner and/or David Stifel?

No, the writing is amateur. They redundantly use the same phrases redundantly (see what I did there) thought the book. And honestly, the characters are like something out of a Sarurday cartoon rather than a real person with depth. The deepest character (the doctor) is pretty one dimensional, and I almost vomitted when when she "took the oath"...

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It was just a teaser for the next book. And the very last part was quite literally the icing on the cheeseball cartoon writing cake

What didn’t you like about David Stifel’s performance?

Every female sounded like some kind of smoky bar pick up line. Seriously - "Capitan, the battle cruiser is almost in firing range" shouldn't sound like she's trying to seduce someone.And the guys, other than the line dude with an accent sounded like something from G.I. Joe - all rough and gruff... Except they're all the same action figure.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Meh-ness

Any additional comments?

The story, at its core wasn't bad. Sadly the science was no where to be found this science fiction, it was more "science magic". Disconnects like jump lag shutting down all systems, well except for the shields of course - and mostly because about halfway through the book we realized we needed those shields right after jump to get past another zainy obstical... Anyway.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stephen
  • Stephen
  • 03-07-15

nice story shame about the narrater

The story was fine, an old fashioned action movie with all the usual aspects you would expect. The narration however was at times truly appalling, especially the attempt at a Scottish accent. The character variously sounded Russian, Indian, Scouse, Brummie, Irish and a whole variety of others but never ever a Glaswegian. It was embarrassing and truly cringe worthy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert Wheatley
  • Robert Wheatley
  • 02-08-15

Annoyingly dull

First off, it's a really basic, linear story where not much happens. It's also very repetitive.

At one point, I logged back into to Audible to see when the book was written. I figured that perhaps it was in the 50s due to the lack of technical imagination. Turns out that it wasn't written in the 50s, and it just was a lack of imagination.

The most annoying thing is the "Batman '60s TV series" dialog that's rife throughout the story. Remember the endings to the old TV series where there'd be a barrage of questions? "Will, blar blar do whatever? Can so-and-so do x? Will batman make it out alive?" That kind of nonsense. Well, there's a lot of that in it, which gets very irritating, very quickly.


Finally, although the narrator did a reasonable job, one of the principle characters is Scottish, and his attempt at a Scottish accent is a joke. Either they should have found someone who could at least approximate a Scottish accent or the producer should have said don't both.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JohnMape
  • JohnMape
  • 07-10-16

Truly awful

This audiobook is the worst I have purchased, plot is thin for sci fi space opera, narration poor with the infamous Glaswegian accent.
Seems like it must be a spoof.
Failure on behalf of audible editorial team how on earth did it get in the catalogue?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tombo
  • Tombo
  • 06-30-16

No science in the fiction

Got about half way through this book before calling it quits
Weak story but could have got through it if the performance was better. This guy can't do a Scottish accent its cringeworthy like dick van dyke in Mary poppins

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dee Gee
  • Dee Gee
  • 02-24-16

Well, luv, it wasnae for me

OK, so I’ve got to address the elephant in the room. If you’ve read almost any of the other reviews you’ll have heard mention of The Accent. One of the characters is allegedly Scottish, although the way that the narrator tackles the accent you could actually believe he’s from anywhere in the world. Or perhaps everywhere all at once. It doesn’t just vary from sentence to sentence. I swear in one sentence he managed to hit four different accents. And it only had three words. Sorry, but it really is that poor. It’s positively distracting whenever that character is around, which unfortunately is for most of the book.

For those of a certain age who can remember this far back (or those who like classic movies) it’s essentially The Dirty Dozen in space. Well, maybe on a budget since it’s more like The Dirty Quintet, but that didn’t have the same ring to it. Essentially humanity has once again got itself in to trouble and is about to be wiped out (that’s about the 14th time this year already. Perhaps I should stop reading so much sci fi). New, stronger versions of humanity called the New Men are invading. We have a slightly weaker version of them in Captain Maddox (if the New Men are version 2, he's version 1 service pack 1) who must round up a group of belligerent people who really don’t want to be together and try to save the day by finding ancient technology. All whilst trying to figure out what accent the “Scottish” guy has slipped into now. Talk about a challenge.

I really wanted to like this book. In particular, the concept of an ancient ship left with only an AI to run it felt like it had great potential, but in practice that whole piece was just a massively missed opportunity. Even the New Men, though physically strong, were emotionally weak and ultimately served as little more than throw jibes at the protagonists.

So, it’s not a terrible book, but there’s nothing all that novel about it. The pacing is also somewhat patchy. There are big action pieces that are actually quite entertaining, but then the action slows to a crawl for too long and very little happens. There isn’t really enough mystery to hold your attention for long listening sessions, and the characters are all somewhat bland and interchangeable with obvious flaws that they have to overcome.

And oh my, that accent...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-11-15

A disappointing tale

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone with too much time on their hands. Perhaps someone in prison who deserves punishment.

What was most disappointing about Vaughn Heppner’s story?

The start, the premise, the middle and the end. The bits in between were disappointing as well.

How could the performance have been better?

There is nothing more painful than hearing an American actor fail badly at attempting a Glaswegian accent. It varied between South African, Australian and German.

It didn't help that the narrator had the tone and delivery of an accountant presenting a financial report.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Denial - surely this book can't be that bad despite the opening chapter
Bargaining - if I keep reading it will get better.
Anger - why did I pay for this book??
Depression - listening now out of sheer apathy and misery
Acceptance - the book is finally over and was disappointing. But now I know to avoid future works by this author.

Any additional comments?

This will be 13 hours of your life you won't get back. Unless you're in prison.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Akshay Davis
  • Akshay Davis
  • 08-10-16

worst book in a long time

The narrator is extremely painful to listen to. His attempt at a Scottish accent was atrocious. Beyond that the story is very weak and not worth the suffering.

Save your credit!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul Woodroffe
  • Paul Woodroffe
  • 07-29-16

Decent Story, Hilarious Narration

Would you listen to The Lost Starship again? Why?

I'm not sure if I'd listen to it again; but I did enjoy it. It has an interesting story, if a little obvious.

What didn’t you like about David Stifel’s performance?

Oh my God, the sole reason for my review.
This guy has clearly never been to Scotland; heard a Scottish accent or perhaps even knows where it is.
He is hilarious. The first 20 minutes of hearing his 'Scottish' accent has me roaring with laughter. It is truly bizarre..... I cannot believe that at some point someone didn't say to the guy - "hey, did you know that you really can't do Scottish?!"

Truly shocking. It's hilarious but it does grow weary.

Any additional comments?

I know they never will.... but it'd be a far better book if they redid the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Martin McDevitt
  • Martin McDevitt
  • 03-26-15

Disappointing

Avoid if you are from the UK. The Scottish accent is awful.

The story itself is mediocre, potential is there.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dunnyseven
  • Dunnyseven
  • 01-30-18

Classic old style space adventure. <br />

Enjoyed it. Great listen. Hope there is a sequel. Characters are colourful, entertaining and likeable.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jotham
  • Jotham
  • 03-23-16

Slow and unimaginative. Very disappointed.

Narrator tries very hard, but sadly the voices he tries are just so bad it's cringe worthy. Scottish people are lining up around the block just to punch him in the face. The story is so uninspiring and basic. As complex as an beginners adventure in any RPG. I was hoping it would get better as the story developed but every time the author had an opportunity to expand and be different the story reverted back to something like a budget movie.
there was so much potential here that was missed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mike
  • Mike
  • 09-03-16

Please listen good story

Any additional comments?

SIMPLY this is a great series.
perservire and the series pays off. Each book in the series of 4 get better and so does his writing. Just finished the last one and will listen again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for johnnie
  • johnnie
  • 07-31-16

I didn't think I would make it to the end

The Scottish accent was so appalling that I only just managed it. Apart from that the book is a clichéd yarn that invents science as a soap opera backdrop. Warm poo

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for john
  • john
  • 10-29-17

accent

the book is good and the narrator is good but a terrible scottish accent.he needs some work there.still i enjoyed it and am listening to book 2

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 06-27-17

Wonderful series

I'm not usually into sci-fi, prefer military books. Got into these as had run out of books and enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sourendra N Sinha
  • Sourendra N Sinha
  • 02-13-17

Best time "onboard" a spaceship

What did you like most about The Lost Starship?

Love the journeys that Audible takes me on and what better way than on a spaceship. The Lost Starship was an awesome story and glad I picked it up. Look forward to listening to the remaining 4 books in this volume.