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Publisher's Summary

March 15th, Earth Year 2290

The day the aliens returned.

The memories are still fresh.
Of colonies burning.
Of millions dying in agony.

Fifty years later, we’ve built up our strength.
Using a wormhole, we colonized both sides of the galaxy.

It was the worst mistake we could have made.
Our enemy has returned and the wormhole has collapsed.

Commander Thatcher finds himself on the wrong side of the divide.
Separated from his pregnant wife by countless light years.

He’s just been given command of a light armored cruiser.

His first command.

If he ever wants to see his wife again, he’ll need to do the impossible.
To defeat this enemy, he will need to reinvent space warfare.

So that’s just what he’s going to do.

Spacers contains First Command through to the end of Free Space.

©2019 Scott Bartlett (P)2019 Scott Bartlett

What listeners say about Spacers

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Recognizable, yet Unique Sci-Fi Tale

Spacers has all the plot elements one would recognize from traditional sci-fi: An unbeatable space commander, an alien threat, and a young space crew with much to prove. Yet, author Scott Bartlett shows that he can take these traditional elements and take them in a direction uniquely his own. I would recommend Spacers to anyone, but especially to fans of sci-fi who are looking for something "new." This series is exciting and gripping, moving at a pace that feels natural and deliberate.

Without revealing any spoilers, I'll go into the plot a little for those readers who are still on the fence. In Spacers, planetary defense of fringe planets is contracted out to corporations, who compete against each other for government contracts. Commander Thatcher, our main character, retires from military service and joins one of these corporations, bringing with him his extensive military experience and acumen. When the wormhole connecting the fringe planets with the core planets collapses unexpectedly, Commander Thatcher finds himself in the middle of a corporation war that has broken out in response to the central government's inability to regulate the outer system following the wormhole collapse. Add to this a re-emerging alien threat and you've got yourself an epic tale.

Finally, where Bartlett really shines is in his appreciation for innovative war-fighting tactics. His characters are continually having to come up with new ways to defeat adversaries who are just as seasoned and have just as great of a desire to win. As the audiobook played, it was fun to ask myself again and again how his characters would fight what seemed like insurmountable odds. The war-fighting tactics employed by Bartlett remind me of those used in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, a space opera anime from the 1980's. The attention to war tactics in Spacers makes this series truly delightful.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

If writing formulaic genre, dont trash Ulysses

Up front: Solid book series with a few good moments, and lots of standard-for-genre 'Stubborn Captain; knows better than everyone; miracles his way from one fiasco to the next by skin of teeth and pure determination'. In all, a 'bag of popcorn' read. Not filling, marginally tasty -- but it passes the time. If you are a huge fan of the hundreds of similar books, you'll enjoy this one.

--

I don't want to appear overly hard or critical of the series -- it really does have its good moments and Mark Boyett (as always) does a good job w/the narration.

I admit that a large part of my frustration for this book, and others like it, may have to do with my two decades+ experience in the military. Based on my experience, I cannot emphasize enough how hard it is to read about tacticians who, purely through tactical acumen, are able to save the universe. Most branches have something akin to "Weapons School" where top 25% O-3s (6-10 year Officers) are sent to sharpen their tactical skills in a simulated environment. Ironically, the majority of us 'fast-burners' rarely go on to see actual combat, or if deployed to a combat zone, spend most of our time in a CAOC or other planning cell. While tactical skills are great in any one specific engagement, if you cannot grow beyond a tactical mindset, you aren't cut out to be an Field Grade Officer (FGO) much less a Fleet or G.O. (though too many promote incapable of that grown).

Operational Art and Strategy are more important to winning campaigns. Many battles have been won by powers that lost a war, that had they not been fought (strategy), would have changed the outcome of the war. History is replete with examples. like Thermopylae, or America's Civil and Revolutionary Wars.

Other than focusing salvation on clever tactics (which really aren't that clever) -- my harshest critique is offered against his Protagonist's development. I don't know Scott Bartlett's work history, or if he has ever served, so I mean him no offense when I state my belief that he has either never served in the military, or only did so for a short period of time. I've unfortunately encountered a few "TOXIC" commanding officers in the military, and his description and development of his protagonist fit the description of toxic-leadership nearly perfectly. Embedded narcissism, inflexibility (unless a beautiful woman who strokes his ego is involved), unwillingness to trust subordinates (somewhat addressed near the end of book 2), etc... would have resulted in complete disfunction of his command within days/weeks... and long-held distrust that would have rippled through the institution he served for years. This is something real-world military leaders struggle with constantly and is an evolving-growing process for even the best 'natural leaders' of high-stress teams. The character's goals may have been laudable, his execution was sophomoric at best.

I found myself tainted against the commander from the outset (command and career advancement was more important than finding an assignment at home w/pregnant wife), then repeatedly disliked him more as his character developed, based on his ineptitude at command.

In all, while it didn't ruin the book for me, celebrating repeat failed leadership as 'miraculously-capable' struck a little too close to home -- def't couldn't recommend this to any fellow military. To anyone else who enjoys fantasy in a sci-fi skin, sure -- might be worth a credit.

12 people found this helpful

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Corp power games against fearsome alien threat

I liked the world building in Spacers (a two part introduction to the Dawn Cluster). Pirates, corporate CEOs that rule planet sized corporations with alliances and intrigue and an interesting alien protagonist on the sideline.

The characters are well fleshed out and sometimes flawed but well presented in situations that are exciting and well paced.

The narration by Mark Boyett is fantastic and Scott has wisely used this talent to bring his new universe to light.

Very entertaining and will look forward to book 2!

9 people found this helpful

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My First Scott Bartlett Book Was Amazing

Great space opera with thrilling battles set on a grand stage and high stakes. Thrawn meets Collapsing Empire with all the action and cunning of a Captain's struggle against the odds with the drama and chaos of political upheaval. Excellent characters caught up in a well executed story line with no shortage of adversaries and daunting obsticles. Performed very well by Mark Boyett, who makes it easy to listen to, follow, and has no low points in his delivery. Onto the next series for Scott.

8 people found this helpful

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Great Sci-fi

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

TLDR; Space battles, aliens, and survival. If you enjoy space-battle sci-fi you'll enjoy this.

Quick summary (minor spoilers): You, generally, follow the Captin and crew of a space ship trying to stabilize a section of space after it is cut-off from the rest of the human empire.

This was a fun listen, a good cast of characters, and Mark Boyett is a great narrator. If you enjoy space based Sci-Fi (Space battles, aliens, etc) this is an easy recommendation,

5 people found this helpful

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EVE Online but with aliens

I am a recovering EVE Online player and this felt very much like a story written in that universe except with aliens. A lot of fun and a good balance of action and world-building. I look forward to future books.

8 people found this helpful

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Interesting story!

Like most military sci-fi books it has a familiar feel. At first it can seem almost sterile. However you do get drawn in, and become close to the characters. You start to care about them, and their survival. The story is an interesting one, and it does pull you in. The performer in this case is top notch, Mark Boyett is always top notch. I really do hope that this story continue on. I want to find out what happens next!

6 people found this helpful

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Bored me to tears.

if I could rate this lower I would. this was the most boring book I have ever suffered through.

2 people found this helpful

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Overall story is good

but the main character is a wreck. basically perfect in everything to the point he is just a total jerk. Personally made him really unrelatable.

4 people found this helpful

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Cardboard Characters and Military Stereotypes

I wanted to feel some kind of growth from the characters, but over two books it just wasn't coming. Instead, I got lots of "my training saw me through," "I had to do it perfectly or loose the respect of my men," and "leaders must lead from the front." And I mean lots of those same lines, repeated over and over.

Uh yeah, and the line "Americans have never enslaved Americans," in the first book almost made me stop right there. Because, duh. Then he called the aliens "The yellow hoard" in book two. And he made the Chinese murderers and the Japanese untrustworthy. This is possibly just sloppy writing, but I'm on the fence. I didn't like it in either case.

the narrator did a great job.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark Say
  • 09-12-19

Really enjoyed this, can't wait to listen to more

First of all I received a review copy of this book.

Space opera isn't really my bag, I like space and sci-fi but have never read a space opera before and I didn't know really what to expect other than the brief synopsis.

What I got was a really enjoyable listen, it's just over 12 hours long and is made up of the first two books in the Spacers series. 12 hours was not long enough, I flew through the books and was on edge as I listened.

The books follow the career of Tad Thatcher from his days in the military end of space corps to his transfer to the private space corps and his rise within.

Scott Bartlett did a fantastic job of dramatising things that are happening in basically a single room, a spaceships flight deck. I imagined the Star Trek bridge when Bartlett mentions the CIC in his book and I think it's probably not far off the mark. He does a great job of explaining battles and breaking them down so that even whilst driving I can visualise what's going on. Plenty of other things happen of course and it's not all set on a single space ship but using that as an example.

Scott has created a few core characters that he builds up and they are all described to a point that I can see them in my mind's eye and the narrator Mark Boyett does a nice job with different voices and accents for the characters to re-enforce them.

I ended up really caring about the characters and so when there was any peril I was genuinely on edge about what would happen, this is when I know that a book is good when I care about what will happen next. I'm also a sucker for a heroes journey so seeing a few heroes emerge in this book was great.

I'm now invested in this series and can't wait to find out what is going to happen next.

My one and only criticism is the way the book ends, it's not quite a cliff hanger but it ends not unlike many of the other chapters do. Left me wanting more though. Hope the rest of the series is just as good

2 people found this helpful

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  • david
  • 10-04-19

nice

I did enjoy this book but it did feel very samey. worth the read but won't be getting any more

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-02-21

Another entertaining listen

This is the first two books of spacers and very enjoyable similer the author other books. Space drama, war and decent story you can't go wrong with this

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  • Norma Miles
  • 03-07-21

"You will be in command now, Thatcher."

Fifty years before, Tad Thatcher's grandfather had fought aliens who tried to invade the Earth. The Earth won, but barely. His tales to his grandson had encouraged Thatcher to join the military and he'd always dreamed of captaining his own ship. Now, his term of service months from completion, and with his wife expecting their first child, Thatcher was unexpectedly offered his dream - a ship of his own to command, The New Jersey, whose original commander had suffered an heart attack when encountering that same alien entity whilst chasing pirates in the Unity System. The ship was owned by a private corporation, but, with news of the return of the Xanthic and war imminent, how could he refuse?

The story follows Thatcher's command, it's problems and battles following his taking the position of a the previous, easy going captain as well as encounters with enemy vessels and coming to terms with the politics of a civilian corporation. Plus, if he wants to see how wife again, he needs to find a way home. The plot is interesting with visual world building in places but character development is mostly slim, although enough to give substance to the numerous protagonists. Plenty of action which is not overburdened with technical details: a good balance. Narration is by Mark Boyett, whose calmly confident voice carries the story well, and all are given individually distinctive voices. A fine performance. Just one irritation for this British reader: the words, which appear frequently, 'corp' or 'corps' are pronounced with the letter 'p' audible (as in corpse) rather than it being silent. Always distracting to my English ear. But perhaps it's an American thing like our different pronunciations of 'lieutenant '.

An enjoyable space adventure with more to come.

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  • joe
  • 10-12-20

Unity 151 sci fi booktube

Very very good. Really enjoyed it and liked the way the aliens was.

Lots of action

Very different take with lots of stuff being run by corporations and defend by them.

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  • Placid
  • 09-25-19

Engrossing

This book describes the adventures of a spacer who is recruited to go to a distant galaxy to help bring order to a ship whose captain had passed away. It follows his adventures and rise as the entire area is turned upside down. This book is non stop adventure with many space battles as well as much intrigue. It never fails to satisfy.

This is a wonderful start to a series if the author desires.

The narrator is also outstanding.

This book is a two part book.

This book was provided free of charge in expectation of an honest review.

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  • Jonathan
  • 09-01-19

Solid with its own unique twist

I recieved a review copy of this book. Its solid and packed with action. The universe provides a believable mix of corporations, 'pirates', national fleets, an aggressive alien race, and a secretive international fleet. This mix keeps things interesting as each faction has jealously guarded their own technological advances from all others. There is a unexpected twist at the end that adds to the unique feel of the book and will leave me waiting for the next one.