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Publisher's Summary

Priscilla Hutchins has been through many experiences.This is the story of her first unforgettable adventure.…

Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins has finally realized her lifelong dream: She’s completed a nerve-bending qualification flight for a pilot’s license.

Her timing is far from optimal, however. Faster-than-light travel has only recently become a reality, and the World Space Authority is still learning how to manage long-range missions safely. To make matters worse, efforts to prepare two planets for colonization are killing off native life-forms, outraging people on Earth.So there’s not a lot of demand for space pilots.

Priscilla thinks her career may be over before it has begun. But her ambition won’t be denied, and soon she is on the bridge of an interstellar ship, working for the corporation that is responsible for the terraforming.

Her working conditions include bomb threats, sabotage, clashes with her employers - and a mission to a world, adrift between the stars, that harbors a life-form unlike anything humanity has ever seen. Ultimately, she will be part of a life-and-death struggle that will test both her capabilities and her character....

©2013 Cryptic, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Starhawk

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

How many times are we going to do this?

The number of times McDevitt novels would have ended in 12 pages with no drama if the pilots of these large spacecraft had brought along a few cubic meters of compressed oxygen and a second lander is starting to become laughable. As is the few months it takes for every woman (who you can bet is extremely attractive and described in needless detail) to fall in love with a boring and unpleasantly pushy male character. This is genre writing at it's most formulaic.

2 people found this 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

lacking attention to detail

I've enjoyed McDevitt's work in the past. This book, however, just frustrated me. It was disjointed, and the world building was not well thought out. For instance, do you imagine that almost 200 years from now we would still be using the phrase "global warming'? The author agrees that it is of great concern but in 200 years the consequences of such would have a huge impact. Yet in this story it is only mentioned in passing...again, it's an idea/concept that isn't well thought out. Also, in 200 years, Hollywood is still the movie-making center of the world...

If you took the world as we know it now and added FTL flight, a space station as hub for people traveling to and from earth, and people concerned with terraforming you would have this novel. Colloquialisms, political issues, society - nothing seems to have changed in almost 200 years. The space station is a glorified airport being threatened by terrorists.

Early in the book there is about 15 minutes dedicated to an encounter with another species...and then nothing. Perhaps it's setting up for the next book but I found it a red herring, lacking in excitement, no problems with communication at all.

It took me several days to get through this book - I simply wasn't interested in listening to it. This from a person who often listens to books 8-10 hours a day while driving, cleaning, etc.

Not recommended.

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great spin off

I have loved the main series for years. It's good to see a spin off. The only thing keeping it from being a great story is parts that were brought in that seemed major and weren't ever talked about again.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not The Hutch I Know...An Origin Story

I picked this up after reading most of Hutch's stories. While I appreciate that the author went back to explain the beginnings of our beloved hero, it was not that exciting for me. Had I started with this book, I would not have continued reading more about her.

Naive and fresh from flight school, Priscilla Hutchins soon discovers that interstellar travel has unexpected consequences to people, the environment and the politics of Earth. In sticking to her convictions and sincere desire to protect people, she finds herself entangled in a web of political plays by upcoming Politicians and activist groups.

Priscilla is awkward, headstrong and trying to stick to what she knows; the world around her won't let her. My issue is that I didn't want to see her like this. The action sequences seemed contrived, her reactions too cliche. I soldiered through because I wanted to find out where the story left off. I was glad to learn the origins of her nickname, but beyond that I was not excited by the plot.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

hmmm

Not sure if it was a waste of credit, but definitely this book is at the bottom of the list of all McDevit books that I have. Too many boring parts. Important story lines were left dangling in the end. Rationale for character action in tragic circumstances are so not convincing that it seemed just sheer laziness on the author's part.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

SRR

Loved the book and narrator. The story is great.
I love. many of Jack McDevitt's books.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Extremely weak writing; discommended.

While not the worst Audible title I've ever listened to, this book is in the running.

Neither of the two protagonist characters is well realized, At no point did I really care about anything any of them experienced. Their personal relationships were mentioned, using a lot of words, none of which interested me in the least. The internal lives of the characters were two-dimensional and unconvincing. And the character arcs, such as they were, did not constitute anything compelling.

The supporting characters were barely sketches, both the characters intended to be sympathetic and those otherwise. At no point did I think that any of them had anything approaching believability.

There are handwaves at "social consciousness", which don't work either as satire or advocacy. It doesn't much matter which side of any important issue you're on, because you will find nothing to agree with or disagree with.

The plot, such as it is, might have carried a short story, but not a good short story. This reads like the game log for an uninspired SF RPG game, but only before the characters have really been established. A huge amount of text is taken up with descriptions of the equivalent of television shows, to include plots and actors, that are completely irrelevant to the actual story. The main missions of the characters (other than the last one) are neither tightly written nor compelling.

That last mission, since it's the closest the book comes to actual action, I will avoid discussing, lest I remove the only slight compensation for suffering through the rest of the book. Well, except to say that the least understanding of orbital mechanics or communications security would have obviated the entire thing.

The "science" here reflects a profound lack of physical intuition by the author. A radio message sent 750,000km takes 45 seconds for a response each time. (That should be 5 seconds, since that's the round trip light-speed delay.) A planet with a gravity 10% greater than that of Earth is described as if it were extraordinarily difficult to traverse. And microgravity is mentioned, but not in any way that makes any sense. Two Gs is apparently enough to keep people from moving and working. I could go on at even more tedious length.

As to the narrator, I should perhaps rate her more highly, since the material she was working with was so poor, but I found her emotion to be repeatedly overcooked.

TLDR: No significant redeeming value.

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

enjoyable

unexpected ending. My only complaint is how fast paced the inteoduction is. I won't spoil anything but there are two close together major events that come across as one of a kind situations that most piolts never expirence.

it makes the rest of thr book feel fairly slow since there is a lot of time spent with characters just living life.

In the end It was certainly a great read!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Agree with others... Very disappointing

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I've listened to all of the other Academy series books and was looking forward to this prequel series in order to learn more about Hutch's beginnings. This book was very disjointed and lacked continuity. The concepts and dialog just lack common sense. How do you discover a new species and barely spend 10 minutes about it? Other Academy series books are developed around far less! There's a point near the end when a virus infects the AI on a ship. The captain contacts Ops to find out what's going on there, but never mentions the virus. That's just not logical!!! It was a struggle getting to the end, just hoping it would all come together. Well, it doesn't...The narrator isn't too bad. I'd prefer if they had used the same narrator from the Academy books, but it's a minor complaint.

Any additional comments?

I'm seriously considering returning this book for a refund.

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

I don't normally write reviews but this is bad

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I have read many Jack McDevitt books and most are not bad - not great but not bad. This one is bad. I listened to quite a few chapters and finally gave up as it was a terrible set of stories that had no real point or plot. It has nothing to offer - just boring chatter between characters.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jack McDevitt again?

Probably not- think I'm done.

What three words best describe Tavia Gilbert’s performance?

adequate but working with very poor material

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Starhawk?

I would ditch the book - it is pathetic.