• The Burning Son

  • The Burning Son, Book 1
  • By: TH Leatherman
  • Narrated by: Russell Archey
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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The Burning Son

By: TH Leatherman
Narrated by: Russell Archey
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Publisher's Summary

Pilot Mark Martin must flee his homeworld of Yale when the Erethizon theocracy overwhelms the defenses. His father, an influential senator, is captured. Now Mark must find a way to save his dad before the resistance is crushed, and with it, all hope of ending the occupation. A chance encounter with a smuggler captain may be his only hope. Will they help, or will the crew sell him to the alien invaders?

©2016 Fivefold Publications LLC (P)2020 Fivefold Publications LLC

What listeners say about The Burning Son

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

A fun read in a vintage style

Run out of The Mandalorian? Gone through all your Firefly and don’t have anything to watch? Great. Grab this book for a classic, pulp-sci-fi inspired jaunt through space.
If you like your sci-fi classic, fun, and free of angst, this is the book for you. Harking back to the days when there were only three Star Wars movies and all of them were pulpy and good, with a touch of The Last Star Pilot and other such cinema cult classics, The Burning Son is a fun and uncomplicated romp. Now, I didn’t say boring; just uncomplicated. You’ll recognize everything in this story right away, with the smile of meeting old friends. There’s the Tensions Of Empires Across The Galaxy, but hey, that’s beyond our pay grade. There’s the Good Aliens, who are cheerful and friendly and ready to get to know you. There’s the Very Bad Aliens, who are no question The Bad Guys and bent on galactic subjugation. There’s The Plucky Pilot, who can be a bit cocky but is on the sweet, smart end of this archetype’s spectrum. That’s Mark. Oh, and did he mention that he might just be a prince?

Full of old, favorite tropes used well and turned in new directions, the worldbuilding is easy to slide into and as much fun to navigate as the rides at the amusement park you visited so many times as a kid.
I really enjoyed the book, but as the pages flipped I did get the occasional sense that I’d seen this movie before. It wasn’t anything blatant, and all the pieces fit together very nicely. It just had a slightly procedural feeling towards the end; you know the beats of this story, you know when this happens, and then this. There’s no great excitement when it comes, just a general sense of satisfaction.

On the other hand, that does make it a perfect Sunday read, with no angst and no nerves involved. I recommend this book with a nice glass of iced tea on a summer day.

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Excellent!

I've read a few space operas this year and The Burning Son is definitely one of my favorites so far! It's got a lot of action, a ragtag set of characters, and just a really good flow. Basically everything you could wish for in a space opera! Plus it's got all of those traditional elements you expect in a space opera, but it's fresh enough to feel new and not a carbon copy of a standard space opera.

This book also definitely really worked as an audiobook. There was so much clever dialogue throughout the story that it was such a great experience to read this story as an audiobook. It in a sense helped these characters come to life and helped enhance all of the races and locations in the book.

This was an excellent start to a new series and I really look forward to seeing where these books lead. I also look forward to learning more about the characters and maybe meeting some new alien races along the way. But yeah, this was a fun read and reading in audiobook format really helped me along. I find that sometimes I struggle with reading space operas because I get so caught up in the words and taking a step back and listening to the story really helped me to enjoy it even more.

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Perfect for Space Opera Fans

This is a well-written story and well-performed audiobook. I'm not sure if the space opera genre is my kind of genre but it was interesting. I think definitely sci-fi fans and gamers would really enjoy the technology and descriptive battle scenes.

I received a free audiobook from the author. All opinions are my own.

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

Classic Space Opera

The Burning Son is a classic space opera novel that tells the story of Mark Martin, a marine pilot stranded when his home planet falls under attack who is forced to sign on with a crew of smugglers. It's fast-paced, fun, presents a lot of cool technology and alien species in a very easily absorbed was, and absolutely takes the reader (or listener) on a riveting ride that doesn't slow down until it's over.

I think my favourite character was the smuggler captain. I think if you were to mesh Captains Picard and Janeway together she might be the result. This captain is witty, smart and full of surprises. It certainly takes Mark quite a while to start expecting that she's always got back up plans B through F lined up and she's already thought a dozen steps ahead of the enemy.

Where this falls short for me is that it all feels so familiar. While I was experiencing it I couldn't quite put my finger on why, but as I mulled over how I was going to review this one it came to me. This feels like the intended correct sequence of playthrough events in a sci-fi video game. Cut scene of talking to marine superior, taking father's call, disaster strikes, stranded. Objective: save sister and father. Most players find sister first, approaching father's location triggers cut scene: too late, witness father abdupted. Next cut scene (immediate if sister is in the party): Finding smuggler captain and wounded pilot. Objective: help pilot. Captain NPC offers a position on her ship, player options: Accept, haggle on salary, decline. (Decline triggers a time wasting side quest that eventually leads to working for the captain anyway. Not recommended for speedrun attempts.) And so on.

The narrator's performance in the audiobook version is great. It's easy to follow the plot and keep track of which characters are speaking, and for listeners like myself who listen at 1.5-2x speed it remains clear and digestable. Since there are strong female characters in this book it might have been nice to have multiple narrators, but I do think Russell did a good job with all of the characters. I appreciate that he didn't force a higher pitch for the female characters' dialogue as I've heard some male narrators do, as that usually sounds tacky. Russel stuck within his own comfortable range and managed to make the different voices distinct anyway in different ways.

Thank you to the author TH Leatherman and Audiobookworm Productions for access to this title in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour for this title.

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

A Universe immersed in Tech you can believe

The story leaps into overdrive from the word the go, taking the reader on a tour a unique and rich galaxy filled with diverse and imaginative locations and races. The technology is omnipresent and delivered in a way which is believable — pulling the reader deeper into the story. There is a military crispness to the prose, yet ladled with enough humanity which allows everyone to embrace the characters and their plight.

The narrator tone and delivery spot on. I especially enjoyed the narrator’s variance when voicing the Muscat and Erethizon races; the former quick and twitchy; the latter rich, bold, and authoritative.

“The Burning Son” is recommended for any lover of space opera, sci-fi fantasy, and a good romp through the stars.