The Cruel Stars

Narrated by: Morgan Hallett
Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With a ruthless sect of humanity intent on wiping out their species, five intrepid heroes must think like their enemies in this epic sci-fi adventure for fans of The Expanse and Battlestar Galactica.

The galaxy was once terrorized by the Sturm, a group of “species purists” intent on destroying any human with genetic or cybernetic enhancements. Fashioning themselves as the one true “Human Republic,” the Sturm cut a bloody swath across the stars, killing billions before finally being defeated and driven into the far reaches of Dark Space. Centuries of peace bred complacency. Everyone believed the Sturm had died out in the Dark. They were wrong.

The enemy has returned and, with a brutal and decisive attack, knocks out almost all of humanity’s defenses. Now on the brink of annihilation, humankind’s only hope is a few brave souls who survived the initial attack: Commander Lucinda Hardy, thrust into uncertain command of the Royal Armadalen Navy’s only surviving warship. Booker3, a soldier of Earth, sentenced to die for treason, whose time on death row is cut short when the Sturm attack his prison compound. Princess Alessia, a young royal of the Montanblanc Corporation, forced to flee when her home planet is overrun and her entire family executed. Sephina L’trel, the leader of an outlaw band who must call on all of her criminal skills to resist the invasion. And, finally, Admiral Frazer McLennan, the infamous hero of the first war with the Sturm hundreds of years ago, who hopes to rout his old foes once and for all- or die trying.

These five flawed, reluctant heroes must band together to prevail against a relentless enemy and near-impossible odds. For if they fail, the future itself is doomed.

©2019 John Birmingham (P)2019 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Cruel Stars

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

Comoetetive and fun Space Opera

Well-paced. A number of well-fleshed-out characters, if not fantastically unique. There was (is?) much more to be done with however. Good tech talk. Worth the listen. As for the “performance:” the narration was well-paced and the voicings competent. My only complaint (and I don’t know if this should be directed at the narrator or the producer), is that a number of words were consistently mispronounced, words for which there are not disputed pronunciations. Sloppy and distracting. Summary: a fun “read”/listen. It’s major flaw is underutilization/developers,ent of its characters and institutions. Presumably,there are sequels intended in which more detail will be added, but there was little reason to withhold them in his book and they would have been the strongest aspect of it had they been included.

1 person found this helpful

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Wanted more - Got enough

I have read most of Mr. Birmingham's novels and enjoyed. This novel offers us characters who are compelling and likeable ( we have seen characters like them in previous Birmingham novels) although the setting of space nazis just struck me as a bit cliched. The universe itself seems well conceived but, for me, it fell a bit flat, Still, there is enough here to have me coming back for the next book [ultimately, this is the test] and I hope that a slower start resolves into a great end.

1 person found this helpful

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The Cruel Listen

This is a horrible audible book. Characters are unlikeable and unrelatable. The story is disjointed and tedious. Don’t waste your money on this one!

1 person found this helpful

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More!!!

There’s only one thing bad about starting a new John Birmingham book. It’s that it will probably be the first of a series, and that means you’ll want more by the end. Cruel Stars has a world of great imagination, but is so real, you’ll feel you know these characters. At least I did, and I want to know them better. Come on, John, get writing!

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Just finished reading this, loved it.. nice one JB!

I, for one, welcome a return to the military sci-fi of Weapons of Choice era - natch

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Different but “bloody good”

Interesting times and interesting characters. Unlike any sci-fi future I’m familiar with but it is up to the usual high level of Mr. Birmingham’s works. I’m hoping this will be a series.

1 person found this helpful

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Too many characters.

This was a good story about the outbreak of a war, but I believe their were too many characters. All the characters eventually converge on this first book and the resolution was well done. With the number of characters I’m concerned though that future books will become a bit unruly. Only time will tell though.

1 person found this helpful

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A little loose in the story line

I’m a big fan of sci-fi, but I found that this story jumped between three stories and the transition made it rough to follow. I’m still going to give it a listen, but while paying less attention.

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more unnecessary swearing

why bother development of characters when all you have to do is have them swear like a sailor and no one else gets that is lazy writing...returning yet another book.. narration was good from the part I listened to..about 10%

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  • paul sparks
  • 11-10-19

Funny and a good space tale

This book has it all, space marines, princess, underdog officers coming good, this is a book of tropes and cliches yet despite that it is actually very good, I really enjoyed listening to the story unfold, it obvious leaves itself open to sequels and I for one will most certainly be listening to them

1 person found this helpful