• The Lost Starship

  • By: Vaughn Heppner
  • Narrated by: David Stifel
  • Length: 13 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (4,716 ratings)

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The Lost Starship  By  cover art

The Lost Starship

By: Vaughn Heppner
Narrated by: David Stifel
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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 listeners say about The Lost Starship

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,965
  • 4 Stars
    1,611
  • 3 Stars
    748
  • 2 Stars
    242
  • 1 Stars
    150
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,819
  • 4 Stars
    1,249
  • 3 Stars
    748
  • 2 Stars
    287
  • 1 Stars
    225
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,904
  • 4 Stars
    1,369
  • 3 Stars
    679
  • 2 Stars
    231
  • 1 Stars
    144

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  • 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.

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82 people found this helpful

  • 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.

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59 people found this 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.

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42 people found this 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.

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41 people found this 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.

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26 people found this 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.

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20 people found this 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.

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16 people found this helpful

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

A new low!

This has to be the worst book I've listened to on Audible.

The concept is interesting but the story is poorly written, the characters one dimensional with unbelievable relationships, and it meanders to a pointless ending. I often wondered if this was written by a teenager with no knowledge how an adult's brain works.

The narrator was appalling ... and that's being kind!

His tone was dull, he kept mixing voices up - especially in group conversations when he would forget to change voice until halfway through a sentence. The worst had to be his Scottish accent, which sounded like a speech impediment. Don't the producers do auditions for these things? When one of the main characters is supposed to be Scottish I would have thought the narrator would be asked to say something with an appropriate accent before recording started. He wouldn't have got the job if that was the case.

I have to say that I couldn't wait to end this book. I rarely give up listening as I'm hopeful the end will justify the struggle. Not in this case. The narrator destroyed the book and drained it of whatever pleasure it may have had. I will avoid any other books narrated by him like the plague.

When I bought the book it had a small number of good ratings. I can only assume that these were from friends and family being supportive.

This lost starship should stay lost!

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15 people found this helpful

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

a thoroughly entertaining ride

Captain Maddox is just a little faster, stronger and more perceptive than those around him. So when the “New Men” attack and decimate a military convoy, he questions if he might be somehow related. These so-called “New Men” are human beings that have been genetically enhanced to better than old humans in every way. No one is sure what they want, but their superiority clearly threatens the survival of the human race.

There is an old space rumor of an ancient alien star ship with superior technology that might be humanity’s only hope. Captain Maddox and a ragtag group of scientists and soldiers fight their way across the void to find the star ship and more importantly, get it back home in time.

There is a classic tone of the novel, reminiscent of the 1940s and 50s. The larger than life Captain Maddox leads the barely held-together group of criminals and misfits into certain death only to find the only possible escape at the last possible second. The characters make the story; they are quirky, alcoholic, angry, dangerous, brilliant and unpredictable. You don’t know if they are going to save the galaxy or tear each other apart. It’s a fun ride that is well worth the listen.

The story is read by David Stifel. He has a unique character to his voice, dramatic and human; sometimes stumbling to pronounce a word correctly. Perhaps not as polished as many performers these days, his reading is enjoyable none-the-less. It is such a personal thing, but this listener found his voice enjoyable because of the flaws.

Lost Star Ship is the first in a series of unknown length. The story wraps up nicely, but leaves the door wide open for its sequel. This quirky and strange space adventure is a thoroughly entertaining ride. You’ll want to find out what happens to Captain Maddox and his crew of misfits in the next installment.

Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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13 people found this helpful

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

It was the Narrator

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

The book's story was decent, but had many flaws. The narration made it seem far worse than it was. I'm not sure I could recommend it to anyone.

If you’ve listened to books by Vaughn Heppner before, how does this one compare?

This was my first Vaughn Heppner book. It came very close to being my last.

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

Not really. It was bad. He made the characters seem brain dead. At first I thought it was the writing, but then I heard an excerpt from book #2 book of the series and I realized it was the narrator that was dragging the material down. Way down.

What character would you cut from The Lost Starship?

Meta. She was superfluous, and the the Captain's attachment to her led to some of the worst writing in the whole book. Once again, a lot of this was probably the narrator, but she seemed like a barely tamed ape rather than the tough, but beautiful crush the writer seemed to be going for.

Any additional comments?

You know how in the old Batman, everything was a "bat" this or that? Like a baterang, batmobile, batlight, batwrench, etc?. Everything in this was "space". Every time I heard "space" attached to something, it made me think I was listening to 50s scifi, but without all the old time charm and clever examination of science.

I could go on and on, but the best way to put it is pick the most mediocre episode of your favorite scifi TV show and swap all the actors out with the bad actors who miserably failed their auditions for that show.

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10 people found this helpful