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Publisher's Summary

The second novel of the galaxy-spanning Sun Eater series merges the best of space opera and epic fantasy, as Hadrian Marlowe continues down a path that can only end in fire.

Hadrian Marlowe is lost. 

For half a century, he has searched the farther suns for the lost planet of Vorgossos, hoping to find a way to contact the elusive alien Cielcin. He has not succeeded, and for years has wandered among the barbarian Normans as captain of a band of mercenaries. 

Determined to make peace and bring an end to nearly 400 years of war, Hadrian must venture beyond the security of the Sollan Empire and among the Extrasolarians who dwell between the stars. There, he will face not only the aliens he has come to offer peace, but contend with creatures that once were human, with traitors in his midst, and with a meeting that will bring him face to face with no less than the oldest enemy of mankind. 

If he succeeds, he will usher in a peace unlike any in recorded history. If he fails...the galaxy will burn.

©2019 Christopher Ruocchio (P)2019 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Howling Dark

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  • Overall
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Well holy buckets

So I read a lot of Sci-Fi, yeah, and a lot of fantasy and the bigger the world building, the more complex the story the better. I cut my fantasy teeth on The Hobbit in 1st grade and my Sci Fi Fangs on Dune in 5th grade, and with those having set the bar for many of us, we always hope to see something brave and bold in those genres.
Christopher Ruocchio has rather knocked my socks off with this and it's predecessor.
Normally I'd balk and roll my eyes at the narrative style but the main character, Marlow is aware of his own flaws & inconsistencies even as he commits his own errors in judgment, repeats his own mistakes and mocks his own hypocrisy, his own attempts to be better with a bitter and deprecating humor. He is the hero and villain of his own story and in that he is painfully relatable. He tries to do better than his circumstances allow, make better decisions than he might have, listen to those who have tried to teach him to be more and yet reacts out of the same rage and pain that any of us would. Grief is deep water, and the argument can be made that the unwillingness to acknowledge the depth of his own waters is ultimately what decided the fate of so many.
Read this, listen to this, make up your own mind! (or try!) It's a true quality read, and a prime example of how your main character doesn't have to be likeable to be relatable (for all you may wish they weren't!).

5 people found this helpful

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Complete Story!

What I love most about this series so far is that each book is a self-contained story. If there is no book three then I'll be disappointed, but the heart and soul of this book is Hadrian Marlow's disillusionment.

This second instalment is refreshing and is distinct from the first, I highly recommend the series and am quite impressed with the second instalment.

4 people found this helpful

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Introspective and Slow Pace

This book is a mix of Hyperion and the story of Gladiator/Sparticus. At least it gives me the feeling I got when listening to that horribly slow book Hyperion, and the protagonist shares a lot with the main character in Gladiator. Enjoyed much of it, but felt like it drags on and on with nonsense philosophy.

3 people found this helpful

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Goddamnit Marlow!

This book could have been amazing, but no, the main character has to be Marlowe.

3 people found this helpful

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So good and yet so bad

Could have been one of the best sci fi stories to date but every move in this story is weighed down by excessive lines of inner dialog. The epic world building and suspense is heavily diluted with the character's inner musings and repetitive contemplations that rarely add to the plot. It's like juice made from concentrate, a little bit of the good stuff (really good stuff), with a lot of water. Makes it seem like the author does not trust the reader to come to the "right" conclusion about the main character.

2 people found this helpful

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Exceptional

The authors use and description of body language truly gives form to the characters, showing life in the subtlest emotions to energy and vibrance in action scenes.

2 people found this helpful

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Incomparable. Ruocchio and Roukin do it again.

The Sun Eater has quickly become my favorite space opera series, launched by Ruocchio’s deft sense of writing, poetry, and world-building and delivered by Roukin’s powerful voice, skilled performance, and pitch-perfect dramatization. It is a joy and pleasure to hear and to read. Well done. I look forward to Book 3, Demon in White.

2 people found this helpful

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"Kyle like dis book. All fives."

But honestly, this book I enjoyed more than the first as I felt this first book had to set the scene for the saga. This book got into the action very quickly and expanded the universe Ruocchio created giving even more depth, detail, and world building without boring the listener. I cannot wait to listen to his next book which is downloading as I type.

1 person found this helpful

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An exceptionally well-written sequel

So much science fiction and fantasy is based around plot, and characters, with less focus on the quality of the prose. Christopher Ruocchio is writing one of the few modern sci-fi epics that has such poetic prose to match the quality of the plot and complexity of the characters.

One again Samuel Roukin has knocked this out of the park; delivering soul chilling speeches (especially great given that this is a first person narrative) and dialogue in a variety of voices and great timing.

The story itself really expands the scope of the universe the characters inhabit, expanding greatly beyond the Spartacus-like plot of the first, all the while retaining the interesting philosophy that lifted the plot of the first above its humble origins.

1 person found this helpful

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Good Book in a compelling universe

I liked this book. I love the Universe, and want to know how the series ends. I care about the characters. Where this book fell off a bit from the first book was pacing. I felt that the book needed to be edited down a bit to tighten up the pace. I just felt that some scenes dragged, and while the author provides rich information in those scenes, sometimes it gets repetitive. Still looking forward to book 3.

1 person found this helpful