1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.49

Buy for $31.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    88
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    79
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

3 people found this helpful

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

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!

2 people found this helpful

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

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.

2 people found this helpful

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

Great!

When I first started this book I didn't know where it was headed. Many characters were introduced and I didn't see where it was going. But it was well worth the wait!
the narrator did pronounce a few military terms incorrectly but that is easily forgivable and does not happen often enough to really impact the story.

1 person found this helpful

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

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

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

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

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

1 person found this helpful

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

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

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

Great sci-fi adventure book

in the beginning this book follows three main groups that all end up coming together in the storyline. The audiobooks reader does a fantastic job. The story is engaging and made me interested enough to purchase the second book in the trilogy. I imagine I'll get through that one just as quickly and be waiting for the third one to come out on 2023.

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

Love the narrator, story was good popcorn fare

Had a pretty decent story. Pretty light reading so good for listening while doing chores or exercising. Definitely takes inspiration from the book Altered Carbon.

Loved the Narrator, she definitely elevated the material.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for paul sparks
  • 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