• The Sharp End

  • Hammer's Slammers Series
  • By: David Drake
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (340 ratings)

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The Sharp End  By  cover art

The Sharp End

By: David Drake
Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
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Publisher's Summary

Gangs ruled Cantilucca. Guns were the only law, and there was no lack of guns. It was hard to imagine matters getting worse. Until the survey team arrived.... Major Matthew Coke was not a squeamish man, but the state of affairs on Cantilucca turned his stomach. He was only human after all. Where some of the rest of his team were concerned, it was difficult to be sure: five professional mercenaries who'd learned the hard way that in the end they could defeat anything - except their own consciences.

©1993 David Drake (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Sharp End

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The Sales Pitch

I recently listened to The Sharp End written by David Drake and read by Stefan Rudnicki.

This is the third book in the Hammers Slammers series. It could be argued that this book is not directly about the Hammers Slammers, but rather that they are about the Friesan Defense Force. This gets into a lot of backstory for the series that isn't really germane. This story, like all of the Hammers Slammers stories, can be read as self contained story that needs no outside references.

The story focuses on a particular scout team trying to drum up work for the mercenary unit. They go to a planet known to have multiple factions warring over it and assess the various factions as possible customers for a mercenary company.

This, of course, is not done in a vacuum. The factions on the planet are wholly aware that mercenaries joining their enemies could doom them. These factions not only vie for their services, but also put the pressure on each other before an outside force can be brought in.

Stefan Rudnicki has fairly crisp and clear diction, however, his reading is just a tad too monotone for my personal tastes. He wasn't a horrible narrator, but I felt he could have brought more to reading.

Overall this was another excellent entry in the Hammers Slammers series. Despite the narration, I still think this book makes an excellent listen for any in search of good military sci-fi.

1 person found this helpful

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Playing organized crime against one another

David Drake's The Sharp End is another installment in his Hammer's Slammers series. The Slammers are a futuristic mercenary organization that operates across worlds. In this offering, an advance unit is sent to a planet that supplies the rest of the settled worlds with a unique recreational drug. There are two dominate crime organizations that run everything. The Slammer unit goes in ostensibly to contract with one to take out the other. What transpires is a gradual attrition through subterfuge where each event is blamed on the other until an all-out effort leads to the destruction of both organizations.

Although there are some traditional sci-fi battle engagements, most of Drake's focus is a bit more subtle with some creative espionage and sophisticated digital intelligence and offensive capabilities. This is basically, 'how to start a war 101.'

The narration is excellent with superb character distinction. Pacing is smooth and well aligned with the ebb and flow of the action.

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Great military Science Fiction

The story is excellent...the Characters are exactly who and what they need to be...and the narration is superb. Enjoy!

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My favorite tale of the Slammer-verse.

Aside from the original this is my favorite Slammers tale. I've read every installation and this one always left me wanting more from this particular Survey Team. A solid performance and story that you can come back to more than once and find just as enjoyable.

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Enjoy The Slammer's anyway you can!

Hammer's Slammer's are the baddest mercenary Army in the Galaxy just ask anyone on the sharp end !

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David Drake is the best!!

Hammer's Slammers stories are all outstanding, so is everything else Drake puts out!

I hope he keeps going! 🤗🥳

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Annoying Narrator killed the book

This narrator is terrible and I couldn’t differentiate between characters. The story is more for the simple mind. My ten year old may like this book, I’ll pass.

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Good Story

This was one of the first David Drake stories I read. It was fun to listen to it performed.