• The Silver Ships

  • The Silver Ships, Book 1
  • By: S. H. Jucha
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (2,343 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An explorer tug captain, Alex Racine detects a damaged alien craft drifting into the system. Recognizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make first contact, Alex pulls off a daring maneuver to latch on to the derelict. Alex discovers the ship was attacked by an unknown craft, the first of its kind ever encountered. The mysterious silver ship's attack was both instant and deadly.

What enfolds is a story of the descendants of two Earth colony ships, with very different histories, meeting 700 years after their founding and uniting to defend humanity from the silver ships.

©2015 S.H. Jucha (P)2015 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about The Silver Ships

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Preachy political utopia and arrogant protagonist

I found this book to be a combination of interesting plot and annoying propaganda, surrounding an unrealistically masterful protagonist. I am still trying to decide if I want to continue the series after 3 books. The series grows increasingly preachy about promoting socialist utopias versus corrupt and backwards capitalists. All capitalists are greedy, selfish, unmotivated, uneducated, lazy, stupid and ignorant. All socialists are enlightened, educated, motivated, giving, generous, incredibly innovative, and beautiful. (Ironic, all of the above...) The rhetoric becomes tedious and increasingly so, as you get deeper into the books.

Moreover, I find the protagonist began as a reasonably nice, intelligent person, but as the series progresses, he becomes incredibly arrogant, controlling, and domineering. Either the plot is making a point of showing the corruption of character, which I haven't delved deeply enough into the series to see as a plot point, or the author actually thinks this guy is cool. I think he has become rather revolting.

Undecided if I will finish the series. I am intrigued by the plot as a whole, but those objections above are making slogging through the series seem more of a chore than an enjoyable experience.

79 people found this helpful

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

I wanted to like it, but the agenda ruined it

Regardless of whether or not I agree, I hate having anyone's political agenda thrown in my face so hard that I can't just ignore it. The Silver Ships has the hallmarks of being a very interesting, classically styled sci-fi story. But the author is unfortunately very heavy handed in his application of his political agenda throughout the book. He accomplishes it by suddenly demonstrating his agenda so heavily that one cannot simply ignore it and move on. And when he wraps up one agenda item, he saturates the story with another. Then he returns to the interesting story, pulls you into full attention, then hits you with more politically motivated content in such a way as, again, you can't just ignore it and move on.

I could make a list of the author's ideas that make up his agenda, but that doesn't make my point. I listen to books like this to escape society's current problems for a little while, not to be reminded of them by being repeatedly slapped in the face with them.

This could and should have been a enjoyable and interesting book. But in the end, I just couldn't wait for it to end so I could move onto something that actually allows me the fun and escape I'm looking for.

As for the narration, Grover Gardner delivers an admirable performance. He maintains a good pace and does a good job of fleshing out the characters. I probably would have skipped the last third of the book if his work didn't keep me going.

78 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Childish characters and cartoonishly liberal

Would you try another book from S.H. Jucha and/or Grover Gardner?

I will never try this author again. The entire book is specified in the summary. The narrator did fine.

What was most disappointing about S.H. Jucha’s story?

The initial hour was ok but then story got very boring. Every character is perfect and virtuous. Well, except for the evil, evil, evil conservative characters. The view of big government is good and private industry is bad is reiterated multiple times and to absurd degrees.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

This book leaves you sad and disappointed that any time was spent with this horrid story.

Any additional comments?

Save yourself from this mess.

45 people found this helpful

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

Unrealized Potential

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Nope. Jucha is more interested in pushing his socialist propaganda than telling a good story. He makes clear his views on climate change and gun control from the beginning. The New Terran society seems to be this would be socialist utopia if not for the evil capitalist corporations. Jucha pushes this idea that the government knows best and capitalist ideals are the makings of oppression. There is very little action. The entire book consists of promoting his leftist agenda and planning. Poor planning at that. There is very little thought put into goals of the characters.

What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Grover Gardner is a fantastic narrator. He brings life to an otherwise dead book.

Any additional comments?

A free spirit freighter captain stumbles on a derelict ship. He investigates and finds a shot up ship with an AI and a few sissies from a society of sissies and pansies. The whole socialist Utopian planet of New Terra decides to help. They rebuild the ship in exchange for a bunch of new technology. The plot promotes the benevolence of our Big Brother the government and the evils of capitalist thinking. The nemesis for the majority of the book is not the aliens of the silver ships but corporations looking to make a buck and also screw up the planet. Oh and at the end, the ridiculous excuse for a fighting force destroys a single alien ship. Just one. A little one.

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, old fashioned SF reminiscent of Heinlein

There's a simplicity and an innocence to the books in this series that reminds me of "Golden Age" science fiction. If you're looking for highly complex plotting, deep and intriguing character flaws, or science based explanations for things you're going to be disappointed. This a series for fun. The good guys are very very good. The bad guys are clearly defined. The technology is interestingly imaginative and entirely unexplained. It's a fun, predictable, good guys win kind of story.

26 people found this helpful

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

Preachy and boring

I wanted to like this book and listened to it two more hours beyond the point I decided I didn’t like it, which took me to the midpoint of the narration. The characters were not very deep and there was very little to like about them. Being attractive should not be the only trait that stands out. The protagonist was too good with only a thin attempt to give him a fault, which was then basically ignored.

The plot started out good but then got lost in boring details. There was not enough dramatic tension to move the story forward. What little tension was there was forced and preachy with a clear political agenda that completely turned me off. The projected socialist utopia was the most fictitious part of the story.

On the positive side, Grover Gardner is an excellent narrator.

24 people found this helpful

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

Buildup for a Promising Series

I thought this was a good start for what will be an interesting series. This book seemed to be more of the buildup for the books to come.

The book takes place in a universe where colony ships from earth were launched thousands of years ago. It is not known what exactly happened to all of the ships, only that the inhabitants of the New Terran system are the descendants of the passengers of one of those ships.

The book centers around a young mining captain named Alex. A brilliant mathematician, Alex was the first to calculate a complex equation that allowed for the flinging of ice asteroids on a trajectory that made them easier to retrieve, making him a minor celebrity and quite wealthy for someone so young.

On a trip home Alex detects what turns out to be a derelict alien ship on a ballistic course through the system. When he captures and boards the ship, he discovers that the ships AI is still active, and he helps to restore the ship’s power and primary systems. Eventually, the AI awakens the surviving crew and passengers who have been in stasis sleep for over 70 years.

Upon awakening the crew, Alex learns that the ship belongs to the human descendants of another earth colony ship. Alex and his fellow New Terrans also learn that the ship was attacked by an unknown alien ship which resulted in its uncontrolled, 70 year long voyage to the New Terran system.
An alliance is formed between the ship’s survivors (hundreds of years more advanced) and the New Terrans. The ship’s AI and survivors will provide the New Terrans with their advanced technology in exchange for the repair and arming of their passenger ship, and help in fighting the new alien menace.

Most of the book is the typical first-contact dialogue, along with discussion and troubleshooting how they will fight the technologically advanced alien menace. There is one minor skirmish at the end of the book, however. I think that this was more of the buildup for the rest of the series. I’m hoping to see a few more space battles and action in the next books, though this book wasn’t at all boring.

I give this one a good 4.5 stars. Narration was solid as well. I think this is a promising start to a new series, and am hoping for even more in the next books.

23 people found this helpful

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

Smart protagonists!

Fun read. It was really nice to see people making smart decisions instead of doing stupid stuff to create additional drama in the narrative.

22 people found this helpful

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

Flawed but worth the time

Any additional comments?
The book has a great start. The world the author creates is intriguing and pulls you in. I was reminded of Jack Vance and some of his books in which long separated human lineages evolved into radically different forms. The author introduces two very different human lineages with a set up for at least four more. That's the good. The bad, the flaws are numerous and take attention from enjoying the story. One is that the main characters have no flaws. None. They like each other, cooperate completely and always have a good time as they all happily work together to overcome the story hurdles. The two lineages have a fun time discovering the good points of each others wonderful cultures. Two the author has a two dimensional view of today's politics which he can't help but impose on his story and it feels heavy handed. Big government is best and is best suited to run society and the economy. Capitalism is bad, very bad and shameful. Conservatives it follows are very bad too and he makes sure that's understood by the reader. The good characters by the end of the book seem to be plodding methodically towards plot points.

Having pointed out those two negatives I admit that I liked the set up enough that I will probably listen to the next book in the series.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

too much of a set up for the other three novels

The Silver Ships by S.H. Jucha centers around a young mining captain named Alex Racine. Alex became sort of a minor celebrity for being the first to calculate a complex equation that allowed for the ‘slingshotting’ of ice asteroids that made them easier and quicker to retrieve.

While heading back to his home on New Terran, Alex detects a derelict alien craft on a course through the system and decides to recon it. Once aboard, he discovers that the AI on the ship is still active and asks Alex to help restore the ship. While bringing the power systems back online, Alex soon finds out that another race, similar to humans, has been on this ship for 70 years and he has helped bring them out of their stasis. Come to find out, these creatures are descendants from another Earth colony ship who were attacked by an unknown alien ship, resulting in their stasis.

An alliance between the ship’s survivors, who are one hundred years more advanced, and the New Terrans is created. The ship’s AI and survivors promise to provide the New Terrans with the technology they possess, including nanotechnology, in exchange for the repair and arming of their passenger ship. And, of course, help with fighting and defeating this new enemy. But will it be that easy of a task? Will these survivors and the New Terrans be able to cooperate?

There are a couple of issues I found with the novel. Number one is that none of the main characters have flaws, not a single one. They all get along just fine, never once do they come to separate conclusions or have differing opinions. Number two is that, after a very intriguing beginning to the story, it becomes slightly boring and no action ever seems to take place. The novel feels like too much of a set up for the other three novels and it begins to downplay the enjoyment you should have while reading/listening.

All in all, this is a good edition to the SciFi genre, unless you are looking for something action packed or fast paced. Grover Gardner does a great job with the audio and I would expect that he will continue doing so through the rest of the series. Not sure if I will pick up the next in the series, but don’t let that detract you.

Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

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

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

18 people found this helpful

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  • stig1875
  • 11-16-15

A Slow Start but got better - Worth a Listen

Where does The Silver Ships rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I rate this book at about the 70% level in my Sci-Fi Library books.

What other book might you compare The Silver Ships to, and why?

This book is simlar to Ryk Browns Frontiers Saga, finding another civilization that is more advanced than the main charactors home world.

Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No not at the moment but I'm willing to give him a fair crack of the whip!!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, but I listen to my books on the way to work and when walking my Golden Labrador.

Any additional comments?

I look forward to listening to the next instalment of the storey.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David T-Rex
  • 01-03-17

Engaging characters and a great story

This is not your typical space opera, with battles and fights at every turn. the establishing story takes its time to introduce the characters and you notice the personalities develop over time. Don't misunderstand me, it's not boring. you become engrossed in the universe and engaged in the people with even supporting characters feeling fully fleshed out.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Charlie
  • 01-26-16

Archaic, Sexist, and Unbelievable.

nothing but a clumsy author-insertion fantasy. the protagonist is one hell of a Mary Sue. Sexist and archaic in use of language and storytelling, not worth the credits or the time.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • andrew elder
  • 07-30-15

not too bad

What made the experience of listening to The Silver Ships the most enjoyable?

The charachers were quite likeable and fairly deep

Would you recommend The Silver Ships to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend this to anyone familiar with slightly older style sci-fi books like those of Andre Norton or similar.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Del
  • 06-14-17

Ripping Yarns in deep space!

Would you listen to The Silver Ships again? Why?

I loved this book. The themes it follows are familiar, there is nothing significantly original in the story but it does take some of those themes to interesting tangents. I have read several other reviews and some do complain that there is a great deal of 'not much going on', lots of polite talking - plenty of 'melo' but not much drama? Actually, these sequences are as fascinating for me as the action sequences.

What did you like best about this story?

Much of the story is taken up with two diverse cultures of human (ex - Earth) Colonists, who have been separated from each other for 700 years and some 23 light years distance who accidentally meet for the first time. They have developed into two very different societies..

The parts of the book that are described by some as 'polite talking' are some of the most interesting for me. The two races (the Meridians and the New Terrans) are trying to find common ground and to adapt to each other's ways in order to work together against a common threat. The way that this part of the story is written made it an entertaining, amusing and engaging aside from the main theme, which is that the Meridiens are an attacked but pacifist race who turn for help to the New Terrtans who are more in line with 'ourselves' (?) and more powerful physically and aggressive when faced with the threat.

A second plotline I loved involved the character,Julian who is a SADE (Self Aware Digital Entity - essentially a programme) who runs the Meridien ship. Again, this is not an original idea but this time it is nuanced by the way that the AI (who is deemed to be 'alive' in Meridien culture) having only been exposed to their thoughts, beliefs and behaviours throughout his existence is suddenly exposed to interaction with the main New Terran character, Alex Racine. Julian's AI adapts as a result of these interactions, his personality changes and this Digital Entity, more than any other character becomes an amalgam of both cultures (one might say the best of both cultures)..

The main storyline is familiar - an unknown, implacable and destructive alien race attacks a peaceful utopian society (the Meridiens). The invading aliens have something of 'The Kraken Wakes' about them so also not entirely original but around this rather exciting space adventure is wrapped a fascinating story of two peoples having to cross a gaping cultural divide to succeed.

The story of the alien invasion is not resolved by the end of the book, which leaves us with more to come in future instalments. I can't wait!

What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I thought that Grover did a good job. His style is slightly robotic but given the storyline this actually felt the right style!

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I loved the humour in this book. The way the characters developed alongside each other made me care for them. Sure, 'the luckiest man alive' goes from awkward loner to beloved and brilliant leader too easily but it is fiction! It is a space opera and I unashamedly loved it enough not to care that our hero prevails in all circumstances with all virtues intact - and gets the girl - well, why not?

Any additional comments?

If you like a story that is dual paced with politics, relationships and emotional struggle set alongside your invasion space battles then you will love this book as much as I did. I gave it four stars rather than five simply because it is John Wayne in space not Tolstoy - but for what it wants to be - it succeeds for me. Bring on book two!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Penney
  • 02-14-16

A gem of a story

Really enjoyed this novel, looking forward to hearing the next book. Narrated really well and enjoyed his story telling.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Terrence
  • 09-17-15

A great beginning right here!

This built into a great story and by the end I was looking to get the second instalment (which I will). Great stuff, indeed well worth the investment.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C. J. Dunne
  • 07-27-15

C j jdunne

Very enjoyable novel, well written and well read . I do hope that we will soon be able to listen to the next episode. I cannot wait. This is one of the best opening novels of I hope a long series to come. Well worth the money.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon Wilson
  • 09-23-22

My First Sci-Fi Novel

If this had been written by a teenager in the 1960s I might have forgiven its naive straightforwardness. The narrative makes the average Red Dwarf episode seem like Le Carré and the mechanics of the plot are little more than The Dam Busters in Space.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Muller
  • 09-16-22

A most excellent start to!

If the rest of the series is as good as this book was, I'm going to very happy. Give this book a go, it's brilliant.

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  • Dean
  • 07-07-15

top stuff

As far as an uncomplicated Sci Fi goes this one hits the spot. While it's no Peter F Hamilton it's much better than a Larsen. Sometimes it's great to have a relaxing story. Just what the doctor ordered.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jcb
  • 01-29-19

Good but a little predictable

Great story idea and underlying premise. However the characters are very basic and underdeveloped. As a result, the relationships between the characters are a bit dull and predictable.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Valerie
  • 10-17-20

Couldn’t get into it

The idea seemed interesting but the execution is a bit jarring. For example, when a guy gains entry to an unknown starship with great holes in it, and gets to talking with the AI who runs the ship, don’t you think one of the first things he’d ask is What TH happened to you? But no, days go by before he asks that question. There seemed to be quite a lot of those moments, where things just didn’t seem to happen logically or were just a bit off. The characters seem pretty flat as well. Not a keeper for me.

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  • A C Bennett
  • 01-06-19

Fantastic Start.

Absolutely fantastic start to an excellent series. Once again the narrator of this series has done a great job. Thanks Scott for a great first book in a brilliant series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-01-17

Gentle Sci-fi of Manners.

I enjoyed this very much.

I don't know how much I was influenced by the shared narrator but the story and pacing of this book reminds me of Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorosigan universe. This, I believe, is a good thing.

As always, Grover Gardeners narration is very enjoyable.