Fifty years after Steve Stuart and his friends captured an alien starship, the Solar Union is a thriving interstellar power while Earth is increasingly backward and falling into barbarism. For two youngsters from Earth, the Solar Union offers the only chance they will ever have to make something of their lives.
But humanity's involvement in Galactic affairs has not gone unnoticed. The enigmatic masters of the universe have put together a fleet to crush the upstart humans before they can threaten the precarious balance of power. Pushed to the limits, the Solar Union must fight to defend its freedom - and the existence of the human race.
©2014 Christopher G. Nuttall (P)2016 Podium Publishing
This book has inspired me to engage in more and I'm looking forward to the next one. it is an action packed and philosophical look at human interaction with it's own kind and other species they encounter.
"Now we have Space Opera!"
Second book is better than the first. We get much more personable characters that learn and grow as they go through the world. Also we finally get Space Battles with Space Marines that last for more than a paragraph. the Author has achieved Space Opera.
I also enjoyed the nods to various other authors in the genre. Maple syrup as a worthless commodity is funny (nod to Ringo), Engage! I am looking forward to the next book.
"Still too preachy, and not too interesting"
If you made it through book 1 of this series, you already know Nuttall's opinions on society and politics. If you are here, you have read past all that for the story. You accepted the moon base being established in about a month, and that humans were exploring further than the Solar System. In this book, taking place 50 years later, Kevin Stuart has become Ambassador at Large and his brother Steve has given up governing the humans and gone off with his wife on trading missions, so does not appear in this book.
The main scenarios in the story focus on 2 young Marine recruits, Martin and Yolanda; then there's Kevin and Sally, and Professor Scudder. It is this Professor who delivers the John Galt radio broadcast in this book, lecturing us on Nuttall's take on education, artificial intelligence, border control and immigration, the "weaponization of the word 'racist'" wherein one must prove one's innocence, and the Divide and Rule principle in which all groups are set against each other so that the politicians can stay in power.
Martin is a young man of color from a ghetto, yet has no ghetto mannerisms or language, or accent (sorry, Mr. Rummel). Yolanda is a half Mexican, half Japanese Cinderella with tons of brains. Their friendship is merely another platform from which to speechify about race relations. Kevin and Sally, what to say, what to say? Kevin is an unlikely ambassador, and seems to be turning into a despot like the admiral in the author's Barbarian books. Sally, Sally, what in blazes are you doing out there, and how did you get there? She's about the only Human on some alien planet working for some information broker Jabba the Hutt. What's up with her? She'll probably be made Secretary of State.
You will tire of the overused terms "Masters of the Universe" and "ossified" or its variant "ossification." These Master aliens suffer from the same implosion problems of the Galactic Empire in the time of The Child Roland" in the Empire's Corps series, so they will fall and Humans will establish their new Empire, and there will be thousands of years before the Barbarian Bride and Stalker's Stalkers at which time there will be no more mention of the thousands of species of aliens that appear in these stories.
Christian Rummel's narration is pretty good except for that of Martin. He fails miserably to give this thoughtful young man any color or character or personality. But maybe it's not his fault.
I'm sorry, but these books are pretty much a fail on many levels. The characters are not consistent, not well-rounded, and there is too, too much grand-standing of Nuttall's ideas, whether you like them or not. Things are too simple. The Masters of the Universe are set to destroy the humans, but of course we soundly beat them, with some unsung losses, but very handily for all that.
There is another book after this one, and I will listen to it because I want to see how things work out, and how this pre-history leads us to Ed Stalker. That's the only reason. It is not a very good example of Nuttall's abilities.
"I thought this series had the potential to be his best"
And I believe that is still the case. This is a great series and I cannot wait for the next book!
"A fun space opera"
This is book two in “The Learning Experience Series”. This book opens fifty years after the end of book one. In book one Steve Stuart and friend captured an alien starship. They decided to keep it and create their own nation rather than turn it over to the government. They built on the moon and asteroids. The Stuart brothers are active in key roles in the Solar Union but Steve is no longer involved in the running of the Solar Union.
The book follows two new recruits to the Solar Union military from earth. Yolanda is a smart mixed-race girl that applies to the space navy and becomes a navigator/helmsman and Martin, a young black man from the ghetto, joins the Marines. We follow them from boot camp to seasoned officers. The Solar Union comes to the attention of the Tokomak Empire who decided that Earth needed to be destroyed not realizing the Solar Union is not located on earth. The Tokomak are the oldest and largest Empire but have failed to keep up with the advances and changes in the universe; they have relied on their enormous size to keep everyone under control.
The book is well written and fast paced. Nuttall provides some exciting battles on land and in space. The action and suspense will keep the reader on the edge of their seats. Christian Rummel does an excellent job narration the story. Rummel is an award winning audiobook narrator.
"Great story, good telling of political situations."
This book is a good story about human emergence in the galaxy. The parallel story about the stupidity of earth politics is also a good parallel to actual political situation and the "age of entitlement" so pervasive in western culture.
Excellent narration too.
Waiting for the next chapter!!
"Enjoyable Political Hyperbole"
Probably not. This book and the entire series are speaking (I think) to a very specific audience. A lot of people are turned off by this books 'preach-y-ness' and dont get to see past that to the way its also pointing out flaws in a hyper libertarian vision of the future.
I could see this being made in a similar way to starship troopers... for the same reasons that movie was made.
I think for me the reason I enjoy these books is that its making fun of both progressives and libertarians. Its drawing out very fundamental ideas and their issues when being executed purely without reason on both sides. This in a reductio ad absurdum story, and it's fun read knowing that
The fact that most of the victories and revelations that the protagonists make is due to luck chance or incompetence of selves and others. further that problems are brought up then dismissed trivially. Skipping over basic logistical or logical progressions..... the book is a big "what if every thing went the way we thought it would go" day dream.
That's interesting to read more for what is obviously omitted rather than what is actually there at times.
"Inconsistencys galore and overall daft."
I do not think anyone who pays more then cursory attention to this book while listening to it will enjoy it overly much.
There where so many small mistakes that made absolutely no sense. It was as if the author wanted to knock the listener/reader out of the moment on purpose on a rather regular basis. There where also some big whoopers that caused me to press pause so I could let my irritation peter out. I will not note any of the instances for to do so would be bad form but I must say I am severely tempted to populate this review with a nice spoiler list of all the bloopers.
So to the question... I would in the authors place have actually re-read and corrected as many "mistakes" (read: idiocies) in this book as humanly possible before letting it be published.
None come to mind to be absolutely honest.
Also why this question is in the form is beyond me as it would need a spoiler alert and some way to be blanked out.
The concept and the universe it is set in plus the narrator, more then that.. well I guess I'd have to torture myself by listening to it a few more times to come up with any more.
Mr. Nuttall really needs to shape up because this was hands down the worst book of his that I have ever read/listened to.
as much as I like Christopher Nuttall's writing. (I especially enjoy the Ark Royals) This one just seemed like a Mish mash. A little Heinlein, a little Ben Bova and a little Scientificus ex Machina.
I'm going to read the third book because it's still sweet and crunchy brain candy, but I think I prefer the Ark Royals.
"Your Patience is Required"
Just skip ahead to BLACK SHEEP. You won't have missed a thing.
Of all the Nuttall books in the LEARNING EXPERIENCE series, only BLACK SHEEP is absent his tiresome Libertarian preaching.
"great series, great performance"
I have enjoyed this series, and hope there may be another installment. I have read and listened to all of the books several times.
"Novel or political manifesto, not sure"
Enjoyed the storey but eventually couldn't stand the constant, repetitive political diatribe. Luckily they're full chapters so easy to skip.
"Better than book 1"
Story line and pace.
Rather than one character, it was the mix of similar yet separate characters.
The narrator is excellent although I struggled a bit with the occasional either ‘Americanisms or strange pronunciations'.
astra semper fi.
"another great nuttal audio"
the narrator was good if u liked the original book this is as good and begins to take in the broader scope of the solar union and what is instore for the future
This book is terrible. Thinly veiled new right American propaganda masquerading as sci-fi.
Truely dire. Don't waste your pennies!
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