She has a lot to live up to and a lot to prove in the long-running struggle among her powerful family, a highly defensive - and offensive - Earth, and the hundreds of warring colonies. Then an ill-conceived attack brings the war close to home, putting Kris' life on the line. Now she has only one choice: certain death on the front lines of rim space - or mutiny.
©2004 Mike Moscoe; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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"Harsh reviews seem undeserved to me"
I'm not military nor do I know about military protocols, so any slip-ups in that area went past me and did not bother me. On the other hand, this series is supposed to be set in the far future, and who can know how things will change. Also, I thought they were pretty clear that she wasn't supposed to be in the situations she was in. The original drop mission was a setup to kill her, so I don't see the problem with the plot there. I don't dissect books that I read/listen, I read them for enjoyment. I guess if you are a big military enthusiast looking for ultra-realism, this book will probably disappoint you. I found it to be entertaining enough that I plan to download the next one.
As to Dina's reading, I was entertained by the different voices. Did I stop and check them for realism and quality? No, I just took them as they were and enjoyed the book. Dina spoke clearly, did not have any voice mannerisms that drove me crazy, and I thought did a good job and was consistent when using a particular voice for a particular character.
I don't know why there is such a gulf in opinions, but I would suggest you listen to the sample online and if you like the sample, then you will probably like the book.
"Join the 24th Century Navy; see the Universe!"
Courtesy of Lost Art Audio
This book has some really wonderful elements. Even though it's sci fi, it's more a military novel, following the Navy career of Kris Longknife and the political structure of 100 planets with human life. We don't see any aliens, and most fantastic elements have to do with computers and technology. I should mention that the book was written in 1994, meaning that Nelly - Kris's personal (pet) AI computer - is probably a bit less powerful than the newest Android. Be it as it may, the story is excellent, and very, very military. If you're into the politics of internal command hierarchy, or into rescue and humanitarian distress mission, it's a fun read. Mike Shepherd does a good job with a 22-year-old female, but I think it's more because she's a soldier, and Mike Shepherd was Navy himself, so he knows a thing or two in the regard.
My only real criticism is that this book was a lack of cohesion - it seemed to be separated in three parts: rescue mission & return home (very well done; we really understand Kris's history from the mission, and we get a good understanding of her family - the prime minister family of an entire planet - from her return home); humanitarian mission on Olympia (this part sags. It tells us a lot of Kris's character and leadership abilities, but it gets too bogged down in the moral implications and reflections on a soldier's duties); and mission to attack (this is the crowning moment and the name-sake of the book). Unfortunately, these three parts don't meld too well. I would have liked to see a bit less soldiering, and more politicking, maybe more love interest.
Dina Pearlman is excellent (Anna Strong series, or Weather Warden series). She does a wonderful Irish accent, which takes up a good half-hour of reading when the Highlanders visit Olympia. She also does a great job with internal dialogue versus external dialogue is very important to the listener, and she does it well.
"Brain Candy with problem"
Over the last 2-3 months, I listened to the entire 8 book series (and more are coming). I actually own these in book form as well, and regardless of the format, this is good brain candy. These adventures of Kris Longknife don't make you think, raise questions about morality or do anything but provide a pleasant diversion from life.
That being said, these audiobooks have a major flaw. Miss Pearlman has a pleasant enough voice and does a better and better job of presenting these books the further along in the series she goes. However, she also has two rather distracting flaws in her performance. Throughout all 8 novels, she regularly presents the wrong voice for a character, particularly using Jack's voice in place of Kris' quite frequently. The other problem I have might more fairly be described as a personal preference. Particularly in the early novels, Miss Pearlman regularly slips into a sort of children's storytelling cadence during the exposition. Its jarring to be hearing about a battle, when the rhythms of her voice sound almost fairytalish.
My kind of fantasy fiction. Right up there with Horacio Hornblower. My budget doesn't allow for me to obtain them as fast as I would like. I will be doing at least one a month until I read them all or pass into the next realm of existence.
"Just Got Bored Halfway Through"
Some of the issues I had with the book: sloppy writing, inconsistencies, logic issues, etc. But the big problem for me is that the whole space scenario is completely wasted. This really didn't need to be set on another planet. The names, people, technology, etc., all felt like it should have been a hum drum medieval fantasy type piece instead: kidnapping plot foiled, politics aplenty, the king (er prime minister) is playing a double edged sword, heroine has a plethora of suspiciously brilliant relatives/friends whose only purpose is to provide some deus ex machina answer to the not very interesting mystery, and will she survive....... The plot kept running around in circles, belaboring points of the heroine's past (yeah, we get it already, move on!) ad nauseum.
I didn't connect with any part of this. The action was flat and didn't feel threatening but the non-action scenes lacked depth and hit far too many cliches. Rebel daughter, wise grandfather, shallow aristocratic mother, distracted leader father, loyal servants who help her out on the sly. At the point where you get to the middle of the story, and (no spoilers here) despite having lost one child to murder the father doesn't investigate a threat on another child. It just lacks heart. And a story set in space should probably take place in space more and not on typical old fashioned earth type settlements with computers, hackers, cars, sleds, castles, and surprisingly no other type of creates from these planets, etc.
The narrator has been on a lot of books and was a bit too familiar to me. She does a great job reading but I just didn't connect the mature, scratchy, voice with a young plucky heroine.
Unfortunately, it just didn't pique my interest and so I won't be continuing the series.
"Great SciFi Military Adventure"
Well written, highly interesting scifi adventure story that keeps your interest throughout the audio book. Excellent narration. This first in a series holds promise to keep you interested from cover to cover of each book. I highly recommend this for those who enjoy high adventure, solid and entertaining stories, that keep your interest throughout. David in Kuwait
"great military sc-fi"
If you like strong female characters in sci-fi, then you will enjoy this military sci-fi series. I have actually read most of the series in paperback, but picked up Mutineer on Audible to see how it compares. I thought the narrator did an excellent job, particularly with the Scottish/Highland/Irish characters (though a true Scot may feel differently), and in keeping all the characters voices seperate (and there are a lot of characters). Looking forward to listening to the others soon!
"Not the best"
I'm a big fan of strong female characters in sci-fi and have loved authors like Elizabeth Moon for portrayal of such characters and their exciting stories so I was quite disappointed in this weak character and her pathetically boring story lines.
The pace was slower than any adventure story should be with the author obviously setting up future plotlines for the next book or reveiwing information from a previous book.
The characters were 2D with innapropriately stereotypical cultural backgrounds. The relationships lacked depth and the romances were immature at best.
The dialogue of all the characters was flat and the use of modern idiomatic language was distracting. I also had serious problems with the stereotypical language used in the dialogue of characters from certain religious or cultural backgrounds.
Probably my worst complaint was the narrator, who mispronounced several words, used bizzare accents and kept up a slow 'children's book' tone throughout the series, including scenes of violence and death which was just creepy.
I will say that the universe created by the author was interesting but not enough to make up for the slow pace and boring characters.
"Fun Space Opera"
This is book one in a new military Sci-Fi series. This series will have a female protagonist, Kristine “Kris” Longknife. She is the prime minister’s daughter, the granddaughter of generals and industry tycoons, and as the story opens an Ensign in the Navy. She is about to be send on a mission to rescue a high-ranking politicians daughter who was kidnapped. Then she is sent to a starving colony where the local government has collapsed and has a large refugee population. There is a major war brewing, lots of political fighting going on as well as military action.
The book has some good characters, good action, neat technology, muddled politics, dysfunctional family and lots of action. The protagonist is young but has innate leadership skills. There is a fairly good plot and the background story is well developed. The book is highly entertaining, easy to read, full of implausible situations with dare devil do or die action.
I enjoy the military Sci-Fi genre with a strong female protagonist. Needless to say I am a big fan of the “Honor Harrington” series. This fist book in the series does not live up to the “Honor Series” quality but is fun to read. I have never read any books by Mike Shepherd before but I will continue with the series for awhile. Dina Pearlman narrated the story.
"It's so, so..."
This book reminds me of Moon's Vada series. It's okay to listen to but nothing remarkable. I found myself really not interested in any of the characters and beyond apathetic to the whole family rivalry plot line...
"Scottish Accents Not a Strong Point"
While I generally liked the performance on this one, Dina Pearlman can't do Scottish accents for toffee. I'm inclined to believe she's reading the written down accent however, since the author doesn't know what a Yorkshire Pudding is.
I liked this, but it did seem to have more text than story; ie. it was a little long, as in elongated for word count. Kris suffers from that most unfortunate of character conditions, not seeing the bleeding obvious until 5 minutes after the reader. However, the plot is pretty good, the action is realistic, the spaceships actually use a form of Newtonian physics (at least as far as sublight travel is concerned), and Kris is a likeable character.
One of the strongest points of the book is also its weakest. Mike Shepherd was a Navy brat according to his bio and the book is jammed full of naval jargon which is very authentic-sounding, very atmospheric, and requires you to look up half the words before you can figure out what gives. Kris is a Boot Ensign; I spent the first 5 minutes of the book looking that up on Wikipedia. There's such a thing as too much authenticity.
"Could do better"
This, the first book in the longknife series, is a well paced and, at times, thought provoking book that is let down by a number of inconsistancies by the authour and awful accents by the narrator. The narrator sometimes makes you feel like their narrating a childrens book and her Scottish accents are the worst i have heard in a long time. The main flaw in this book is that the authour has clearly not done enough research into his subject matter. From his implying that Highlanders came from England to the total lack of any science realism, this book is dissapointing. If a science fiction authour wants to ignore physics, fine, make up some new science (like Star Trek) but don't talk about radar and optical sensors in space that magically ignore the speed of light. This carelessness mars what could have easily been a much better book. The character development is good as is the story telling but ultimatly i was left dissapointed.
"Check the sample"
Mike Sheperd writes a really good story, multi-layered and with a good dry wit. Listen to the narrator before buying as, if you can't 're-read' it in your mind, you'll find the voice a problem. Tommy's funny Irish could be put down to the Chinese influence but, as another has said, the Scots is awful! I disagree that Shepherd had the Scots as English however. He was comparing the Lorna Doon Officers Mess with the English in India... Well, listen/read and make up your own mind. I've gone on to get more I like the story that much.
"A dissapointing book"
I'd heard good things about the Kris Longknife series, and while in book form it still maybe alright I found the audio version a chore to listen to. The narrator has no idea when or how to put the emphasis in a sentence, perhaps because she doesn't seem to be able to read ahead of her speech. In addition she has very little range in the voices she does, every male voice sounds the same.
I can't recommend this as an audiobook at all.
"Sorry, not my cup of tea."
I got bored half way through chapter one. I tried restarting the story several times, but no change in my final opinion.
"Competent and fun; a good start."
I had a good time listening to this book and the story was a lot of fun; nothing that's going to change the way you think about the world, but the political dimension to the central character is interesting and serves the story well. Yes, Kris Longknife is a can-do, ultra successful protagonist, but by the end of the novel she seems like she has a little more depth; the writing feels more comfortable.
Also, the narrator is not given an easy ride with some of the accents: she gets Irish close enough (though if you actually are Irish and listening to this, you might get a little wound up), but Scottish brogue is not a successful part of her repertoire. Still, I enjoyed a little bit of accidental comedy in the latter half of the book and it didn't stop my appreciation of the story.
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