High school senior Tanner Malone has bombed the Test, a high-stakes exam that establishes how much he owes for his corporate-funded education. Burdened by a crushing debt that rules out college, Tanner enlists in the navy of Archangel, a star system with four terraformed worlds. But he hasn't factored in the space pirates.
Just as Tanner begins basic training, the government ramps up its forces to confront a band of rowdy raiders who are wreaking havoc in the void. Led by complex and charismatic Captain Casey, the outlaws love a little murder and mayhem, but they are also democratic, egalitarian, and devoted to freeing each new recruit from debt and corporate oppression.
Assigned to the front lines, Tanner soon finds himself caught in the crossfire between ruthless foes, cruel comrades, and unforgiving space. Can he do his duty when good and evil look so much alike?
©2015 Elliott Kay (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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"DIE HARD…In Space! The student loan wars"
I picked up Elliot Kay’s rollicking “Good intentions” on a whim, thinking perhaps it would make for an entertaining break from my usual interest in Sci-fi and fantasy, and was pleasantly surprised when beneath the highly adult themed overtures of the book was a very well written, character and plot development driven book.
Shocked by this turn of good fortune I got the sequel “Natural consequences” and was even more impressed by his ability to tell a fantastic story while seducing his readers with all the sensuality you would expect from Sherrilyn Kenyon or some such other author.
Seeing as I had gone two for two with him I dared to take a chance on this book. Now, anyone who reads Sci-fi and fantasy will be quick to point out that THESE TWO GENRES ARE NOT THE SAME! No matter how readily the guild and (publishers) may want to and continue to classify them both in the same category.
The “Sci” in Sci-fi denotes “Science”, meaning the author has to make a plausible case for scientific origins of events and technology in both story and character. Unlike “Fantasy” fictions in which spell casting and magic can be easily explained through less ornate imagination.
This is why many Fantasy fiction writers don’t or can’t do good sci-fi. The science has to be plausibly explained to be good and this is not something that can be done easily or as easily as explaining a spell.
I say all this to preface my trepidations when I came across this book, as my only experience with Mr. Kay had been with the two fantasy books above so I was unsure if I wanted to sully my experience with a bad sci-fi book. Based on the strength of his prior works, I cashed in my confidence points and spent the point on this book, and boy am I glad I did.
What a story.
This is a very well written and developed Military sci-fi. Yes you will find some familiar themes like the reluctant hero thrust into uncertain situation, acting with valor and honor and with a bit of luck, overcome the bad guys almost single handedly. This was “Die hard” in space
I loved it.
It was enjoyable, and driven by excellent plotlines and characters, and anyone with student loans may even find greater sympathy and enjoyment from this series.
Great work Elliot Kay, looking forward to your next series.
"I wanted to like it.."
I've read other works by the author (Good Intentions) and thought I would like his try at Military Sci-Fi. Unfortunately I came away more than a little disappointed. The protagonist Tanner just didn't work for me. His self-doubt and insecurity came on a little too thick in the beginning. I get he was young and inexperienced, but while his experiences at the start may be true to life, it felt too forced. As if his troubles were suppose to endear him to us, but ultimately made me feel annoyed with him.
The story picks up once he starts his training. I don't think the novel covers any new ground with the boot camp portion. Its been done a million times in other books and movies, but it was still fun and I felt like Tanner really did develop as a character.
Running parallel to Tanner's arc is the story line of the pirates. I almost wish the author spent more time with the pirates. The character Casey was a continual favorite of mine. In many ways they had the more interesting story line.
Then the third act. Other reviewers have called it Die Hard in space. I just felt it was completely over the top. Tanner goes from a competent, albeit an inexperienced crewman, to becoming Rambo. He is repeated injured, sometimes gravely, but continues fighting against impossible odds. Don't get me wrong, much of later chapters are very exiting and Tanner is smart in his attacks, but there are parts that made me groan at the complete unlikelihood of his success. In the end he comes away as the big hero and everyone celebrates.
And here is where I had the biggest problem with the story. (Minor spoilers here) Earlier in the story Tanner has a run in with some pirates on another ship. His initial fight came off much more realistic and the resulting aftermath felt very grounded. Tanner's discussion with the chaplain felt real...it made him human. Not so with at the end. Friendly banter with a friend and then on to awards. To me, it felt like the guy should be going through some major PTSD.
"Author worthy of binge reading"
So far I have binged every book this author has put out so far. The authors writing and stellar narrator combined to bring the story and characters to life in a truly fun and creative tale.
"YOUR TOO WORDY"
WHAT IS A HEAD? (bathroom)
This is a YA book if I have ever read one. It shouts YA. It is also a conversation based book, where they talk more than do. Boot Camp is extremely tame. It is not badly written, but I sure don't understand the high rating and reviews. Narrator was more bored than I was. It's your money and their are lots of books to chose from.
"great audio solid story."
odds are you know the author if you are here. if you do then you probably know what to expect. if nor it follows a similar story to many of the join the space marines - be awesome format. it's not quite tied to the formula and has some good characters so it's not entirely predictable. audio is nice and lively. voices are distinct
With an insightful and satisfying Book 1, Elliott Kay addresses important issues in
this powerful story. Bravo!
"Corporatocracy rule in space!"
First, I found the writing quite good, along with the narration; even though I found several areas that diminished the overall story itself. This is a coming of age story of a high school bookwormish protagonist, Tanner Malone, who through outcomes somewhat out of his control decides to join the navy on an enlisted track after failing to score high in the college placement tests. Part of his decision came from the encouragement of his very popular high school female friend, who he has an unrequited crush on. She scores very high on her tests and decides to join the navy on an officer track.
While in boot camp, his female drill instructor who has high character expectations and dishes out pain when the recruits fail to measure up (I really like her character the most in the novel.) During boot, the one female recruit, who is the top of their company, hooks up with him afterward for a one-night fling.
While the leader of the their alliance is male, but the real political heavyweight is his female political advisor. There's also a couple of female admirals, one being a 5-star fleet admiral. Except for Tanner, most of the male characters are either in minor roles, lazy, vindictive, bullies, incompetent or very much evil. There is one evil female but even there, she has Zena warrior skills
I've noticed a trend in recent SciFi/Fantasy novels for there to be this type of unnatural unbalanced portrayal between the genders and, while I enjoy novels that include strong female roles, those that are skewed as this tarnishes the novel.
Also, the sections where mild-mannered Tanner surmounts insurmountable odds during life/death skirmishes and his ability to learn how to operate highly complex systems by merely "RTFM" is more than a bit jumpy-sharkish.
With all that said, I have to admit, I found the audiobook entertaining.
Worth the time invested. The main character is interesting and sympathetic. Story is engaging. Kind of like a space Die Hard.
"Entertaining space pirate action"
Was fine except for unnecessary sexual references in a few spots. It's not like lots of guys don't talk that way.
"A great Space adventure"
When I first decided to get this, I was worried it was going to be too kiddy. I thought, from the cover, that there would be some violence during the adventure but nothing to serious. Was I wrong. The lvl of death and violence in this book was almost Game of Thrones worthy. Even some of the characters that were used to narrate the story died. It was much more adult in the themes and story, which in my opinion, made me much more invested in Tanner and his story.
Yes. It was engaging, and the deaths of some of the characters the story was narrated through, definitely kept me waiting to see what would happen next.
It was a good story that I would definitely recommend. I'm really looking forward to listening to the second book
"A riotous, action packed good listen"
Timothy Andrés Pabon did an absolutely spectacular job providing distinct, memorable performances for each character. I absolutely loved listening to him provide exactly the sort of personality that distinguished every character from one another and made them memorable and fun (despite the cruel nature involved in the book on occasion). The writing was sufficient and the plot build up gradually to a final and spectacular action-packed sequence of events that resulted in a very satisfying experience overall.
Quite likely Casey the pirate. Written in such a way to make him a character I loved to hate pretty quickly. Initially starting off as a reasonable sort and becoming more erratic and ruthless as time went on. The combination between the writing and Timothy's energetic voice-acting created an exceptional antagonist!
A certain scene involving engineering and a "match".
Perhaps not all in one sitting but that's more personal preference. I think that this book would be very easy to digest and a thrill to listen to all in one.
Overall a fun and thrilling experience for those who are interested in an action packed "flying by the seat of your pants" adventure. Starting off comfortably and leading up to an excellent payoff at the end that left me satisfied with the book.
If people are perhaps looking for deeper sub-plots you might find this lacking but if you're after a blazing "Die-Hard-In-Space" book look no further!
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