In the year 2420, war looms between the galaxy's two most powerful empires: the tyrannical Theocracy and the protectionist Commonwealth. Caught in the middle sits the occupied outpost system Cadiz, where young officer and aristocrat Katherine "Kat" Falcone finds herself prematurely promoted at the behest of her powerful father. Against her own wishes, Kat is sent to command the Commonwealth navy's newest warship, Lightning.
Determined to prove she has value beyond her family name, Kat struggles to earn her crew's respect and find her footing as the youngest captain in naval history. She soon discovers the situation on Cadiz is even worse than anyone in power anticipated. War isn't just a possibility - it is imminent. Yet the admiral in position to bolster defenses refuses to prepare for a fight. Can Kat find a way to investigate the enemy, alert the Commonwealth, and whip an entire fleet into fighting shape before the Theocracy's war machine destroys everything she holds dear?
©2015 Christopher G. Nuttall. (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
"This is more of an Honor Harrington reboot"
It still was a good listen. I felt the narration was sub par. it took some getting used to,
"Narrators never up to Nuttall's stories"
This is the first in a very promising series. Nuttall is a fine writer. Here the conflict is between a "normal" government and one of religious fanaticals. The religion looks like some we know, but is never specifically paralleled. And then there is a traitor among the good guys. There are terrific battles, and some minor philosophical discussion about whether one conqueror should be any better than another. I enjoyed the story and the promise of more to come.
However, here are my gripes. Katherine--Kat-- is promoted to the captaincy of the Lightning. She is too young and too inexperienced, but her aristocratic father managed it. This causes some tension between her and the much older second in command, the XO. He is not happy to have been overlooked for this position. However, this tension simply fizzles away as Capt. Kat proves to be capable. It seemed all too smooth and easy. But that is acceptable, we can shrug it off. The story is well developed, and engaging.
But then there is the narration. (Ark Royal's narrator drove me to quit the series.) I hate to diss people at their work, but this lady needs a new career. Her normal voice is light and breathy, probably suited for fairy tales, but then she couldn't do an ogre. Her hyper-correct pronunciation of the plosives (p,t,k especially) causes extra syllables such as "lookt uh down" that were distracting at best, and actually confusing at times. Her male voices are terrible, just scratchy low, and then they are inconsistent-- people's voices changed. The females sounded kittenish. The best voice was the enemy cleric, a simpering, snide snake of a person. I quite enjoyed him.
Other than that, editors should have caught things like:
A. non sequiturs:
1. "I'd bet that isn't a coincidence."
2. Her father should have understood. Or perhaps he didn't.
1. Another explosion rung out.
C. wrong words
1. they should hide in uncharted asteroid habits.
D. pointing to the title
1. "the oncoming storm" is said at least 3 times in the book. Once would have been questionably acceptable. The contexts in which it was said are unnatural; this is not a typical phrase for military persons to be tossing around so liberally.
Nevertheless, this is a good story, with sequels to look forward to. It just needed a final editing.
I would have cast almost anyone else!
I have a very hard time reconciling the fact that this was written by the same author that wrote the Empire Corps series. The story is riddled with mind jarring errors and less than mature story and character development. I could believe this being an early work before the author had hit his stride but the publication date belies that idea.There is little that I can add to earlier comments about the poor choice in narrator.Her voices and choices of tone and word emphasis completely changed the tone and focus of the scenes.I am disappointed. Perhaps the Empire Corps series spoiled me...
"How many component plots can you jam into a novel?"
A disappointment, as a fan of his space novels, as this time Nuttall attempts half-heartedly to blend different dimensions that don't fit well together into one novel. An intriguing premise if not for the absolute flawed execution, and that's where the story line takes a fall. You follow a female protege, ashamed of her parents wealth and ambitious political power, as a space captain (plausible) at the age of 26 (okay..), with neural enhancements (bio-engineering added to the theme only confuses the story), and autonomous from the Theocracy or Non-Theocracy aligned Independents (which picking a side will inevitably become an issue, not too much plot twist here yet). All of those elements by themselves can be used to create a fascinating story, but Nuttall falls shy of fascinating with all of the confusing plot lines going in different directions and yet somehow merging. It's really a confusing read, and having tried the audio books in hopes of a more refined understanding, the narrator (L. Ezzo) makes it worse with her single-tone by-play of seemingly important events, personality and emotional qualities of characters that should have some variance in pitch or vocal tone. It was very disappointing, as I'd hoped for not even a stellar story but more of a decent read (which became a read of descent as it seemed, at some point, to be an effort in madness trying to follow the plot).
I certainly will, I like his stories (not too canned space hero or over-techy reaching except this novel) and will try the next in the series as it develops.
Just about anyone. I'm not picky about narrators, but she didn't seem to have a good grasp on emotional cues for characters or events. There seemed to be no real urgency, just the obvious amateur antics of a narrator trying to sound like a man by deepening her tone (which is somewhat insulting to hear) or the constant single pitch of a character set (whether under fire, in negotiations, sad, depressed, happy...it all sounded the same).
Not many. I tend to follow authors for their stories, and the right narrator can go a long way as well, but mainly this book lacked a single point of focus. I know good authors who are very capable of managing multiple main characters or various background plots (like Sanderson or Jack Campbell) but these are not Nuttall's strong suit. And in this novel, there's just too much noise to follow the idea of where you are going, heading, or if there is a real point.
Recommend the Arc Royal series by Nuttall, good narrator and simple yet certainly enjoyable series. Very little to disappoint there.
"poor rip off ."
This was a poor rip off of the Honor Harrington series by David Weber.
"Narrator's voices are terrible, story very good"
I don't have time to read the story, but it has got to be better than many of the vocalizations by the narrator.
When the Captain goes with the XO to buy critical information from the XO's shady brother, he sees that the Captain, although part of the ruling family, is a capable officer who is not afraid to "get her hands dirty".
Bring in a male for the male voices. Narrator sounds like she uses various amounts of nose pinching for many male voices. Female voices for other than the Captain can get pretty squeaky. My poor ears.
Please replace the narrator or at lease get a male to help with moices.
Good story but the voice acting of secondary characters is poor. Great start to what should be an interesting series.
"It Was Ok"
My enjoyment of The Oncoming Storm was hampered by two issues: an incredibly miscast Audio book narrator and a plot that somehow managed to not bring anything new to the genre of military sci fi. As such, the story is serviceable and packs enough adventure to keep readers/listeners invested. But at the same time, this is a somewhat unsatisfying snack, leaving one hungry for more substantial fare at the end.
Story: Cat Falcone enlists in the military fleet in order to make her own life independent of her noble and extremely powerful father. But that same father will pull strings, get her a premature ascendancy to captain, and a mission to investigate problems at the Cadiz world outpost. With a former lover leading her marines, a highly experienced but overlooked non-noble executive officer under her, and a fanatical religious government set to declare war, she will get far more than she bargained for at Cadiz.
The premise is fairly simple and rather topical - aristocratic government versus religious fanatics in space. Nuttal smartly steers clear of making the zealots related to any particular current religion - they are an amalgamation of several monotheistic fundamentalists including tight control over citizens, lack of women's rights, and the usual 'God is on our side' rhetoric. Subthemes on the power of the aristrocracy over those born outside of nobility (think ancient Rome and citizenship) as well as military ineptitude and corporate greed are also covered. Perhaps because all the topics are timely that this book feels almost dated - contemporary religious fundamentalist struggles but with a heroine reminiscent of Honor Harrington or Kris Longknife (especially). I can't help but feel Jack Campbell did it all a bit better - and tighter.
That aside, the story flows smoothly enough though hampered a bit by characters making the same obvious conclusions over and over again. In that regard, I wish the editor had been a bit tighter and sharpened the focus more. Some observations were made so many times, I would have started counting them for a future drinking game if reading on Kindle (e.g., "take a drink every time the XO notes that Kat makes a non-self serving command that impresses him she's not like the other captains). The book feels overly long in that regard.
The Audible narration was truly bad and I had a hard time getting into the book because of the bland, staccato, over enunciated, narration. The narrator seems much better suited to a YA book like Twilight than military science fiction, to be honest. At one point, it was difficult to continue because I'd cringe every time I had to start Audible and listen to the dull reading.
"Good kick-off to a series."
Good story that is clearly Nuttall's work. The character-focused military story is well-executed, and I am looking forward to the next volume. The only flaw in the performance is a few pronunciation errors (e.g. "Corpsman" as "corpse man" instead of the proper "core man", and spelling HUD instead of just saying "hud" as a word as it is properly said). If I had no military background, I might not notice the errors, but they do grate after a bit.
I enjoyed the story line. I was not impressed with the narrator. Her attempt at different voice characters was dismally lacking. She should have studied the typical military bridge exchange of orders to give it more genuine feel to the story.
"I am glad I came across this,"
I found from the start of the book it would be a great tale, it did not disappoint. Already looking forward to the next instalment
"Reads like amature fan fiction"
The book reads like amateur fan fiction, written a committee of fans of the Kris Longknife or Honor Harrington series. If you are a fan yourself then you may like the book as you will probably enjoy the Easter eggs, such as recycled names from the other books, provided you can shake the feeling of Deja Vu. I personally did not enjoy the book as the plot was slow and predictable and I had to force myself to listen to the end.
The Narration was OK and and neither enhanced nor detracted from my enjoyment of the book and would not discourage me from listening to other books read by Lauren Ezzo.
"Good start to the series"
While it does read a bit like 'Harrington Light', and there are a number of clear similarities,it stand up very well to comparison with Nuttall's other series,
Sadly, what lets it down, is the narration. Lauren Ezzo isn't a bad narrator, just totally wrong for this book. Her voice is far too light to cope with all the male voices (they range from growly to squeaky) and the delivery is very wooden. I can see that she is supposed to represent a very young woman, but she needs much more gravitas, not to mention an ability to convey different emotions. Someone such as Elizabeth Flett or Allyson Johnson, both of whom have narrated space opera very successfully, would have made a much better choice of narrator.
I am looking forward to book 2, but I hope for better narration.
"A strong beginning"
The comparison to "On Basilisk Station" is unavoidable but that's not a bad thing. The premise of expansionist star nation, an inexperienced first time star captain with a XO who has been passed over for promotion, is a good one. With this starting block the author crafts his own solid story, even poking fun at the similarities between Kat and Honor. The depth of world building isn't on the level of Weber but who's is?(and at times who wants to) Nuttell has made a fun enjoyable world and clearly made the effort to having a interesting main character and not have her as overly perfect as Harrington can come across as. Overall It's not at the level of "Basilisk Station" but it's a good attempt well worth a read/listen.
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