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Publisher's Summary

A dangerous haven. Adapt or die. 

Nine hundred Vennans undertake a cultural exchange to Tradepoint, a space station where aliens from different worlds meet to do business. A young and gifted Speaker, Gredin, is translator and diplomat for the happy occasion. 

But a horrific vision shatters her first night’s sleep on Tradepoint. Venna, their home world, has been destroyed. Now the safety of the delegation, the only Vennans left in all of time and space, rests on Gredin’s young shoulders. 

Stunned and grieving, she navigates trade wars and political prejudice, bartering with other races - some friendly, some neutral, some outright hostile - for what her people need to survive. And the cost of failure is the unthinkable. 

Extinction. 

Plunge into the Tradepoint Saga, a space-opera series filled with political intrigue, mystery, and a diverse cast of characters. This coming-of-age tale is perfect for fans of CJ Cherryh, Arkady Martine, Wen Spencer, and Star Trek: Picard. 

©2020 Aethon Books (P)2020 Aethon Audio

What listeners say about Refuge

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Profile Image for Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • 23-11-2020

One of my top favorites!

I picked this up on lark. I didn't know the author, but I love Kate Reading's narration work from many other books. In case you don't already know, Kate's an awesome narrator... and oh boy howdy, I found that this was just simply an incredible book! It excells by virtue of both a dynamite storyline, and by Kate Reading's vibrant, yet nuanced performance! All that, even after a kinda' slow beginning... and this book easily made it onto my top favorites list for the entire year!
JJ Blacklocke really set up the story with some intense world-building, and she did it perfectly. Holding her cards close, she gave nothing away to the readers, so when everything was finally in place, all hell broke loose! Refuge has plenty of action and bunches of political intrigue... Blacklocke never looked back, and never let the plot get mired in its own complexity as the story ran on to its epic finale!
I bet you'll find yourself wishing that Aftershock: Book 2 in The Tradepoint Saga, was already released in audio! 😊👍

4 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph W. Reed
  • 19-11-2020

Well done!

Narrator was convinging. Story was well written with very developed setting. Writer made the diverse species believable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Willis Burns
  • 12-11-2020

Kate Reading is so good!

I will absolutely listen to anything read by Kate Reading. This one just happens to also be a great story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • kiwibleu
  • 13-12-2020

Came for the Narrator stayed for the story.

LOVED IT. I selected this because I am familiar with Kate Reading's other work, especially her performance of Brandon Sanderson's leviathan of a series The Stormlight Archives. What a spectacular story!
the beginning starts a little slow, the main protagonist's development dragging somewhat, the pacing and action of the other characters more than make up for her somewhat repetitive (but understandable) childish actions. I wish the character could have varied her responses to the situation... and that her actual development had taken longer... but the shift helps to solidify these peoples' religious structure within this story's universe.
Reminiscent of Sanderson's drop-the-reader-right-in-the-deep-end-without-a-floaty style of world building, the complexity and minutiae of detail plunge the listener right in to Gredna's unimaginable plight and the distress of her people. This author has a keen attention to detail and a marvelous overview of their story. the novel is a good 14 hr listen but the pacing and anticipation of what was to come, and the intriguing mystery, kept me hungry for more! And as always, Reading's performance kept me hooked at every turn! Cant wait for the next book.

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  • james r appleby
  • 27-11-2020

very good

really enjoyed . can't wait for book 2. narration was also very good...really enjoyed it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Thomas Dailey
  • 24-01-2021

A new and fresh take on Space Opera

Refuge is a unique tale that takes your standard space opera in a new direction. It has some fantastic world-building going on, and the setting is amazingly immersive and detailed. The story takes place on a space station called Tradepoint, which is a nexus for trade between alien species. Unlike typical science fiction, Refuge focuses less on technology and instead explores culture, social exchanges between species, and commerce. Every aspect is well thought out, with careful consideration for the practical problems usually glossed over in science fiction, like language, pathology, and biological adaptation issues.

The Vennan are definitely one of my favorite aspects of this book. They make the story appeal to both science fiction and fantasy fans, as they are a starfaring race that eschews technology in favor of their innate abilities. Their culture and spiritual beliefs are richly detailed, and yet they maintain a certain level of mystery and intrigue, which leaves you wanting to learn more. I know I'm mentioning the world-building a lot (as it's what really made this book, in my opinion), but the plot and cast of characters were also superb. Overall, Refuged managed to feel like an "epic" fantasy or space opera series sans excessive length and superfluous writing.

I have to admit that knowing Kate Reading narrated the audiobook version of Refuge sold me before even looking at the other details. I've loved her work, and she did not disappoint me in Refuge. Even if Refuge's description doesn't sound like it's a good fit for you, give the audiobook a chance just for the narration.

Special thanks to Aethon Books, who provided me this book free of charge at my request.

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  • Andrew
  • 29-12-2020

Space Opera Without Humans

Space Opera as a genre is fantastic but it can sometimes get repetitive or predictable. Human-centrism is one of its main limitations. It makes sense, we listeners are human after all. Refuge inverts that trope in a delightful way. There aren't any humans to speak of in the entire tale.

Normally that would make it hard to relate to the alien cultures but I found that making the characters behave like humans was enough. It was nice to not see the same old protect Earth story. I wish there had been even more immersion in the alien cultures and their interaction.

The weakest elements of the story are the whiny MC which goes on a little too long, the abrupt if expected ending, and some of the interpersonal conflicts. The strongest parts of the story are the characterization and supporting cast, the setting, and the different alien cultures. The strong bits far outweighed the weak parts and therefore I highly recommend this book.

Finally Kate Reading is excellent as usual, not much to really add there for those that don't know her.

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  • Pezzilla
  • 29-12-2020

A bit too detailed from time to time?

I could see this being the foundation for a nice ongoing world for us readers to keep returning to. The world is built well, the species are diverse and the politics and interactions work in well defined and recognizable ways. The main character is interesting. It's all very good.

My only problem was that it seemed sometimes like the writer does not trust the reader to get a point and then move on. Of course, some people like that sort of 'detail' in their books.

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  • Gil T
  • 24-12-2020

A Whole New World, err Universe

Kate Reading did a really good job and I will be curious to see other books narrated by her.

The Vennans are a private people but they have decided to share some of their culture on the trade station, Tradepoint. Tradepoint is where all races can coexist in peace. It orbits the Prett homeworld. The Pretts have been kind to Vennans since they have some very valuable crystals on their home world.

Gredin, is a young translator who helps the “first” speaker. The “first” speaker is a bitter woman who doesn’t like and is jealous of Gredin. As the Vennans prepare for their event, Gredin has some bad dreams and gets very emotional. This leads to a series of events that will shape the Vennans’ future. I do not want to spoil it for you but it is definitely worth the time and you will enjoy it.

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Profile Image for A. Beckstrom
  • A. Beckstrom
  • 11-12-2020

Story Crawled, Kate Reading Was Fantastic

Text Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Narration Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Overall: ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Refuge was an enjoyable bit of world-building with a fair bit of melodrama typical in Space Opera. The story crawled more than it ran, but Kate Reading was awesome.

***Full Disclosure: I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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  • Jennifer Deeley
  • 03-12-2020

A great start for a possible epic story

A slow start but it builds up setting the universe and story for the next book which I am compelled to get :-)

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  • Mark “Tom” Clancy
  • 28-11-2020

Great character driven Sci-fi

This is a great character driven sci fi novel beginning the tradepoint series. The author builds a rich vibrant world full of fantastical alien races brought together on the singular space station, but it is the main characters who drive the story forward and you connect with them as they progress through the story. I cannot wait to listen to the next part of the series and see how they develop.

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  • Richard C
  • 23-11-2020

fantastic start to an interesting series

A very interesting concept this novel. Fantastic to see a story about aliens that doesn't involve battles, humans and starships (but don't get me wrong I enjoy books about those subjects as well) The book packs a lot in, some of which probably comes across as a bit slow and lots of exposition at first. It's worth the wait as the story builds and all the threads come together. I can't wait for the 2nd book to come out.

Kate Reading did a fantastic job and it was clear what person was talking, the book was a joy to listen to.

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Profile Image for Krzysztof Kolata
  • Krzysztof Kolata
  • 12-11-2020

Character driven political space opera

Tradepoint is space station where different species can trade with each other.
Not a fan of politics (especially in military space opera) but here I did not mind.
Kate "reading" from the start is great, I did feel like I was part of this universe.
Love that the is no humans no earth but there are plenty of other interesting species.
I like that mystery was in the background not the main focus of the story.

Kate Reading did a great job narrating this book.

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