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Darkship Thieves (Baen Science Fiction) [Mass Market Paperback]

Sarah A. Hoyt
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Nov 2010 Baen Science Fiction
Athena Hera Sinistra never wanted to go to space. Never wanted see the eerie glow of the Powerpods. Never wanted to visit Circum Terra. Never had any interest in finding out the truth about the DarkShips. You always get what you don't ask for. Which must have been why she woke up in the dark of shipnight, within the greater night of space in her father's space cruiser, knowing that there was a stranger in her room. In a short time, after taking out the stranger - who turned out to be one of her father's bodyguards up to no good - she was hurtling away from the ship in a lifeboat to get help. But what she got instead would be the adventure of a lifetime - if she managed to survive...


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (30 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439133980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439133989
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 894,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Sarah A. Hoyt has sold a dozen novels in various genres, including her new Musketeers Mysteries series, starting with Death of a Musketeer," and her acclaimed Shakespearean fantasy series, which started with the Mythopoeic award finalist, Ill Met by Moonlight." An avid history buff and longtime reader of sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries Sarah has published over three dozen short stories in esteemed magazines such as Asimov's," Analog," Amazing" and Weird Tales," as well as several anthologies. Residing in Colorado with her husband, two teen boys and a pride of cats, Sarah is hard at work on her next dozen novels.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first SF novel 16 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback
An absolutely splendid first SF novel from Sarah A. Hoyt. Strong characters, an interesting setting and a good plot. Well worth the money, in paper or ebook format. Mrs Hoyt has had plenty of writing experience, and it shows - a well put together book with a good story to tell.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very good 4 May 2011
Format:Audio Download
A well told story. The author doesn't get bogged down in describing the surroundings to death like some authors and just tells a good story.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  62 reviews
82 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate Space Opera 29 Dec 2009
By Dr. Rob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I like Science Fiction.

I'm not picky, I like all kinds: Space Opera, Hard Science, Science Fantasy, Alternate History, Action, Thriller.

OK, I AM picky. It has to be GOOD Science Fiction. I want likeable characters, an interesting plot, and believable science (with allowances for the classic dictum that any sufficiently advanced science could well be indistinguishable from magic).

Sarah Hoyt is an experienced writer of historical fiction, romance, fantasy, urban fantasy and yes, science fiction. Darkship Thieves is Sarah's first venture into space opera for Baen Books. However, DST is more than just Space Opera. It is part thriller and part adventure with just a touch of quirky romance, all set in a future that may not be all that different from our own present. Why would I call it a thriller and adventure novel? Well, in addition to Science Fiction, I also like to read thrillers and adventure. Spy novels by Ludlum and Le Carré, adventure by Cussler and Clancy and psychological thrillers by Koontz and Sandford. There is one feature of all of these novels styles that stands out - investment in a character, and an overwhelming urge to pick the protagonist up, shake them by the neck, and shout: "I figured this out, why can't you!" Instead, we keep reading until late at night (or early in the morning), just one more page - surely they'll figure it out on the next page.

You know what I'm talking about - the same urge that drives people to watch those slasher movies where you want to tell the clueless college student "DON'T go in the attic! That's where the bad guy is hiding, can't you SEE it?"

It's called psychological investment, or identification, with a character. In the writing craft, that's what keeps you turning page after page long after your spouse has gone to bed. You HAVE to read that next page because you want to see the hero get the reward, although much more frequently, you want to see the villain get their just desserts.

In Darkship Thieves, Athena Hera Sinistra is the daughter of one of Earth's most rich and powerful men. She accompanies him on a routine trip, playing the dutiful social accessory despite her naturally rebellious nature. However a mutiny on her father's spaceship forces her into an escape pod headed directly for the ancient and deadly Powertree Ring that "grows" power pods for Earth's energy needs. Despite the risk of crashing into an explosive pod, she instead crashes into a dark and furtive ship that is stealing power pods for a colony that Earth doesn't know exists. These "darkship thieves" are the descendents of Earth's aborted attempt to genetically engineered a race of superior humans many hundreds of years ago.

'Thena is rescued by Kit, the pilot and lone occupant of the darkship. Despite Thena's wish to return to Earth, Kit rescues her from her own folly and takes her back to the Eden colony. To say that Thena is displeased with her rescuer and status as an unwilling exile is an understatement. Athena Hera Sinistra is a deeply flawed character, raised nearly in isolation from mainstream society. She rebels against nearly every authority figure in her life and is the despair of many schools, tutor, doctors and hospital. Her contempt for the same is revealed on many occasions, but despite all this, Thena is a likable character. There is a REASON she is this way, and when Thena discovers it, as well as the truth about "Daddy Dearest" the reader is right there cheering her on.

In Darkship Thieves, Sarah Hoyt has created characters we can believe - flawed, but worthwhile, and on this voyage of self-discovery, including the most humorous romance I'VE ever read in Science Fiction, the reader is right there along with Thena and Kit, cheering them on, and sometimes wanting to pick Thena up by the scruff of her neck, shake her, and shout: "*I* figured out what 'Daddy Dearest' is up to, why can't YOU?"

Sarah Hoyt has created an enjoyable read that should please fans of urban fantasy, science fiction, and even diehard adventure/thriller fans, too. And when you think about it, there's just enough suggestion that maybe there's more to this story than can fit in one novel. Here's hoping for more great characters from Sarah Hoyt.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is Space Opera? 5 Jan 2010
By R. Hartman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Space Opera" is an interesting term. It kind of means "science fiction as a setting but not as science", and kind of means "larger than life". This is all that and more. The world is much more developed than I typically associate with "Space Opera", but is still painted (to use a metaphor) in rather bright colors and is referred to more environmentally than analytically (all this is really just attempting to say "sf is used as a setting").

The story is fantastic, in all senses of the word. This book two rather widely separted parts -- other authors might even have released this as two books. The exile society of the "mules" is quite well thought out and interesting, as is the future earth. An interesting touch was the evolution of biker gangs. The future equivilant of motorcycles is an open personal flyer called a "broom". Given the world that had been built up this felt entirely natural.

I don't want to get too much into the details of the main characters except to say that I look forward to the Masquerades at the next few cons after this book gets read a bit (actually they may not let the Athenas enter for fear of being shut down on morals charges ...)

Elsewhere the author has characterized this as an urban fantasy set in space. That may be as good a description of it as anything. A mystery. A romance. A romp. Whatever you want to call it, it is _good_. A very enjoyable read.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Old School" Science Fiction 6 Jan 2010
By john wagner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I really do not have much to add to the three previous reviewers, except to say I loved the book. I'm older (assuming here, with all that entails...) than they are and I've always loved my Old World Wrecker Edmond Hamilton, the Three Planeteers by Williamson, my early to middle Heinleins (the so called Juvies like Citizen of the Galaxy, Space Cadet etc) and, of course, Asimov's Foundation series.

Darkship Thieves revives that feeling. While planets are not destroyed (do corrupt regimes count as destroying a planet?), stars do not go novae and vast fleets are not laying waste to entire civilizations, this book has the feeling that it could happen. If things went just a tad wronger (wronger?) then total planetary destruction could happen.

If I close my eyes while reading this book (okaaay, good trick!), it could very easily be a book written by Heinlein. She has his voice, his pacing, same tight writing.

I really hope this book does well, I really want a sequel. More in this universe. So many well thought out throw-aways, casual items, broomsticks (take a skateboard from Back to the Future, ram it together with a Harry Potter broomstick and you have the high tech broomstick with its attendant culture) and power trees for example. Power tree? Yes, power tree. In orbit, vast "plantations" of bio-engneered power trees sucking solar radiation directly into their power pod production.

Ms Hoyt's world is extremely well thought out. EVERYTHING fits together, a giant jigsaw puzzle. Fantastic! Order this book now, you will not be disappointed.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Fluff 16 Mar 2010
By S. Rychnovsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I found Darkship Thieves to be a pleasant and engaging read. Others have described the plot, so I will just touch on a few points. It feels like an old-style space opera with a very strong female character, but written as a Romance. The whole setup is a bit strange with Earth dominated by "Good Men" and the Darkship Thieves of the title formed from and exiled group of humans and genetically modified humans. The touch of libertarian (Ayn Rand) politics in Eden is a bit jarring. It is one of those books where all the important characters are special and superior to the normal humans. In old romances they were all hidden royalty. In this book most characters are either royalty or modified humans. There are plenty of plot twists to keep it interesting, although none of them are very surprising. It feels like 1970's science fiction and brings to mind "Telezy Amberdon" and other work by James Schmidt, if he had written romances, which he did not. Overall it is an enjoyable book.

I have given it a three-star rating because it was pleasant but not memorable. Will any of us remember this book a few year's hence? A five-star book should be one that stands out from the crowd, and I do not think Darkship Thieves does that. It does provide a pleasant diversion for an evening or two.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for Thought 16 Jan 2010
By L. Runkle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I never thought I'd write this about a space opera, but Darkship Thieves is already on my favorite books list.

The Ignobel prizes are awarded to science and mathematics papers that "make you laugh, and then make you think."
Darkship Thieves is packaged like a popcorn read, and is as fun as a popcorn-only read, but underneath is serious steak. I like my fiction fun, with plenty of food for thought. But underneath the non-stop action of old-fashioned space opera are both solid world-building with plenty of solid science, and solid questions. Biotech is addressed, and the morals of biotech, and the questions of whether morals should be laws.

It's hard to describe how fun this book is - the scenery shifts (not necessarily in order) from circum-terra, a space station established for power-harvesting purposes, to four different types of spaceships (if you count an escape pod as a spaceship) to a description of a possible emergency escape for aircraft passengers in, to floating seacities on Earth, to a hair-raising broom chase.

Wow. Just wow. Parts of it were laugh-out-loud. Parts of it were just cool and filled with non-stop action. And a couple scenes made me rethink a couple ideas I've had.

In the end, Darkship Thieves is about Athena. And Kit. And growth. And the really big questions. Read it. You won't be sorry you spent a couple hours of precious time on it.
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