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Endless Blue [Hardcover]

Wen Spencer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £17.68
Price: £14.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Dec 2007
The bestselling author of "Wolf Who Rules" delivers the first title of a new series. Faced with genocide at the hands of the alien Nefrim, humans search for a miracle. That miracle may be Captain Mikhail Volkov, who discovers a secret that might save the human race.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books; First Printing edition (4 Dec 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416573852
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416573852
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,163,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

The 2003 John Campbell Award Winner, Wen Spencer spent twenty years living in Pittsburgh, so its only natural that she sets her stories there. Currently she's living outside of Boston with her husband and son. She's a fan of Japanese anime and manga, and it flavors her writing. Her fantasy novel "Tinker" won the 2003 Sapphire Award and was nominated for the "Romantic Times Review" Choice Award for Best Fantasy. Anne McCaffery has listed Wen on her website as one of two recommended authors.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complicated but good 6 July 2008
By ismarah
Format:Hardcover
I find Wen Spencer books to be unique.

Most of the time I'll pick up a book, look at it, read a few bits here and there, and then buy it if I think it looks interesting.

With Wen Spencer you can't really do that. You just have to trust that her stories are worth it and they always are. You just have to start reading and trust that somewhere along the way, she'll explain.

The story is a complicated space sci-fi, with lots of technical jargon that some people may find tiresome. However, the characters are great and the story keeps you going all the way through. I would in fact be quite happy to see a sequel, although it can just as easily stand as it is.

I very much enjoyed it, read it in one sitting and then wished I hadn't (as then I'd still have some left instead of having to wait until the next Wen Spencer book drops through my letterbox).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lesser-known and under-rated author 18 Dec 2010
By D. Pugh
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm finding Wen Spencer's books to be uniformally good, with novel concepts, and good original premises. Nothing demanding or taxing, just a good escapist, enjoyable read.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars engaging characters...confusing world 7 Dec 2007
By Jan Keller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm a big fan of Wen Spencer's books, really liked Tinker and Wolf who Rules, and while Endless Blue is good, it's not at the same level. I found the "world" confusing to the point of annoyance because I couldn't figure out what was going on, but the characters - especially Mikhail and Turk and their relationship - were wonderfully engaging. So engaging the book got 4 stars instead of 3. I CARED about what was happening to them. My involvement in the characters literally pulled me from page to page.

After the first few chapters the book splits to follow Mikhail and Turk separately and while usually this means having to read about one uninteresting character until you can read about the interesting character, I found myself fully engaged with both plots. That being said, whenever descriptions of the "world" popped up I just skipped them until I reached dialogue which contained all the info I really needed to know to follow the plot.

Overall I liked it and would recommend it, but be prepared for a world that makes no sense and characters that are so engaging you read the whole book any way.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Adventure with Space Empires, Aliens, Pocket-Universes... 26 April 2008
By April - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Captain Mikhail Volkov has a lot to prove. His 'father,' Tsar Ivan Volkov, is distant and unloving and ruler of the Novaya Rus Empire, and is a clone of the legendary Tsar Viktor, just the same as Mikhail. Mikhail, heir presumptive, has had a career that has been less than stellar, marred by a poor psych exam that has denied him an important posting in the past. But he hopes to try to live up to his genetics when he's assigned a possible suicide mission. A warp engine of a ship that was MIA years ago suddenly warps back into known space. They can send a ship back along its mysterious route, but are not sure where it came from... suspecting a pocket-universe of some kind. Novaya Rus and and its allies in the United Colonies forces are in a losing battle with the alien nefrim. It's imperative to know if the nephrim are involved in this phenomenon and if it's something that may help their war effort.

Along with Captain Mikhail is his 'brother' Turk, a creche-born adapted humanoid called a Red that are used as soldiers, without all the rights of true humans, who was raised alongside with Mikhail. The hazards of this mission into the unknown, along with a mutinous plot among the newly acquired Reds, trying to cope with the unknown conditions of the new world and actually trying to complete their mission and find out if there is a way back to their universe is all fascinating. Mikhail and Turk also have to deal with their personal demons and with the social issues that contribute to them. The setting of the Sargasso, the watery pocket-universe with floating islands and settlements grown around the wrecks of great starships is also intriguing.

I would happily read more books about this universe (and pocket-universe).
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Adventure 3 May 2008
By CWS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Wen Spencer's eighth novel, Endless Blue, can be read as simply a fast-paced, engaging scince fiction novel...but that misses half the fun. Under the action, well-realized characters, and thoroughly unique setting are the kind of questions that science fiction was originally invented to ask. What is the nature of humanity? How do we define, and choose, good or evil? Is there a meaning to the cosmos, and do we have a place within it? What is God?

Set in a far-distant future, this is Spencer's first "Pure" science fiction novel. The action is fast enough that it is almost impossible not to read it quickly, but the writing is worth a closer look. Earlier novels have boasted some excellent lines, but the writing here is consistently tight without sacrificing poetry.

One caveat: while her "Alien Taste" series is PG to PG-13, and the Tinker Duology is rated R, this book is R shading into NC-17. While occassionally graphic, it is never gratuitous, but I would not be comfortable recommending it to readers much under 18.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very, very good read 11 Mar 2008
By Emily A. Randall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Wow, this book even sums itself up at the end, "We shook the universe and saw what fell out". I pre-ordered this book off Amazon but it took me until tonight to read it. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. Sargasso does seem confusing at first and it's hard to wrap your mind around islands in the sky, called vimana. Once you understand what vimana are, it gets easier. If you've seen Star Trek, or perhaps other sci-fi, it's easier to picture the floating bits of land in the sky and a place that goes on and one with no horizon. The characters are great and I eagerly await a sequel. I'll wait for as long as it takes her, as long as I waited for this one, which is about a year or more. Wen Spencer is a writer to watch, read and embrace.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it Twice: Once for Fun, Once to Savor 20 Feb 2008
By Laurel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Endless Blue by Wen Spencer is a rolicking good adventure. The characters, even the minor ones, wrap their fingers around your heart and squeeze. I read it in less than a day, nearly in one sitting. The book enveloped me in it's comprehensive world. Afterwards, I walked around in a daze, shocked to be back in my mundane, comfortable mid-west home.

Once recovered, I read it again, slowly, to savor it and to shake out all the jewels: the imagery, the subtle foreshadowing, the metaphors, the life-relevant themes... One can connect the dots on many different layers. It is truly a story about life, the universe and everything.

Each one of us has to make big decisions based on scant and conflicting data: How do I care for my aging mother? Should I change jobs? Should I marry this guy, or buy that car? WHO do I vote for?

How do we decide? How do we choose?

In this delicious story, Mikhail, Paige, Turk, Hardin, the Nefrim and assorted colorful lesser characters face many quandries. They each have their own variations on decision techniques sprouting from their own strengths, predispositions and flaws. To start with:

In the first chapter we learn that the Nefrim are waging an unprovoked, illogical war against humans. None of their actions make sense. Spaceships disappear. The human alliance is confounded, and losing.
Part of a vanished ship reappears, raising countless questions and answering none. The only clear information is that it contains a familiar, but unregistered "weapon". Are the Nefrim responsible? Are they trying to mass-produce these viable, useful things?
Mikhail is asked to gather his crew and jump into oblivion to find more facts. Faced with scant, conflicting information, the only thing he can sense for sure is a shade of greed lingering over the request.
How does he decide? The stakes are high. If he does nothing, the Nefrim may win. If he goes, he and his crew may disappear, accomplishing nothing for their sacrifice. If he succeeds, he may save the universe. He hedges his bet against the potential greed and jumps.

One choice blossoms into a multitude of life or death challenges and opportunities.

The external conflicts/decisions drive the captivating plot of this book. The beauty of the story sprouts from the internal conflicts. The stakes of each choice, big or small, are deftly woven into the story, and transmute as the characters grow and interact. Each decision alters the players' lives and souls.

In the end, the biggest decisions require the greatest leaps of faith.

Get this book. Read it twice. Once for fun, once to contemplate life and to grow.
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