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Last of the Chosen (Spirit of Empire Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Lawrence P. White
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £11.95
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Book Description

A note from the author:

Spirit of Empire is a three-book series.Each book is twice as long as a standard novel, so you are getting excellent value along with a great story. The three books are written, so you do not risk investing yourself in a story that never reaches completion. Take the plunge - you will not regret it.

The story:

The Empire, hundreds of thousands of civilizations scattered across the galaxy, has been subtly invaded by the Chessori, diminutive creatures wielding a powerful mind weapon. No one can resist this terrible mind weapon, and the war is lost before anyone knows it began.

Ellandra of the Chosen, the youngest and last surviving leader of the Empire, flees the Chessori. In desperation, she lands on a little-known emerging world called Earth where she is rescued by Mike Carver, an innocent bystander. In the process, he discovers that he and the people of Earth are immune to the mind weapon.

Join Mike and Ellandra on their quest to restore the Empire to its former glory. Along the way they will enlist many others, including:

- Otis, a Great Cat, the most lethal Protector in the Empire.

- Jake, a Rider, an intelligent alien mass of protoplasm. If a person could be considered a commodity, Riders would be the single most valuable commodity in the Empire. Unfortunately for Mike, Riders can only survive inside a host body.

- George, a nearly sentient artificial intelligence.

- Krys, a young woman far across the galaxy who receives unwelcome visions of the future. She hears Ellandra’s call, but she is just an orphan. What can she do?


Product Description

About the Author

About the Author Born in 1950, I have been a pilot all of my working life and a writer for most of that time. I flew over 600 combat missions in Vietnam and have since traveled over most of the Earth flying private jets. About half of my career has been in management positions. If ever there was a case of life experience informing what a writer writes, I am that case. I have met people from all walks of life and from all over our wonderful planet, and I have liked almost all of them. It is only a small stretch for me to imagine liking aliens. I encourage your feedback. heck out the book's website and send an email. Email: larry@spiritofempire.com Website: www.spiritofempire.com

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 964 KB
  • Print Length: 582 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004P1JAUQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #462,839 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new great series 6 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first book by Lawrence I have read. Already it has me as hooked as the Foundation series did many years ago when I first read that. Can't wait to read the next book in the series, so I am going to stop writing this review so I can download it now :-)
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Unfinishable" 5 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
It is very, very rare that I don't finish a book that I start. This one defeated me, however. There was really nothing that I could warm to: the development of the lead character was a bit of a mess; the storyline was unoriginal and (to me) uninteresting; the writing style was frustrating. My views are in the minority, judging by the high-star ratings of others (on Amazon.com). Each to his own, I suppose.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  452 reviews
69 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and Annoyance 26 May 2011
By Soar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I started to title this review as 'Love and Hate', yet that wasn't accurate. Annoyance was the right word (though without the flair that love and hate holds).

LOVE THE BOOK:
I loved this book.... thought the story was fun with drama and humor and color. The characters drew me in, I wanted to hear more about them. The story was a good balance of pace, excitement, information, and new characters. I found myself just rocketing through the book and at the end in no time. While writing this review, I was trying to figure out what made this book a great read while several I've read lately have been not nearly as enjoyable.... what came to mind was that the writing seems fresh and the technique keeps me present in the story not wondering where the author was going or why they were writing about this or that topic... I was immersed in the story.

It is nice to see new writers come onto the scene. I read a lot and have felt like there are less and less writers that interest me in the sci-fi/fantasy genres lately. Perhaps it is because I'm not a fan of the vampire/werewolf stories and thus choose not to buy what seems like 90% of the new books in the fantasy realm (yes, I know this is a sci-fi book, I mix the two groups together).

ANNOYED BY CLIFFHANGER:
My annoyance with the book is I am simply not a fan of great big cliffhangers. This story felt like it was going at a great clip and thennnnn stop! ...see what happens in the next episode. If the next episode were next week, fine, but when a next book is usually a year off (or per some comments in the reviews, maybe earlier summer) that is another thing. When I buy a book, I want the complete package, good writing, great characters, gripping beginning, definitive end that wraps things up. This book has so much of what I do like, the author just could have done a better job wrapping things up and still left open threads that would draw me to the next book.

And yet... still 5 stars. Why? Because, as I said, I really liked the story and enjoy the viewpoint of a new author like Mr. White.

Overall... I really look forward to more works by this author in the future.

Update: Link to 2nd book
Knights of the Chosen (Spirit of Empire, Book Two)
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why does everyone like this book... 2 Sept. 2011
By Austin Marsh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The only good thing I can say about Last of the Chosen is that it has a decent start with a lot of action. What I don't like about this book: Every character trusts every other character. No matter how implausible a conversation, character 1 takes character 2's word for it. The second thing that I dislike: I have never read a book with so much group hugging, kneeling and crying. Third: for a book about space battles, mind control weapons, etc. There is hardly any high technology besides spaceships with some AI. I don't want to go on about everything I didn't like, but I feel someone needs to say that this is not a very good book. It would probably be good for the younger generation (< 16 yrs old).
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars? No Way. 10 Jan. 2012
By Stephen Ostendorf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I saw that this book had a rating of 4.5 stars with over 300 reviews and was inexpensive so I thought I would give it a try. The first few chapters were entertaining. There were a lot of good ideas that were interesting and I wanted to read more but after struggling through 20% of the book, I can't stand it any more. The characters make absolutely no sense and events bare no relation to reality. All of the main characters somehow "feel" that they should take some action and, without thinking about it, everything somehow just works out? They all seem to have knowledge of things that doesn't make sense given their background stories. Also, everyone spends about 5 minutes together and they just trust the other each other enough to do something like send fleets of ships on search missions without any type of solid explanation? This makes no sense and is so far from the way people behave and events transpire that I have no desire to finish the book. I can't understand how it has 4.5 stars.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An empty shell of a space opera 10 Mar. 2012
By SirWired - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Frankly, I am baffled by the high praise offered for this book. I don't know if people are cutting it slack because it's cheap, or maybe because it's a new author, or because the author encourages you at the end to write a review, which is going to bias the reviews towards people that managed to finish it. (I didn't; I got about halfway through. You have to REALLY like this book to get through the whole thing...)

The word that could best describe this book would be "empty." The characters are nothing more than black-and white cardboard cutouts drawn in magic marker that never do anything surprising or particularly interesting. I do not require my heroes to be "dark" or "edgy" or have some Deep Shameful Past, but they need to have a little more color to them than Amazing Universally Competent Engineer, Amazing Universally Competent Damsel in Distress, Amazing Universally Competent Warrior Sidekicks, Amazing Universally Competent Followers, etc. The villains could have come out of bad episodes of Batman (I could practically see them twirling a mustache.)

The heroes I like to read are certainly allowed to be implausibly perfect, and I don't mind villains that are very caricatures of crackling evil; such is par for the course in Space Opera. But to be worth reading, they need to be more than just outlines. Nobody here has even the most minor quirk; other than bare biographical details, we know nothing about them, nor do we care. (No, author, just slapping some perfunctory stereotypes on the hero's Native American / Scottish ancestry doesn't count.) The dialogue has no spark, no conflict, and no humor; just a bunch of words that are the minimum necessary to move the plot along.

I won't comment on the plot... it's serviceable, if not exactly packed with too much in the way of twists and turns.

Lastly... Maybe I missed it, but at any point did the author even attempt to address why the primary race, despite the fact they are explicitly labeled as aliens, appear to be humans? (Nor, for that matter, is our main hero at all curious about that fact.) I'd get along well with a bunch of alien visitors too, if they looked, sounded, and acted nearly like myself. It'd be like somebody from California boasting how well they get along with people from exotic cultures because they really enjoyed visiting Chicago.

It's not unusual in SF for contemporary humans to get ensnared in some galactic conflict that also involves humans, albeit not ones from Earth. But in those cases, the human from Earth is always shocked that it's the case, and the author nearly always explains why. (Maybe the author explains why later, but some curiosity on our hero's part from the start would be welcome.)

The book gets two stars because there is a kernel of something usable in here, but I'm not sure if it's salvageable. Interesting characters are the hardest part of writing (and the most important part of genre fiction), and this book doesn't have any.

I don't like writing bad reviews, but life's too short to spend reading boring books.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull, hollow shell of a space opera 30 May 2012
By Joshua Barr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book does not deserve the rating curve I see. By the time I was just a couple pages in I suspected I should have read the low-star reviews before buying, and I had to force myself to read the entire book over the course of three days so that I could honestly claim to have read the whole thing when I left the review. There are so many gaping plot holes etc. that I get tired just thinking about trying to enumerate them. I had a brief period where I managed to enjoy the book by thinking that it was an intentional parody, but I couldn't keep up the cognitive dissonance for long.

Please, go read the Dahak Trilogy by David Weber. Or the Lensman Chronicles by E.E. Doc Smith. Or even the Deathstalker Saga by Simon Green! Whatever flavor takes your fancy. Anything but this.

Read on (this review) only for some validation of my summary above. In no particular order a random sampling of some of the mind-numbing "seriously??" moments from this book:

The main character (Mike) is an architect who is whisked off to space battles and galactic intrigue when a space ship crash-lands right next to him and he immediately jumps into a firefight to help the good guys. A super-rare sentient symbiote transfers from a dying alien to him in order to survive, so he is drafted as a member of the alien crew. Of course, he is uniquely talented and charismatic, and is chosen as captain of the ship. Etc. etc. His only downside is that he takes too much time to train at first because he wants to (and is able to) have complete understanding of every facet of alien technology until they convince him that this is a waste of time because their technology never malfunctions, ever. You don't need to understand it. Of course the technology goes bad at a critical moment later on. But no one thinks anything of it. I can't even begin to go into the plot-holes of the AI programming.

The main character's party are all filled with "instinctive" and "intuitive" trust for each other. I lost track of how many times some character "just instinctively knew" the right course of action. There is a magic artificial intelligence "net" onboard military vessels that allows true meetings of the mind between characters, where everyone is filled with instinctive love and warm, fuzzy, understanding of everyone else. It allows a vast augmenting of senses, understanding, and intelligence. Full-spectrum electromagnetic sensing and intuitive understanding of new, alien senses and math is as natural as breathing, but the computer can't simulate tastes very well because, "[character] instinctively knew that the computer could not simulate senses it did not have." To test his integration with the system the main character... opens and shuts doors on the ships, and turns lights off and on. Apparently it's what you do. Giddy with his command of the alien systems, he exults in the phenomenal powers at his disposal.

The entire empire is predicated on the special, supernatural ability of the royal line to determine character and read minds, yet the plot revolves around the stunning and completely unexpected betrayal of the Empire by the First Knight (grand vizier), despite the fact that the First Knight is submitted to unique levels of verification. They must have pulled /this/ one out of a hat.

All of the characters are astonishingly naive, ignorant, and unimaginative. We're being tracked by a beacon in our transponder, what will we do? After over a year of running and fighting vastly superior forces someone finally has the bright idea of trying to find the beacon and disable it. They conclude, having made no attempt, that it must be too difficult to do. Impossible, even, despite the fact that the beacon was somehow installed during a very short stopover on another planet. Has no one ever done this before? In thousands and thousands of years of galactic history?

All quotes here are loose paraphrases.

One of the characters takes a piloting test where the final ritual ordeal is, get this, an EVA. It's hyped up as this impossible test of character to simply stand on the outside shell of a ship /in simulation/, with air and gravity. Our plucky hero overcomes his fear of the emptiness of space and stands firm on the outer shell while the instructor slithers around on his stomach braving "the void".

The romantic interest is supposedly a uniquely talented and trained diplomat with hundreds of years of experience who behaves like a preteen girl. Like the rest of the characters she has no curiosity or imagination, is surprised by nearly everything that happens and is always making incredibly stupid and short-sighted decisions. "It's okay," they always say magnanimously, "everyone makes mistakes and we will do better next time."

She has a nursing child who once makes an appearance for nursing because her breasts are "almost sore, heavy with milk" or something, and another time because she misses her baby. In the entire rest of the book she is remarkably incurious about her child, does not even think about her. Really?

Another character BLUFFS his way through all the layers of security to warn royalty of an assassination plot in person. "This is very important, but I can't tell you the details" is a magic phrase that whisks him through complacent, bovine secret service and police to talk to the Empress' heir in person. Despite knowing exact details of the assassination plot he only stupidly repeats "You're in danger!" over and over again. Then in a stunning deficit of intellect he concludes that the only way to keep the princess safe is by leaping on the poisoned artifact himself. "Next time," says the chief of security "you could have just told us it was poisoned and we would have dealt with it."
"Oh," says our plucky, uniquely intelligent, resourceful and self-educated one-legged super-orphan "I didn't think of that."
"That's okay," says the chief of security magnanimously, "everyone makes mistakes..."

Two orphans from the slums meet and discover that they are siblings. They immediately love and trust each other, all hugs and "I'll stay with you forever! You're my best friend ever!" despite the fact that they've never seen each other before. They barely even meet and talk, yet have a deep emotional bond and understanding even a decade later.

The girl orphan is a Seer and produces conveniently obscure riddle prophecies on demand. Shortly after meeting the princess she manages to convince her to leave her security detail and all weapons and technology behind so that they can go meet with the secret tree people of a colony planet, who are filled with only light and love and have no dark side and give each member of the party destinies and prophecies. I can't make this stuff up.

I can't even go on. Skip this one.
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