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Quarter Share (Trader's Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper Book 1)

Quarter Share (Trader's Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Nathan Lowell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.80
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Product Description

Product Description

The Golden Age of Sail has Returned -- in the Year 2352

When his mother dies in a flitter crash, eighteen-year-old Ishmael Horatio Wang must find a job with the planet company or leave the system--and NerisCo isn't hiring. With credits running low, and prospects limited, he has just one enlist for two years with a deep space commercial freighter. Ishmael, who only rarely visited the Neris Orbital, and has never been off-planet alone before, finds himself part of an eclectic crew sailing a deep space leviathan between the stars.

Join the crew of the SC Lois McKendrick, a Manchester built clipper as she sets solar sails in search of profit for her company and a crew each entitled to a share equal to their rating.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3724 KB
  • Print Length: 282 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AMO7VM4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #147,728 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Boy Makes Good 5 July 2011
By John M. Ford TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Ish ("Call Me Ishmael--No kidding.") Wang is living an uneventful, late adolescent life with his college professor mother on a planet owned and controlled by a single company. Ish's mother dies suddenly in a crash, most of her estate is liquidated to cover damage to the crop field she crashed into, and Ish must leave the planet because he can't afford to live there anymore. You can almost see him shaking his fist angrily at the sky and cursing the author.

Motivated to change his circumstances, Ish signs on to a space freighter for entry-level wages and a "quarter share" of each trip's profit. Ish impresses everyone by studying for all four half-share rating exams at once, motivating one of his less ambitious shipmates, organizing a private trading cooperative, and inventing a new way to use ship sewage to grow mushrooms. He also works out, learns to cook, and is utterly oblivious to several female crewmates' romantic interest in him. Sometimes you want to shake your fist at him angrily.

There isn't much excitement in this story, just the slow, steady progress of Ish and his friends as they learn about the ship, their jobs, and each other. One of them gets mugged and loses some money. They are always worried that their private trading plans--for leather belts and such--won't turn a profit. But things always work out. And they are overly-intimidated by the ship's senior officers, who go out of their way to help and mentor them. The readers see the half-hidden smiles behind the officers' hands that Ish and company apparently fail to understand.

Comparisons to Robert Heinlein's juveniles are obvious and appropriate, particularly to Citizen of the Galaxy and Farmer in the Sky. This book is an enjoyable read if you don't expect too much from it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars adventures in space 12 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the first of a wonderful series of books - insightful, joyous, inspirational and somehow at times nailbitingly exciting even though (in a sense) nothing much is happening. We were addicted and had to listen to the rest on podcasts. Shows that great stories in space can be based on the best in people and their respect for their colleagues, not just space wars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Believable Portrayal of Spacefaring Society 27 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unlike most space opera, this novel focuses not on heroes saving planets from galaxy-spanning schemes, but rather on ordinary people using hard work and cunning to overcome the challenges of life in multi-planetary civilisation. However, this is no thinly veiled polemic or economic treaty: the plot is engaging and characters are firmly at the forefront of the narrative.

The story revolves around Ishmael Horatio Wang, a teenager forced to leave his home planet when he is orphaned. Lacking both money and sought-after skills, his only option to avoid crippling debts from passage to another planet is to attempt to find work as an unskilled ship-hand, earning a mere quarter of a share of profits.

Although there is a form of fast interstellar travel, this story is very firmly set against a background of plausible physics and its ramifications. The immense cost of moving mass from planet to planet is most obviously highlighted in the strict personal cargo limits for ship-hands, with an increased cargo allowance being possibly a greater benefit of promotion than an actual pay-rise. However, it is also implicit in ground-bound society; the cost of locating habitable planets has made them commercial objects, many owned not by their inhabitants but by corporations.

The thread of plausible explanations continues in the characterisation. Ishmael's growth from an orphan with little idea of his future to a respected ship-hand is achieved more through his constant attempts to better himself than through luck. This lack of a great destiny immediately makes him more sympathetic to the reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 1 of a truly awesome series 12 Dec 2012
By Stephen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Trader's Tales are some of my favourite books. Having heard them in audio format, I was very excited to get my hands on the new ebook versions. This is a story of ordinary people going about their ordinary, everyday, lives... except that they work on a spaceship, hauling cargo from one place to another. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll just say that this is the beginning of a great story with great characters that you really come to care about. There are no epic space laser battles, this is a people story. I can't wait for the next book in the series, Half Share!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah! the books... great... 21 Feb 2012
By Stu
Forgive my pre-emptive 5 stars, but I have the full "Share" series from podiobooks, told by Nathan Lowell himself. Fantastic series.
Just now spotted that his work is available in book form (for Kindle too).
Buying and downloading now. :)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this space! 9 Jan 2011
By Xlnt
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Warning! Once you start reading The work of Nathan Lowell you will be hooked. An absolute gem of a book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Boring 7 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I came across Ravenwood by accident. I enjoyed the book and read the other two that followed. They were easy reading with a continuing story.

I decided I would try the author's other work, namely starting with Quarter Share.

Oh what a mistake.

It is a long, and incredibly boring tale of a young teenager who is orphaned and signs on as a galley attendant on a freighter. He is very smart and intelligent and soon finds his place on board ship. The description of the vessel and it's working are minimal and it could be anything from a tea clipper, through 20th century containerships to 25th centaury space freighter; which it is!!
He makes friends with Pip, another galley attendant and they soon realise they have a penchant for a little private trading on their own. The buy and sell at the various flea markets they visit at the ship's ports of call.

The "Hero", Ishmail, get into a very plutonic relationship with 3 amazonesque crew members; Diane, Bev and Brill, but only scores with members of other freighters when in port.

I have read the first 2 books and it is just one never-ending list of what they are buying, what they are selling, and how much profit they are making.


I will not bother to buy the rest of the series as I am not that brain dead.

It is a pity somebody did not tell the author how bad they were. He could have saved himself a lot of time and trouble and written something with a story
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