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Stargazer Mass Market Paperback – 5 Apr 2005


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Amazon.com: 12 reviews
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Warlock or Witch? 19 April 2005
By Bookaddict - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stargazer is the story of Princess Lilly of the planet Oasis and a condemned murder, Shaun Phoenix.

Lilly is the niece of the King of Oasis, her father was the King's brother and her mother was a Circe witch. At her birth, her mother was condemned to die for murdering the King's wife and son, her father had died trying to protect the queen and her babe. As the King's last living relative, Lilly is heir to the throne.

Shaun Phoenix was raised underground on a planet that's surface was covered by poisonous gas, his parents were in hiding. They had been forbidden to marry, fleeing to have the life together and going in hiding. They were murdered when the leaders decided they wanted the planet the couple was living on, killed by the soldiers sent to remove them. Phoenix saught out each man who had murdered his parents and killed them, for this he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in the darkest hole that could be found.

The couple meet when Lilly and her protector took transport undercover on a cargo ship. As Lilly enters the bay, she senses Phoenix and goes to stand before his cryo tube. She touches him mentally, then enters her own cryo tube, next to her protector. The death of her protector penetrates her sleep and awakes her to the the danger she is in, The ship is being attacked by the Ravigans, the enemy of her people. She helps Phoenix escape from the soldier trying to kill him and they flee to an escape pod, where they eject to safety. It is from here where their adventure truely begins. Are they safe? Don't count on it, enemies turn up at every turn and are people you would least suspect.

I refuse to tell you more, I don't want to spoil the story. You won't regret reading it and I know it will be on your read again shelf. I know I put it on mine.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Political Intrigue Abounds in this Emotional Epic 18 April 2005
By K.D. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lily, niece of Sovereign Alexander, is the only royal on Oasis who can save her threatened planet and protect its natural resource from being plundered. During a secret mission to address the Senate, Lily boards a cargo ship to disguise her presence from the marauding Ravigans who've surrounded her home world. When the ship is attacked, and her bodyguard Krebbs is killed, she has no choice but to join forces with the only man on board who can save her life. What better person than a man guilty of murdering five Legionnaires? It doesn't hurt that his only other choice is imprisonment in the bowels of a prison planet. Yet, Lily's telepathic trip inside the prisoner's head shows her there is more to him than meets the eye. It begs her to answer the question--What kind of special secrets does Phoenix hold as the only male Circe ever left alive?

This is the fundamental question that spurs Lily and Shaun Phoenix on, through a labyrinth of political intrigue to save her planet and their lives. When they can no longer trust anyone except each other, their relationship jumps at warp speed to a whole new level. From their first meeting, they're connected by a special bond as Circe witches which allow them to enter each other's heads (and adds a surreal sensual realm during their intimate moments). By overcoming their emotional weaknesses and supporting each others individual strengths Shaun and Lily multiply their "natural" powers to uncover the secret plots brewing around them. Their adventures immerse them in a myriad of cultures and several planets are fleshed out in complete detail, including a blood lust gladiator fight to the death and snakelike creatures waiting to pounce underwater.

As Susan Grant noted in her praise for STARGAZER the novel does have connotation of Riddick and Star Wars. In fact, several times I caught myself reflecting back to various Sci-fi sources that could've inspired Colby Hodge's imagination. Even though some of the pieces reflect classic moments captured on film, the way the author has mixed and matched the elements is masterful. Colby Hodge has taken the best pieces and twisted them into a tail that is intricately weaved and fast paced enough to have readers racing to the end to discover whether or not the hero and heroine's epic struggle will truly have a happy ending.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
exciting action-packed science fiction romance 30 Mar. 2005
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Being the daughter of a murdering Circe witch who killed her father has hurt Lilly as much of upper society starting with her uncle blames her from the moment of her birth almost as much as her mother though Lilly was born after the homicide. Two decades later her uncle, Sovereign Alexander of Oasis still holds her culpable for his brother's death due to her mother's actions; still he assigns Lilly as his representative to the senate with war beckoning that could destroy the world.

Ravigans attack her ship and her bodyguard Krebb is killed. Desperate she frees a cyro-prisoner Phoenix, whom she already held a telepathic chat with, from his frozen cell that stated "Do not revive without authorization". The prisoner was to be dumped in the deepest known hole for murdering five Senate soldiers. He sees his actions differently as he was avenging the murder of his parents. He is an anomaly as an unprecedented male surviving descendent of the Circe witches, but agrees to protect Lilly. As they fall in love, they have doubts about the underlying reasons for the upcoming war and investigate how he survived the Circe witches when they kill male infants immediately.

STARGAZER is an exciting action-packed science fiction romance in which the worlds envisioned by Colby Hodge seem so real the audience will believe she is an ET from one of them. The story line hits hyperspeed immediately and never decelerates until the climax. The mystery of Phoenix adds depth on a personal level to this fabulous outer space tale that in some ways feels like a medieval historical tale as love and war are enhanced by trust and betrayal respectively.

Harriet Klausner
Derivative Combo Pack of Pop Sci Fi Movies 6 Nov. 2014
By Sea Laughing - Published on Amazon.com
I've had this book on my shelf for a long time without reading it, mainly because of another review which erroneously accused the author of creating incestuous characters. Clearly that reviewer didn't bother to read the book until the end. (I've also left books unfinished, but at least had the grace to inform others of that fact when writing reviews.)

No doubt about it, the author lacks originality. This was a medley of popular science movies: "Star Wars" combined with "Riddick" plus elements of "Dune," spiced with a few other common sci fi references. Princess Leia becomes Princess Lily, desperate to reach the Senate because her planet is under attack and only she can convince them to send help. Shaun (rhymes with Han) is a Riddick-clone, a criminal being transported to a prison planet in the deep freeze, not unlike frozen Han Solo en transit to Jabba the Hutt. He also has a lot of Luke Skywalker merged into his character; not only does he have Jedi-like powers, his adopted parents were slain in a back story stolen directly from "Star Wars." The Circe Sisterhood is inspired by "Dune," including the theme of a royal family's controlled breeding by a group of power-hungry female telepaths.

The writing is wooden and passive, reliant on the overuse of filter words, with the characters "looking" and "feeling" their way through the story. The characters themselves lack depth, not to mention true motivation, which makes their actions implausible. The Sovereign Alexander and Michael are especially unbelievable: for example, first they try to kill the hero, then—in the very next scene—rely on him to save the heroine; the facile explanation for this turnabout makes little sense. The heroine starts out as a plucky stereotype, then crumples into a semi-catatonic state when faced with a marriage-of-state. Apparently the author intended to demonstrate the depths of her love but instead portrayed the 'resourceful' heroine as a pathetic quitter.

Like most futuristic authors, Hodge ignores scientific fact entirely; this is a common flaw of the genre and one of the reasons most intelligent readers scorn these books. Too many authors of science fiction (and fantasy) ignore the laws of physics in the spirit of "anything goes," basing their 'knowledge' of science on television and B movies instead of taking the time to do a little research. Hodge falls into this trap repeatedly, so don't expect anything approaching realism.

Despite the numerous flaws, Hodge is a natural storyteller. If she would take the time to hone her craft, I think she could become a very good writer. If you're not overly critical of the commonplace flaws—in other words, if you're a devoted sci fi fan, hungry for the genre—you might find this book an enjoyable way to pass the time. I turned to this book while laid up in bed during an illness, and it was good enough to take my mind off my troubles for an afternoon, probably because I was in the mood to escape reality. For those who crave the familiarity of the same old sci fi rut, this book will be heartily welcomed.
A Gem of Sci-Fi Romance! 8 July 2014
By Monique Atgood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a delightful sci-fi romance! They are rare as hen’s teeth these days. I found this little gem and loved the Star Wars imagery, and the clever plot twists.

SYNOPSIS:
The bad guys are ‘Witches’. They live on a planet ruled by women who all have mind reading and mind control powers. They won’t allow the power to go to males, so when a male is born with the eye color that denotes the mind control gene, they automatically kill him. One of the ‘Witches’ married the King of Oasis, and - you guessed it - they had a baby boy. The Witches were not happy when the King declined to kill his newborn heir, so the Witches dispatched an assassin. To get close to the King and his hated heir, the assassin married the King’s brother, got pregnant with a ‘spare heir’, then tried to kill the male heir. The assassin succeeded in killing the King’s brother, and mortally wounding the King’s wife, but not before the queen escaped with the baby and was never heard from again.

The King waited the months necessary for his niece to be born, then coldly dragged the assassin out in public and had her tortured to death.

20 years later, the niece is now the Oasis Princess Lilly is traveling incognito on a common transport ship. She is on her way to the Senate to beg for military help. Her home planet Oasis is under attack by the big bad Ravigans. A fellow traveler in a cryogenic tube is a murderer headed for life on a prison planet. Ravigans attack the transport to kill Lilly. In the middle of the attack, the Princess saves Shaun the prisoner, and they eject in an escape pod.

Shaun and Lilly travel the galaxy and deal with machina cations and politics and have a grand love that blossoms while they work to save Oasis and by extension, the galaxy.

WHAT I LOVED:
Story! This was a creative one, that - yes it did use Stars Wars imagery, but I love Star Wars, so I enjoyed the ride.

a) a tractor beam takes the ship in so it can be searched
b) the fugitives hide in the Millennium Falcon’s secret compartment
c) they use the old ‘make the Wookie a prisoner and fool the guards’ routine
d) the princess en route to the Senate is attacked and boarded
e) the heroes escape by an escape pod
f) the princess has long hair and dresses like Leia

I loved the by-play between the two friends. I loved the lusty pilot that chased anything and knew everything because of his connections with women. The back story of the characters and the action was superb!

CRITICISM:
There were a couple of places, where the action and motivations seemed to jump or were tangled. The author used narrative to show action (only a couple of times) rather than use the story. I wasn’t sure how Shaun, went from indifferent to ‘giving up his freedom’ for the Princess, there were no coy looks, or chemistry, or the usual fun things that signal the main characters are falling for each other. The love scenes were Linda Howard esq abrupt. Also - I personally hate virgins having screaming ‘o’, I call BS.

OVERALL:
A gem of a sci-fi find! Hodge has a Sara Creasy gift. She spins a story that sucks the reader in and you’ll be glad you bought this one.
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