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The Xenocide Mission [Hardcover]

Ben Jeapes
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 May 2002
Space opera is back with a bang! Lieutenant Joel Gilmore is part of a space observation team who find themselves attacked by the very aliens they are watching. It becomes a race against time for their fellow soldiers to rescue them, but in doing so, they unlock the shocking secrets of the solar system. With thrilling action sequences and brilliantly-characterized aliens, this science-fiction novelist is one to watch - but be careful of the aliens. These are not Star Trek aliens with altered faces, but a glimpse of what really might be out there...

Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books; 1st edition (1 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385604122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385604123
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 14 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,474,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Highly enjoyable read... great characterisation and plenty of action to keep you turning the pages. --, October 13, 2002

This is a space opera that employs sociological examination and world building of a very high order. A rip-roaring read. -- Kirkus Reviews, 1 May 2002

Book Description

A gritty and exciting science fiction novel, introducing aliens truer than fiction- --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 3 July 2005
By Robert
I found this book to be a worthy sequel to "His Majesty's Starship". The book was well written and the plot was brilliant. I would recommend this to anyone who likes their books exciting and well written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, well written space opera 1 May 2013
Lieutenant Joel Gilmore is part of a multi-species space observation team stationed in a distant solar system, who find themselves attacked by the very aliens they were supposed to be watching. Now Joel and his allies, the enigmatic Rusties, explore the parameters of trust in a lethal confrontation with a deeply alien third species: one with a nasty predilection for mass murder on a planetary scale.

This book was marketed as a YA science fiction, but I had no trouble getting fully engrossed in the story which started with a bang and kept going right to the end, despite the fact that I hadn't read the first book, 'His Majesty's Starship'. The story is told in multiple viewpoint - and Jeapes joins that select handful of science fiction writers who are brave enough to have a serious stab at writing from an alien point of view. In fact, there are two major alien species in this adventure. The vicious variety with teeth, talons and a propensity for ripping apart anyone who seriously upsets them - and the Rusties, who have formed a coalition with humans. So, the question has to be - does Jeapes pull it off?

As far as the bad guys, known as Xenocides, are concerned, the depiction is excellent. We get a really good slice of their political and cultural life without any info-dumps silting up the narrative pace, which is always a lot harder to achieve than it looks. There is even some humour in there and I particularly enjoyed Oomoing, who had the job of evaluating the captured human. The twist near the end of the story was one I didn't see coming and thoroughly enjoyed. By the end of the novel, I had a really good sense of what they looked like and how their society ran.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly excellent sci-fi 6 Feb 2013
When I first bought this book years ago I read it from cover to cover. I recently dusted it off for a re-read and it's as brilliant as I remember. Most sci-fi novels are filled with cliche, but this is one of the most original I have ever read, and addresses many of the niggling questions that I have at the back of my mind when reading other books in the genre.

The aliens are truly alien, in appearance, culture, and language. The portrayal of an imagined future human civilisation is optimistic, and yet very believable. The characters feel real and it is impossible not to identify and empathise deeply with each of them. Problems with language translation are described and addressed in a much more realistic way than usual (you wont find any English-speaking aliens here), indeed most of the technology feels plausible and not "magical". A thrilling, engaging storyline is the icing on the cake.

Anyone looking for a great read would do well to buy this. If you feel put off by the fact it's not the first in the series or worried you might miss out on the background story, don't be; this is a story in its own right, and doesn't assume knowledge of the prequels. I am a great fan of Clarke and Asimov and I truly feel Jeapes can compete with them.

My final word; I decided to write this review while buying the other books in the series. That should say something :)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 6 Oct 2003
Unfortunately I didn't realise this book is third in a series and read it out of sequence. It was so good I went back and read the other two anyway -- even having some idea of the outcome didn't spoil the read. A complex and well constructed story told at a cracking pace.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sometimes great, but sometimes boring 2 Jan 2008
By Jack - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The "Xenocide Mission" by Ben Jeapes is a great book with mystery, suspense, and thrills, but at times, it gets boring. Don't let this discourage you the book is very good and has a very good story and a lot of actions that creates suspense and makes the reader want to continue reading. But the book got a little boring at times when the setting was calm. The thing I liked the best about the book is that it is told in third person point of view and the story was told through three main characters and their thoughts. I thought that it was a very nice story telling device to tell the story through the lives of three characters, and I liked how two of those characters were related and yet so far apart. One was a commander of the alien race known as the Xenocides or "XC". Other than it being boring at times during the story, the book is very readable and has a really decent appeal to grab the reader in. I mostly recommend this to people who love to read science fiction books.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine YA adventure with interesting speculation about alien races 18 Jun 2006
By Richard R. Horton - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Xenocide Mission, by Ben Jeapes, marketed as a Young Adult book, and works very well as such, though it is fully enjoyable foradults, in my view. (The lead characters include two humans in their early twenties, as well as a much older human, and an apparently much older alien.)

This novel opens on the joint Human/First Breed satellite called SkySpy, which is monitoring the fearsome aliens known as the Xenocides, or XCs, because they brutally exterminated the other intelligent species in their solar system. Young Joel Gilmore and his First Breed (or "Rustie") partner Boon Round are making an external repair when the XCs mount a surprise attack. The first priority is to ensure destruction of the computer banks and the removal of any chance of the XCs gaining FTL technology. Joel, thrust into a leadership role all of a sudden, heroically returns to the satellite with Boon Round while the rest of the survivors make their escape. Soon Joel and Boon Round are captives of the Xenocides.

One of the key Xenocides is Oomoing, a senior Mother of the Scientific Institute of one of their nations. She is summoned to SkySpy to study Joel and Boon Round. We learn that the Xenocides are fierce carnivores, and very warlike in basic orientation, but also that they are intelligent and not, on the face of it, xenocidal. Also, there is some strange mystery concerning the "Dead World", former home of the race the XCs exterminated. And as Oomoing tries to make peaceful contact with Joel and Boon Round, they get the chance to escape -- but only to the Dead World, and with Oomoing and another XC along.

Meanwhile, a rescue mission is organized from the Roving, home planet of the Commonwealth of Humans and First Breed. Joel Gilmore's father, Michael, a retired Commodore, and Joel's girlfriend, Marine Lieutenant Donna McCallum, in their different ways wangle themselves onto the mission. Once in XC space, the mission takes an unexpected turn, as the Xenocides attack and the Commonwealth ship is thrown into chaos by the treachery of an Earth-based observer and the only survivor of the race that formerly dominated the First Breed. (All this refers to back story which is presumably told in His Majesty's Starship.) Another xenocide is threatened, and so is the potential for cooperation among at least four alien races. Only if Joel, Boon Round, and Oomoing can come to terms with their mutually alien natures and work together to understand the mystery of the Dead World can this danger be averted.

This book is very enjoyable, a brisk, entertaining read, with some pretty neat alien races. It's a bit cynical about politics, both human and alien, but not in a hopeless way, rather a fairly realistic way. It might be too busy, with too many strange alien mysteries revealed, and too many plots within plots uncovered. Still, I liked it. It certainly might appeal to its intended audience of "Young Adults" -- and it will also appeal to adult readers of SF looking for a fine adventure story with some interesting speculation about alien races.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great mission 17 April 2003
By Alvaro - Published on
"The Xenocide Mission" written by Ben Jeapes. In this book your imagination travels as you read and understand this thrilling and amazing book. This book is about an outer space mission, in which the crew of an asteroid, named SkySpy, have been sent to watch different life beings, whose technologies, and weapons are supreme or beyond than any of the Earth's. These extraterrestrial beings are called "Xenocides", but also known as "XCs". They are rich not only in technology, and weapons, but they are also aggressive to their enemies.
The "Big Scope" is one of the many surveillance equipment items, which goes around the SkySpy asteroid. The SkySpy is a secret base where Lieutenant Joel Gilmore, one of the main characters, works on the maintenance of the SkySpy. He was the first one to see the glowing white spots in the space, and he thought that some military strength laser was attacking them, but in fact the aliens they were supposed to watch were attacking them.
While you read throughout each page the action unfurls, such as battles, fights between the SkySpy crew, they get close to the XCs, and a lot more! Of course, with a peaceful ending.
My recommendations of this book goes to those that like stories of aliens, and outer space missions, mixed with mystery and a lot of action, that brings you not only to a different point of life, but also a different world.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick action and a complex plot 9 Aug 2002
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
The Xenocide Mission appears under a Random House young adult trademark but its complexity will lend to its enjoyment by many an adult science fiction reader, as well. Joel is part of a space observation team that is attacked by the aliens they are observing. Trapped and awaiting rescue, they find fresh, new and dangerous insights on the aliens they had investigated previously from outside. Quick action and a complex plot makes The Xenocide Mission recommended for older young adults into adults.
5.0 out of 5 stars I have read this book 12 times at least!!! 13 Feb 2013
By laddmarshcowboy - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
So you could say that I pretty big fan of The Xenocide Mission. Here is a quick little intro: In 2153 a secret observation base in far space, staffed by humans and furry quadrupeds called Rusties, is attacked by XC aliens from another spaceship. When Lieutenant Joel Gilmore is captured with Rusties name Boon Round, Joel girlfriend and his father, a retired commodore, rush to rescue him.
This is an amazing book one should definitely read!!! In my opinion it is a shame that Ben Jeapes hasn't got the recognition that deserves for this book. So please read it and tell all your friends about it, I know you will not be disappointed.
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