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4.2 out of 5 stars640
4.2 out of 5 stars
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2013
Before buying this book I read a few of the reviews (of which there are many) and was still undecided. In the end the purchase price of seventy seven pence swung it for me. There's not a lot you can buy for that price and I was happy to delete the book if I didn't find it engaging. Approaching it with an open mind I was impressed with the world the author had created which seems to have the depth and breadth required to support a developing story. And that what this book feels like - the first part of a developing story. I'm a huge fan of Stephen Donaldson's Gap Series and more recently James S A Corey's Expanse Series and this book feels like it wants to set up similar stage.
Whilst I will agree with other reviewers that the characters are not as well rounded and the science isn't as accurate as it could be, there are some inspired and novel twists that keep it interesting. There are elements that feel rushed however the balance between dialogue and narrative mean that this is a fun, fast-paced read that has you wanting more. I hope that in future books more time can be given to developing the characters without losing the sense of momentum. In short; don't expect this to be Iain M banks and you will be pleasantly surprised. I will certainly be buying the next instalment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2014
I have two pet peeves in science fiction. The first is the use of made up terms to make things seem more sci-fi. The classic example of this is 'unobtanium' from Avatar. Well here we have 'transpiranium' (I may have speled that incorrectly!) and it's used so often it distracted from the story. My other pet peeve is the use of made up words for swearing. If you're using contemporary English idioms everywhere else in the book then say 'Frek' or 'krack' really doesn't add anything.

Minor things you might think, but they do irritate me, so much so that I nearly discarded this book after a couple chapters. Which would have been a shame as it turned out to be a fun read. It's more of a guilty pleasure than classic sci-fi, but entertaining all the same.

In many ways it reads like a computer game, it's full of energy and rips along at a decent pace. It's lacking in depth for the characters but they play their parts. Like many computer games the plot seems contrived at times and I groaned out loud at the reveal at the end.

It has many flaws, but it's a quick read and there's some decent action in there. It's the first book in a series and currently this book appears to be free, so is worth taking a punt on.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2013
I enjoyed it a great deal.

It's well-written. In particular the ship to ship battle scenes are as exciting as any movie, and the descriptions of the various locations do well to bring them to life, even though the same could not be said for the characters in my opinion. I liked Ethan as a protagonist, but none of the characters really 'came to life' or made a particularly lasting impression.

I deducted 1 star from my rating because I found the plot twists to be unbelievable and I was largely underwhelmed by them.

The second thing is that the author uses made-up words instead of swear words, which just didn't appeal to me at all. In fact, the first time such a word was used in the book I thought is was silly, and I didn't realize that it was even supposed to be a swear word.

Lastly, and this is just something minor, the primary antagonist in the story is sometimes given a nickname when he's referred to, and it isn't ever explained or even implied as to why they call him this (unless I missed it somewhere), so this bothered me a little.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2013
This is one of the most exciting and enjoyable books I've read in a while... It pick's up where the first book left off and brings the series on leaps and bounds.

As others have said, the descriptions of the space battles are as exciting as any Hollywood movie, and in many cases, possibly more so!

The people who have complained about it "not being Shakespeare" or that the characters lack depth are daft - you don't go to the cinema to watch Transformers and then complain about the one dimensional characters - you go to see giant robots and explosions! The same applies to Dark Space II - you read this for the epic space battles and overarching story of humanity on its last legs - and this it does incredibly well!

Read it with that in mind and you won't be disappointed!
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2013
This book has positive points and negative points, and to me the negatives outweigh the positives for a book I have paid money for instead of a free download.

As others have pointed out, the complete lack of any laws of physics really broke all immersion I had in this book. Cases where characters are in the vacuum of space, bleeding through their space suit? Explosions in space? Also, a really odd use of very small distances when explaining fights that have been previously explained to be going at tremendous speeds. There are many such examples and while this may not bother everyone, for me my formal education just screams at me every time I experience something like this, perhaps I am too literal minded.

The editing is also quite bad. At one point a character calls the main character by his true name when they were absolutely not supposed to know, then switches back to using his alias again. To me that is just lazy. Also the use of scenes are repeated through the book, the character unbelievably shooting a missile traveling at great speed and great distance with a blind shot from a laser. Twice. Again this seems lazy to me. Near the end of the book it also feels very rushed, there is a blatant overuse of adjectives and sentences that are entirely irrelevant to the plot or any character building, leading it to read like one of my early school essays where I would waffle just to fill up the word count. If this has all been fixed since I bought this book a few months back, then I apologize.

Also, some aspects of the story seem very contrived, where characters make inexplicably bad decisions, which all seem in order to march the story to a place the author wants the plot to go. These could have been handled so much better and the lack of any explanation just made me annoyed at the characters disregard for any normal straight forward logical protocols, and gave the book a very unpolished feel for me. Discussions between characters near the end are also very clunky and again feel rushed and solely used to move the plot along, and does not build up rapport between them.

Yet I did like the book in some respects, the story concept is very interesting and I enjoyed following the overall events. The balance between action and story telling was also well mixed, helping the book flow and avoiding any boring moments. These redeeming features stop my review from dipping down into the dreaded 1 star territory.

However, I will not be buying any more of this series. The lack of any basic laws of physics is too immersion breaking for my tastes, and the whole feeling that the book was very rushed at the sake of character development, plot development and editing, leaves me unconvinced that I should treat this as a serious series to invest more money in. I am sorry to leave a largely negative review, but if I find out in the future these issues are resolved I may have a look back on this series. I can only wish the author all the best in the future in developing this story and his writing skills.

Fair effort, but fundamentally broken and rushed. 2 Stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2014
I enjoyed this book immensely. The action is non stop, the characters well developed, easy to relate to and commiserate with, the plot is compelling and the scenes are vividly described. I didn't read this book expecting hard science, it is a space opera after all and I was easily able to suspend disbelief.

I have purchased the next of the series and look forward to reading it.

So, why only 3 stars? The story does not have a satisfying conclusion. You are compelled to read the next book rather than wanting to read more. I hate cliffhangers. I'll read the next book and even give the series a third visit. After that if there is still no closure, I'll make up my own ending and move on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2015
Ok I don't write many reviews and I try to avoid spoilers when I do. When I first picked it up I got as far as the end of the first chapter. I found the details of the technology to be unrealistic, think of a space fighter video game with colour coded health bars etc. So if your I die hard fan of realistic space science and semi realistic technology details then this isn't the book for you.

The plot is interesting with some good character interaction but there is a lack of back story and in depth detail about all the characters in the book. Even for a quick action heavy book I would of preferred more details about the main characters and expecially more about the 'bad guys' as you don't develop any emotional resentment towards them.

The action is mainly all space based in dog fights between fighters and capital ships and is interesting but again the lack of details mean it's over too quickly.

The writing style flows nice and easy and the plot is interesting enough to enjoy. Any fan of old game classics like wing commander or Elite will enjoy this book. There is no gore, known profanity, sex or nudity. There is implied sexual threat and mild physical violence so it's suitable for most ages.

I would recommend this as a nice quick action read. There is enough to keep your interest and progress on with the next book.
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2013
The plot of this book is actually quite interesting, although the characters are a little simplistic for my taste.

The part of the book that I found difficult was the writer's licence with (or ignorance of) the laws of physics. It is fine for science fiction writers to invent crazy new technology, but the laws of physics still apply. The space battles form a major part of this book, but there are endless examples of 'star wars' physics that completely ruin my suspension of disbelief. Three examples of things a writer of science fiction should really know: there is no 'upside down' in space, space ships do not stop moving when they run out of fuel, you cannot see a laser beam in a vacuum. There are plenty more.

If you think I am knit-picking then they should buy this book, you'll probably enjoy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2013
Its a fast paced book, easy to read, and fun. The problem i have its only half or a third of a book, its stops the story in the middle. The end of the book didn't fit at all with the feel to the book. I Still may give the next book a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2013
With a story that feels and sounds like a mesh of Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek, oh and Stargate (cheap knock off versions of) right through the first three chapters, i gave it up. Quite obviously the author watched a lot of SF tv shows growing up and realised he could murder the entire genre with one book.
Transpiranium dome! Seriously!?! why not just transparent dome....After reading the sentence containing that i had to check i hadn't purchased a teen's book.
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