on 28 January 2013
I was surfing through the Kindle free books, looking for new authors trying to attract readers, as I have found some real gems this way. I was being careful to read the reviews as I have also found some dross this way too. The reviews attracted me to this one - and I am so glad!! I read a lot of sci-fi when I was younger, when you had to be good to get published, so I read all the good stuff. Then there seemed to be a drought as fantasy took off and good sci-fi was getting rare. This is very, very good - let me repeat that - this is VERY VERY GOOD! Good story line, good characters, good writing - and it had me hooked incredibly quickly. So much so, that I have now read all of the other books in this 'In Her Name - The Last War' trilogy, the next 'In Her Name - Redemption' trilogy, and the 1st book of the new trilogy 'In Her Name - The 1st Empress'. And I didn't read anything else until I had - that's how much you want to know what happens next. So I give it 5 stars along with a warning - if you read this, you will end up buying all the others :-)
on 8 March 2013
Books are really a matter of personal taste, so I am always reluctant to give book reviews. However, I am a long-time reader of 'hard' sci-fi rather than pure fantasy. Although this book had an interesting and well-written plot, the story-line of what seemed like constant war and fighting didn't appeal -hence the 3 stars. If humans v aliens fighting is to your taste, then you will most likely give 5 stars as do other reviewers.
Interestingly, the 'taster' first chapter of the author's next book 'In Her Name: Legend of the Sword' was different in flavour and very readable. This single chapter gave the 'aliens' fuller characters one could relate to and wondering what might underlay their motives intrigued, making me wish to find out more.
on 7 August 2012
Downloaded as a free kindle book and was more than pleasantly surprised at what turned out to be a cracking good read, I have read many human v aliens type books and they are often very similar in theme, First Contact was very diffirent in that respect and I could not put the book down, I have finished it now and am compelled to get the next in the series.
on 20 March 2015
This book might make a successful sci-fi blockbuster movie. Think of Starship Troopers crossed with Zulu. So expect a high body count, kick-ass space marines and constant action. If that's your bag then go for this book. But if you are a sci-fi fan who like me searches, generally in vain, for some complexity of narrative, depth to the characters, thought-provoking themes, or if you also enjoy what might be described as 'real' literature (sorry, I can' think of a more polite term) then best give this one a miss.
Other reviews describing the characters as well developed are rather flattering. The humans are cardboard cut-out, comic book, cowboys. The author gives you a thumbnail sketch of the main characters as soon as we meet them. We get all we need to know in a line or two. No mystery, no layers, no two sides to any of them. Then they are off into action. That is an advantage if you just want a blood-spattered fast moving narrative but my goodness the bodies pile up.
The author does try to provide positive female characters of the no nonsense kind (think Aliens 2) but the journalist is especially badly written and the first description of her is very patronising and could only have been written by a man.
Unfortunately the ethnic backgrounds of the humans is stereotypically clunky; at times amusingly ridiculous but also potentially offensive. The humans of Arab or Chinese origin are suspicious, unfriendly and ungrateful. The French and Japanese are allowed to be cool and hard but of course the real heros are, you guessed it, American. Not only that but I would say their great great great grandparents all fought for the Confederates.
I would certainly not waste any more of my life reading further books in this series or by this author. Having said that the novel is an accomplished book of it's type. I would call it page-turning pulp war-sci-fi. High levels of concentration not required.
on 11 February 2013
The book itself was a good read, the characters interesting and a few unusual twists. What I didn't like was that about half way through I realised this was going to to be a bit like "V", no real ending and an excuse to buy numerous more books. I don't have a problem with that as the author has to make some money but I do like an ending.
on 12 November 2014
‘First contact - in her name’ is definitely a cut above most other Science Fiction stories out there. It is well written and has a coherent plot with strong, well-drawn characters. Although the aliens (the ‘Kreelans’) are mankind’s enemy, Mr Hicks has created a race which has a number of admirable traits.
Although I enjoyed reading it, my main problem with this book is that it is too long – the battle scenes in particular seem to last much longer than is necessary. Moreover, I am somewhat daunted by the fact that this is the first story of a trilogy, and was written as a prequel to the author's first trilogy, ‘In her Name: Redemption’ (what is it about Sci-Fi authors and trilogies?). Much as I enjoyed it, I am currently undecided whether to press on with the other books in the series.
However, I would definitely recommend this book to you if you like Science Fiction, and you can then decide for yourself how far you want to go with the series.
on 23 December 2012
I have never enjoyed the sort of blow-by-blow battle narrative that dominates this book but I was, for once, caught-up completely in this.
The battle descriptions are truly epic, without hint a desire hurry it along to an more timely end but what saves it is that one is routing for both sides. One feels both pain and elation in every loss and every victory.
There are poor aspects: even the sketchy human history feels like every word is wasted and the use of made-up alien words is annoying - but these a not reasons to dislike the whole.
It's hard to see how the writer could keep this up; I can't imagine putting up with another epic battle or caring for more characters (which are very well drawn but at some cost to pace).
This is a good read in itself and a unique phenomenon for creating deep but bilateral feelings of loyalty.
on 28 February 2015
I almost always finish books. But in this case I have abandoned this just 53% through. It should be exiting, but isn't. It should be gripping, but isn't. Based on some of the other reviews I should be desperate to read the next page, but recently I have preferred to spend my train commute surfing the internet on my phone rather than read this. I have no desire to find out what happens. I couldn't care less about the characters. I can't even be bothered to fast forward to the last page. Sorry.
I am getting utterly suspicious of Amazon book reviews because I keep finding very well reviewed books that are at best 3 star publications. Unfortunately in this case it isn't even worth three. Despite the attractive £0.00 pricing it just isn't worth the time and effort to read it.
on 7 July 2015
Starts out well and keeps the momentum going. Not completely a sci-fi book, more a military sci-fi mix, very militaristic and reminds me a bit of the Black Library in some ways.
Although the characters in the book are strong, it does lack the in-depth characters with which you can bond. These are reduced to one male and one female in effect. On the alien side there is still the notion of a faceless enemy as I think the author missed out on a golden opportunity to cement something on both sides here, something which would bind the reader to the characters more. Possibly this is where the fact that this was written after another trilogy which takes place in the future comes in. I personally have not read the original trilogy but will be looking to do so after I complete the three of this trilogy.
I am, however, left wondering why this is a trilogy. I don't find the book itself very long and maybe it should be a part of a complete book instead of a trilogy. I look stringently at what I get for my money. This one was for free which made it unmissable but I would never have picked it up if it had not been for free, which with hindsight would have been a shame thinking about it. I see there is an omnibus version and that at least makes it bearable as I will go for that. I won't buy the books on their own for any of the trilogies, so I hope everything eventually turns up in an omnibus.
I do like the feature of adding a chapter of the next book to the free version here. This may answer the initial question I had when I looked at the omnibus and the three books on their own on Amazon. The single books have 392, 320 and 260 pages respectively. The omnibus has 796 pages. If I consider that there are extra chapters across the singles, I believe we are at 250-260 pages per book. Not sure that is as strong as I would like and again I am left with the idea that this is one book, split into three parts. I will simply leave that standing in the room but it further cements my previous conviction that I won't be buying the books on their own, only in the omnibus version. Good job there is an omnibus version, I probably would have just read something else instead to be honest.
Good read for book one of a trilogy (or a third of a proper book in my opinion) and looking forward to the next one (third of the book). A strong four star review from me but missing that one star for a riveting read due to the fact that I think it's a single book split into three. Making it free works to get attention.
I purchased the other two books in this series and after having read them, I am updating my initial review based on the full story being such a great piece of work. Where I was initially concerned by length and that I was going to run into a book that had been cut into three parts, I have to admit I was suspecting that the other two parts would be of inferior quality, this was however, not the case. After reading all three parts of this series, I will revise my initial idea that it this series is a single book, it is clearly not and in my opinion can call itself a trilogy. A fantastic read that for me actually got better as it went along, addressing all of the issues I had mentioned before. The characters got stronger and the empathy I felt was missing, also started piling up. I can only recommend that if you like the first one, just get the other two, I would venture to predict that you will not regret it.
As the books have surpassed my expectations by quite a bit and I have to admit that I have found this series as thrilling as any of the big names in the literary world, I am revising my rating up to the full five stars. That would be the fourth author who has managed to convince me that they deserve the full five star rating. Well done and I look forward to books 4-6 of the series, praying that they may also be 5-star material. See my review when I am done, as I will certainly review it.
on 24 October 2013
Michael R Hicks is offering the first book of each of his three trilogies for free. Should you like them, you can buy the second and third separately.
Don't bother, buy the fourth book which combines the three for less.
Why? Well apart from saving a bit, I can assure you that once you start you WILL want the rest.
Sci-Fi is a very forgiving genre, it allows the imagination free reign, you can include the most fantastical events and ideas and provided the story holds, get away with it.
But what makes a good story in this genre? Personally I am a great Peter F Hamilton fan, having read all his works. I loved the classics, I love the short stories. I like complex sagas, I like the bizarre, I like the imagination to be let run riot.
So, why this saga? For a very, very simple reason, it is good. Very good in fact. It is well written, does not try to be too clever, holds your attention, and has a good 'cast' of characters.
It is the sort of story that will find its feet through reviews like this, Twitter, and other modern forms of by word of mouth.
I was incredibly sceptical at first, but I overcame my initial reticence and decided to give it a go. 80 pages into the start I decided to go onto Amazon, buy the first 6 of the nine in the saga, by getting the two compilation books. As a measure, for me, as to just how good these books are, I have found myself reading the story at every opportunity, grabbing pages and chapters whenever I have a moment. That is how much I like it. I am that way with any good read be it Baldacci, Child, Grisham, Hamilton.
The story isn't as deep or as convoluted as, say, an Ian M Banks sci-fi book, or like the Asimov/Clarke classics, but it will stand as a great introduction to science fiction in its own right, bring a nice tight read, good flowing story, with characters you want to follow, with also, one of the most interesting aliens created, and bearing in mind how many have been invented over the decades in books and film, that is saying something.
Once the third compilation is out, I will be getting that.
Well done Michael R Hicks, I think you are onto a winner, I am sure that once word gets out it will go stratospheric!