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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
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 :-)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
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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!
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on 29 January 2013
I also downloaded this free after being gifted a Kindle for my birthday and I'm very glad I did.
It's rare I find a book to be 'un-put-downable' but I raced through this and the other novels in the first trilogy in a single weekend.
Before even finishing 'First Contact', I had purchased all of the remaining books in the series - with two more novels to complete the third trilogy scheduled for release this year.
The premise is not too far-fetched to strain credulity and the action is set far enough into the future so as to be plausible even when it does. As an ex-infantry soldier myself, I particularly like the 'military' bits as they have the ring of authenticity (or enough so that I'm not sat there screaming "That wouldn't work - they wouldn't do that!" as I tend to do when watching movies on TV). There are shades of Robert Heinlein's 'Starship Troopers', Harold Coyle's 'Team Yankee' and Tom Clancy's 'Red Storm Rising', with nods to E.E. 'Doc' Smith along the way... throw in some mystical alien pseudo-Bushido and it comes together quite nicely.
The only times I sigh slightly to myself are when the author compares weapon-types to 20th & 21st century ones - there's no need: I can guess what a future sniper-rifle might look like without needing to be told it's a descendant of a Barratt .50. Also there's a big gap in the ground-forces' technology - almost as if martial development halted in 2020. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that everyone will finally end up fighting with sword and shield like the Spartans at Thermopylae, so it doesn't bother me that much.

The author has created a scenario just crying out for a movie adaptation, but I suspect it'll need someone with the vision, skill, clout and budget of a Jerry Bruckheimer or James Cameron along with the VFX team from the latest Star Trek movies to do it justice, though TBH, as long as Paul Verhoeven is kept well away from it, it'll probably be fine.
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on 29 July 2012
"IN HER NAME - First Contact" by Michael R Hicks

Over the last 6 years I have been reading military SciFi in the form of Warhammer 40,000, the likes of Nick Kyme, Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill and many others. I came across Michael Hicks on Twitter and found that his first book was free to read. So I downloaded it to my Kindle.

The story is about the discovery of a sentient race of blue females with fangs and large talons, don't let that statement put you off.

The opening is about a space survey vessel named Aurora; as the story unfolds you get to meet the characters from both sides of the pending war. The crew are forced in to a position that leads to multiple deaths on both sides. one man is left to pass the message to the human race about forth coming attack on a specific planet; to the newly discovered sentient race this is a honour and privilege.

The messenger was sent back to earth in the restored Aurora, and was received with scepticism, but plans are made to follow up in case the message was to come true. The planetary people refused to believe and the offer for help was refused. As the deadline approached, the forces awaiting the sentient race waited and counted down there arrival. In total disbelief as the the clock hit the deadline, they appeared as the messenger had said, the war had begun.

This story is of courage and honour and a race to protect the human race against a new and unknown foe. The characters that create the story are both full and vibrant, they have feelings and emotions. The story is told in a way that pulls you in and you can fell for both the sentient and human characters within the book.

I for one will be continuing to read Michael R Hicks books to find out what happens in the future.
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