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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2014
Downloaded this ages ago because it was free and somehow missed it until now. Boy, did it have its revenge! Started reading and enjoyed the setting, flashbacks slightly irritating but could live with them, characters a little too perfect especially the women but author's privilege and all that...and it certainly was filling the time before my favourite TV show. Right?

Wrong.
Somehow, -and that's the magic of great action scenes, good pacing, characters you end up wanting to know more about (want Radec for my birthday) and a story arc that won't let go - I missed my TV show and five hours later looked up to find it was 2.30 in the morning. I'd been absorbed into this world without even realising by a writer I'd never heard of in a genre I usually avoid. Well done, Mike Smith, you have me completely and utterly hooked. Off to download the next 2!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Jon Radec the Emperor's Head of the Praetorian Guard is sent on a 'routine' mission to take the Emperor's daughter, in his personal space yacht the Eternal Light, Unfortunately before the yacht can reach FTL flight Jon is told that the Emperor is dead and to bring the Princes back to the Starship from which they had set out. Jon senses trouble, and as he had given his word to the Emperor, decides to carry on. What then happens to his Praetorian Escort leaves him in a damaged ship with the princess.

The book is set in Jon's new life on Terra Nova a flashes back 5 years to their adventures.
The book is great fun with a handsome and noble hero and eventually two ladies who wish he was theirs. (This part does not detract from the adventures). A thoroughly good read - I have already bought part 2!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2013
This was the first time that I have downloaded a book to my phone, while waiting in the hospital to be seen by my consultant.
I didn't think a free book would be very good, especialy an unknown author.
Well, as a great fan of science fiction and fantasy with authors such as Anne Maccaffrey, David Eddings, Raymond E Feist, David Gemmell, Issacc Asimov and Terry Goodkind, I wasn't sure what to expect, so gave it a go.
Too my supprise, I found that I couldn't put the book down, the action and story ran so well I was engrossed.
I ending up reading until 4am most night's just to finish it.
I can't wait for the second book, I recommend to everyone to read this novel and think you will be supprised at how good it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2014
Started off wondering if I would like. Present day, few years before and then flashbacks to before that. Not the best structure. Few science fact mistakes as well and hero's just a bit too perfect. Add a villain where you wonder why anybody would follow him and so incompetent he would have difficulty making the tea right and you start to question.

But as it happened, I found myself enjoying the ride and will quite happily buy part 2. The story is engaging. The writing style easy to read and story pretty fun. I won't be expecting any Hugo awards just yet but am happy to see where the author takes me next.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2014
Jon, the foremost member of the emperor's personal guard is handsome and handy with a sword. You'll have met him before in other freebie space operas; ridiculously young, beloved by women and fellow officers, especially loathed and feared by the enemy, endowed with tactical ability, smouldering eyes and washboard abdominals.

He is, of course, assigned to protect the emperor's only daughter; You'll have met her too. She's a stunning red head with a figure hugging wardrobe, just feisty enough to turn a man on, but compliant enough not to be one of those irritating ballbreakers with a character. Of course they fall in love. Of course it all goes pear shaped when a coup occurs.

You already know the rest of the plot - it's a space opera so it involves the imperial navy, space stations, megalomaniac bad guys, off the shelf characters and heroic, David and Goliath space battles before nail biting FTL escapes. Because there is always room for another hot babe, there's also an oriental pilot chick to test Jon's honour while the princess isn't around.

The writing is uneven and as is common with these self published freebies, in need of editing. There is some drift in the plot and characterisation; Jon oscillates between uptight puritan, adrenalin junkie and embarrassed teenager. Lapses in grammar jar and the dialogue is as cookie cut out as the characters. The author is also under the impression that explosively propelled firearms won't work in space because there is "no oxygen" for the reaction. I hope he never has to learn the truth about chemical propellants the hard way.

However it's an easy read if you enjoy a bit of pulp, and kills an hour or two for free. But it's the first of a trilogy so expect a cliffhanger ending.
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on 12 February 2013
I really enjoyed reading this book, it was definitely a page turner and grabbed my attention. There is a great plot and plenty of action although the somewhat superfluous and convoluted love story gets in the way at times. I felt like some of the "romantic" scenes had been shoehorned in. That being said I found it a gripping and enjoyable read and one which I would recommend, just don't expect perfect grammar. I'm looking forward to the next instalment of the of the book and cant wait to see what happens to the characters next.

Another review suggests that readers "ignore the grammar Nazis" to suggest that this book would upset the grammar Nazis is a bit of an understatement. Whilst I don't profess to have perfect grammar, the grammar in this book was pretty appalling and distracting which is a shame because the story overall was a good one but it was hurt by the grammar. The concept of there, their and they're seem to be a bit of a mystery to the author. I suspect that rather than being proof read by a third party, the book was only spell checked because whilst I don't recall any spelling errors there are numerous occasions where the word written is not quite the word the author was looking for, although it IS close and is what you might expect a spell check to auto correct the word to. To an extent the book uses flashbacks to explain the back story of the characters which for the most part are done well although there were a couple of occasions where I found myself flicking back to the start of the chapter to see where I was in the timeline, this clearly caused some confusion for the author as the tenses became muddled in places.

My biggest gripe about the book however was not the bad grammar but some of the science. At one point the main character is in his office on the space station when the power is cut. The office has no solid window but rather a forcefield to separate him from the vacuum of space which of course fails following the power cut. Yet somehow he survives! Not only does he survive unaided by a space suit or breathing apparatus but is able to have a chat with another crew member over the intercom and is then able to just open the door and stroll out of his now unpressurised office into the (presumably) pressurised station. No explanation is offered for how he survived the vacuum of space or how he was able to move into the pressurised part of the station without obstacle!

In conclusion, its worth a read but don't take it too seriously.

Note to the the author - before you publish the second book please employ a proof reader, for that matter, ask your old high school English teacher to proof read it for you in exchange for a couple of bottles of wine, none of the errors are drastic but they are repeated again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2013
The story line had the potential to be very good, however the author needs to make up his mind as to what he is writing. Is this a badly written love story with poorly written encounters, or is it an above average silence fiction Space military adventure.
I found myself skipping over pages devoted to Jon's feelings about the princess. Without all this and a lot more put into the detail around the tech it it could be a good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2013
An excellent swashbuckler with plenty going on to hold your interest, however the descriptions of maneuvers made by the various ships during the episodes of combat seemed to be more akin to aircraft in atmospheric conditions rather than in zero gravity thereby slightly spoiling the credibility a little. But apart from this nit picking I thoroughly enjoyed the book and completed reading it in two days as I couldn't put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2014
I downloaded this as it was free and I was looking for Sci-fi that I hadn't read.

The story was a fantastical adventure with interesting characters. I even liked his portrayal of women!
The only reason it didn't get 5 stars was that, in some places, the storyline was too swash-buckling!

Found an interesting new author to watch and I can't wait for the next trilogy Revelations to be published.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2013
A good plot, great characters, a hero and space, what else do you need!

The story developed really well and by the end it turned into a real page turner and I had trouble putting it down. The story moves back and forwards in time but that is handled really well by the author and there is no confusion.

I have bought and read the second in the series and that is even better!!
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