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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best British Military Sci-Fi That I've Read
Nuttall is a bit of a find I'm glad to say in this sub genre. Sci-fi has a huge range of styles and genres with hundreds of authors - sadly most of them punting out utterly unreadable pap. The military sci-fi seems to be particularly badly affected with the majority of (American) authors punting out risible garbage. I've started many books only to give up in dispair after...
Published 2 months ago by M. G. Chisholm

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars By far the best self published novel I've read - but really needs a good editor
As the title says, this really is the best self published novel I've ever read - most of those don't even deserve a 1 star review.
It is a good read with a well thought out, gripping storyline but the lack of an editor - or even a really good proofreader - is glaringly obvious at times and keeps throwing me out of the story.

Couple of examples;...
Published 2 months ago by Pb


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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best British Military Sci-Fi That I've Read, 27 Jan 2014
By 
M. G. Chisholm "chiefengineer3" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
Nuttall is a bit of a find I'm glad to say in this sub genre. Sci-fi has a huge range of styles and genres with hundreds of authors - sadly most of them punting out utterly unreadable pap. The military sci-fi seems to be particularly badly affected with the majority of (American) authors punting out risible garbage. I've started many books only to give up in dispair after the first ten pages because it's so badly written. With that in mind I bought this based on 100% favourable reviews - which are not always reliable.

However, I'm glad to report that Nuttall has broken the mold and written an excellent book with a taut storyline and believable characters. And they are British which makes an interesting change. The references and interaction are instantly recognisable. You could be down the local pub.

He can write well. I hate it when an author's imagination exceeds his or her ability to convey it on paper. Nuttall has a rare talent in that he has joined the small group of those people who can write this sort of story without having a reader of even passable intelligence grinding their teeth.

Without a doubt the nearest I would say this story comes to is the Black Jack Geary stories of Jack Campbell. Better written with more action and three dimensional characters. My current favourite author in this genre is Evan Currie and to that list I'll add Nuttall.

The story revolves around Britain's first and now mothballed interstellar carrier, captained by a bored drunk. The newer carriers are faster, sleeker and of course better. Apart from the small fact that they lack the old heavyweight armour of the Ark Royal. Because of that in the first conflict and first war, Ark Royal is pulled back into operation and of the captain has to both fight his inner demons and keep hold of his command against all odds and of course expectations.

Its a great yarn. It's not Hamilton or Asher - but then it's they tend towards more complicated plots and the grotesque. Overall a worthy rival to Currie.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars By far the best self published novel I've read - but really needs a good editor, 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
As the title says, this really is the best self published novel I've ever read - most of those don't even deserve a 1 star review.
It is a good read with a well thought out, gripping storyline but the lack of an editor - or even a really good proofreader - is glaringly obvious at times and keeps throwing me out of the story.

Couple of examples;

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*

In one paragraph the author describes the titular Space Carrier Ark Royal as the "oldest" spaceship operated by Humans "anywhere" (in fact this is a major plot point). Just a couple of pages later he describes the carrier passing through a far flung Human colony system whose spaceships were "even older than Ark Royal" (I'm paraphrasing but the point was clear).

At one point we're told there has never been a hint of intelligent alien life elsewhere - that Humanity has concluded it is alone in the galaxy. A few pages later a character casually mentions that there have been fleeting long range sensor contacts with unidentified ships for years.

On another occasion, upon examination of an alien body, we're told the aliens are physically tougher than humans. Later an expert giving a run down on alien features describes them as being weaker.

One character (a senior naval officer) muses to himself that perhaps mass driver weapons, as fitted to the obsolete Ark Royal, are no longer built as the major powers have a secret agreement to limit their use. A few chapters later this theoretical secret agreement is an established fact that everyone knows about. It seems like the author has just realised that the lack of these highly effective weapons on modern ships is a major plot hole and he's scrambling to fill it.

*END SPOILERS*

These are just little things but they're not isolated examples, things like this keep cropping up and it's jarring when they do.

Characters and ships appear, do things, or say things when needed to by the plot, even when their presence or existence or statement contradicts earlier events, plot points or statements.

There is frequent overuse of particular words or phrases - the author badly needs another word for both "aliens" and "humanity"; ships lie "doggo" an awful lot and in every attack someone or something is "rocked back on their heels". Again these aren't the only examples of this.

Finally there is an awful lot of repetition of information (anyone who's read any Harry Turtledove will know what I mean by this). If I hear one more time about how:

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

the Ark Royal's armour and mass drivers make her unique and capable, I'll scream (it's even more annoying when this frequently repeated plot point is contradicted when other armoured and mass driver equipped ships make an appearance when the plot requires them).

The captain is a recovering alcoholic and is afraid one drink will tip him back over the edge... We know! You've told us before!

*END SPOILER*

Again this isn't isolated, certain plot points are absolutely hammered home by repetition, enough so that when it starts to happen I've found myself able to skip entire pages without missing out any plot. Other plot points are so heavily and repeatedly foreshadowed that I've found myself groaning when we come across another "hint" of what's to come and again skipping whole sections.

I'm sorry if this comes across as really negative, it isn't meant to, I'll reiterate that this is by far the best self published novel I've ever read and is well, well worth a read, just be prepared for its idiosyncrasies and be prepared to give the author a little leeway and you'll enjoy it.

Give it a try, there's really nothing to lose. I really hope that the author's deserved success (I hope this has been successful anyway) allows him to employ an editor for the sequels (and if there aren't sequels there should be!)
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs editing., 30 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
I saw the reviews on this, and then saw it was top of the Kindle SF chart, so thought it was worth a read. Although I enjoyed it, I definitely think the large volume of 5*s is way over the top. The story itself is quite good, but fairly typical military SF. My main concern was that it is desperately in need of a good edit. Not only are there multiple typos, but considerable repetition and some clumsy sections that cry out for a good editor. I appreciate that it is self published and so has not gone through the "traditional" process, but these issues definitely reduced my enjoyment of the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, but..., 19 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
I loved the idea - clapped out Brit wreck skippered by a washed-up drunk saves the day...
Sadly that's about as good as it gets...the plotting is weak & the prose leaves a lot to be desired...I grew heartily tired of paragraphs starting with "Ted smiled/grimaced/scowled" as the first sentence.
That said, I finished it & would consider buying a sequel...if only to find out what happens.
And I admire anyone with the courage to self-publish.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 23 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. Carl Atvarnieks (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
Ark RoyalDownloaded the book and read it in a day great military sci fi good characterisation believable tech and a plotline which is also credible.
The writing style gets the mix between action ,plot, characters and description right as well and doesn't fall into the trap of endlessly describing streams of missile attacks and ship maneuvers nor does it go into intricate detail about the M14a1276 digit 14.50 calibre assault rifle or whatever every time a marine picks one up.
So if you want a cracking ride into a future universe where mankind is under threat and plot means more than technical gun fetishes I suggest you buy this one.
I'm hoping for a sequel
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appallingly written and no sense of character, 12 April 2014
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I'll be straight up and say that I haven't actually finished the book so obviously couldn't comment on the overall story - this could very well be a book that has an amazing twist or picks up in the second half. However I very much doubt it. It's very rare indeed that I don't finish a book, but this was simply turgid. The style of writing was awful, the characterisation was dreadful and the story was unimaginative despite real promise of a space opera featuring the future Royal Navy.
Despite the cheap price, I would suggest you stay away -there's so much wonderful sci fi out there and time is too precious to be wasting it on reading this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, horrendously written, 11 April 2014
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I almost couldn't finish this book because the writing was so awful that in places I actually felt like gauging my eyeballs out. Still, pressed on I am just about happy that I read this book, as the story was good. But in no shape or form is Nuttall to be regarded as a decent writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good... but..., 28 Mar 2014
By 
A. Farmer (Stratford Upon Avon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed it, but the writing got tiresome, the over use of certain phrases got repetitive.the characterisation was a little off, and what was with ending every other paragraph with a question? Would appeal to Weber fans, the story was intriguing but i am not sure i would read a sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs an editor, 27 Mar 2014
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It's pretty badly written, the characters don't ring true and the pace is terrible - I managed to get over halfway through before giving up
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, but very similar to other older Sci-fi, 24 Mar 2014
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I felt like I'd read this before, because there were similar trends to other books. However, a very good read if you need to wait for a flight or on a train and need a time filler.
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